The Miami Dolphins will not be making any major off-season changes to their personnel until the season is over and that might be a while.
With Miami playing the Steelers on Sunday the Dolphins off-season will have to wait but once the season is over and the team starts looking at 2017 some players will be shown the door.
According to the Miami Herald, Mario Williams will indeed be one of those cuts. Williams’ salary escalates to over $10 million in 2017 and the Dolphins can save $8.5 of that by releasing him. Williams has done very little this year and was a healthy scratch last week against the Patriots.
Williams was a good free agent signing at the time. He just couldn’t regain his form and too many injuries kept him sidelined. His inevitable release will come as no surprise.
Williams won’t be the only one.
There are no guarantees that the Dolphins will keep Byron Maxwell despite his resurgence of late, minus the injuries the last three weeks. Maxwell is very up and down and frankly the Dolphins have to decide if he is worth the $8 million plus in salary that he will earn in 2017.
On the defensive line, Earl Mitchell could finally see his time in Miami come to an end. Mitchell spent time on the IR list this year and has been out played by Jordan Phillips. Mitchell will count $4.5 million with all but $500K saved by releasing him. Still with the Dolphins using a rotation along the defensive line, Mitchell’s contract isn’t all that bad.
Dion Jordan has not played in two seasons and wasn’t a factor at all in his rookie year. He will also count $3.2 million against the cap in 2017. All of that money is saved by releasing him. It’s possible but highly unlikely that the Dolphins could find a trading partner.
In 2016 the Dolphins carried over $15 million in dead cap space. Heading into 2017 before any players have been cut Miami is carrying $500k for Jamil Douglas. That number will rise once the season is over and the 2017 league year kicks in.
In the case of Mario Williams, a decision will be made by the 5th day of the league year when $3 million becomes fully guaranteed. Luckily for the Dolphins, those are decisions that for now, can wait.