Miami Dolphins make major decision on veteran linebacker Jerome Baker

Oct 22, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (55) returns
Oct 22, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (55) returns / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The future of Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker has been decided and the news is what was honestly expected.

According to reports, the Miami Dolphins are moving on from Jerome Baker and have informed him of his impending release. His release will bring an end to his six seasons with the Dolphins.

Drafted in 2018, Baker, a former 3rd round pick started 82 of 94 games that he played in. Last year, he was having a resurgent season before he was knocked out of the game against the Commanders with a knee injury. He returned later in the season only to break his hand and miss the final games.

Now, Baker will finish his career somewhere else. The Miami Dolphins made the announcement official and Baker is now an unrestricted free agent. He does not have to wait until free agency to sign with another team.

The move is for salary cap reasons and creates yet another hole on the defensive side of the ball. Releasing Baker will save the Dolphins $9.8 million with a dead cap hit of $4.9 million. It was expected given his $14.7 million cap hit.

Baker is the 2nd starting defensive player to be released in the last two weeks. Earlier the Dolphins announced they were moving on from Xavien Howard who will be designated a Post-June 1st release. Between the two, they ranked as the 4th and 7th most expensive players on the Dolphins roster.

Miami will also almost certainly lose Christian Wilkins as they opted to not use the Franchise Tag on him. Early today it was announced that CB Keion Crossen was also being released.

The Dolphins still have to decide about the futures of Andrew Van Ginkel who is an impending free agent as well as Duke Riley who is under contract but carries a possible $2.5 million cap savings if cut.

With the release, the Dolphins find themselves still over the cap by around $18 million. (This was edited from a previous number of $15 million)

Adam Schefter is reporting that the Dolphins and Baker discussed a possible restructured deal but could not complete it. That could leave the door open for a return.

Baker will leave Miami with 587 tackles, six forced fumbles, five interceptions, and 22.5 sacks. He also had 2 touchdowns.