If you're patient long enough a decent acorn will eventually fall off another NFL team's roster.

That happened Wednesday night when the cap-strapped Kansas City Chiefs released right tackle Eric Winston, whom the Miami Dolphins explored signing last offseason.

Winston signed a four-year, $22 million deal last offseason, but he struggled early in the year and then ran afoul of some fans after he criticized a small percentage for cheering when quarterback Matt Cassel got hurt.

The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on left tackle Branden Alberts and are expected to use the first overall pick in the 2013 draft on an offensive tackle. That made Winston, a former University of Miami standout, expendable.

Last offseason, after Winston was released by the Houston Texans, the Dolphins were the first team to host him on a visit, and made a respectable contract offer. But that offer was trumped by Kansas City.