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Dutton Cut by Miami

John Dutton, the starting Nevada quarterback who threw for 3,526 yards and led the Wolf Pack to a share of the Big West title last season, was waived by the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday.

Dutton, a sixth-round draft choice in April’s NFL draft (the 172nd player chosen overall), was the ninth of 10 players picked by Miami in the draft.

Dutton was battling for a third-string quarterbacking job with Washington product Damon Huard and Kansas State alum Chad May. Dan Marino is expected to start for the Dolphins while Craig Erickson is projected as Miami’s backup QB.

“I think he has the ability to play in this league, but with our situation, we decided to go with veterans,” Miami coach Jimmy Johnson told the Miami Herald on Tuesday.

Johnson said he was impressed with the recent improvement of Huard, who recently returned from a season in the World League. Huard had a league-best 54.8 percent completion rate while throwing for 1,857 yards for the Frankfurt Galaxy before he separated his shoulder during the Galaxy’s final regular-season game.

“Huard came back from Europe significantly improved,” Johnson said. “(Being waived) will give him (Dutton) a chance to find another team.”

Although his footwork and release had been questionable before the draft, the 6-foot-4, 219-pound Dutton had impressed scouts at the pro combine by running a 4.65-second time over 40 yards, the fastest among the quarterbacks tested.

Dutton was realistic about his chance of making the Dolphins’ final 53-man roster when he spoke with the Tahoe Tribune last month. His best day in a Dolphins’ uniform turned out to be a 6-for-16 performance for 75 yards in a July 26 scrimmage.

“It’s tough when you get to this level because it’s all about numbers. If things don’t work out here, there’s other situations that might be better for me,” Dutton said. “But I’m not worried about that. I’m just trying to get better every day.”

Dutton, from Fallbrook, Calif., was the 1996 and 1997 Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year. With 6,276 career passing yards, he ranks fifth on Nevada’s all-time passing list, just ahead of current Wolf Pack coach Jeff Tisdel’s sixth-place total of 6,098. Dutton also recorded 42 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with the Wolf Pack in 22 games.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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