The hip injuries are becoming more and more frequent with Pouncey and if he continues to need surgery then he won’t be on the field for the Dolphins. Center is the most important piece on the offensive line and as witnessed last season you need someone who can be consistent calling the blocking assignments at the line.
Pouncey is just shy of $9 million for 2017 and while releasing him would save almost $4 million the Dolphins would carry $5 million in dead money. So, draft or sign a new starting center and move Pouncey to right guard.
Pouncey is more than capable of playing guard and if he can stay healthy then the Dolphins will have a very good one but if he can’t stay healthy they should find it much easier to find a suitable if not at the very least a serviceable replacement to back him up.
With Ja’Wuan James struggling on the right side, putting Pouncey next to him could help the right side a lot. Miami would obviously need to find a replacement at center but consider the future of Mike Pouncey as it stands now.
Pouncey is under contract through 2020 with his salary increasing to $9 million in 2018, $8 million in 2019, and $9 in 2020. This is the final year that Miami would take a negative hit by releasing him. The most Miami will carry in dead money after 2017 is $2.2 million in ’18. Why is this important? Because if Pouncey can’t stay healthy the Dolphins very well may just call it quits and move on after 2017.
If they can address the center position this off-season they will lessen any blow that they will take in the next few years by still employing him at guard where he should find it easier to stay healthy.