Miami Dolphins players that can be cut now to trim the last $18 million off the cap

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Summit One Vanderbilt Grand Opening / Alexi Rosenfeld/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins are making moves to reduce their cap liability ahead of free agency but they still need to do more.

When you spend money, eventually you have to find a way to save some as well. For the Dolphins, the bill is coming due. It isn't ideal but is the business and nature of the NFL.

Miami has made difficult moves in the last two weeks. Xavien Howard has been informed of his impending release and the Dolphins will now release Jerome Baker and Keion Crossen. The moves reduce the Dolphins' over-the-cap amount to around $18 million.

While the Dolphins will almost certainly restructure some contracts, they could still reduce that $18 million by making cuts. Here are some players that can Miami out of the red.

Mike White - $3.5 million

The Dolphins backup quarterback did not showcase himself last year as a clear option over Skylar Thompson. The Dolphins could release White and sign a cheaper backup option that could serve as the 3rd or emergency quarterback.

If White is cut, the Dolphins would then be $15 million over the cap. Releasing White would carry $1.7 million in dead money.

Duke Riley - $2.5 million

Riley has done everything the Dolphins have asked him to do but he simply ins't consistent enough to play anything more than a depth role. Riley is capable of situational play and allowing the Dolphins to keep their starters fresh but as we saw last season, he can't be a consistent starter and the Dolphins can probably do better in free agency or give the reigns to Channing Tindall.

Miami would drop to around $12.5 million over the cap.

Jason Sanders - $2.3 million

Sanders won't give the Dolphins much cap relief and this move would only push the needle closer to $10 million. The Dolphins would still need to add a kicker but they could add one that costs less than the $4.5 million Miami will carry on their cap if they kept him.

Jeff Wilson, Jr. -$2.89 million

There is no reason for the Dolphins to keep Wilson. I like Wilson and was disappointed that he wasn't used more last year when he was healthy. Especially in the passing game. Regardless, the Dolphins would find it cheaper to use Raheem Mostert, De'Von Achane, and Chris Brooks, and re-sign Salvon Ahmed at a vet minimum contract.

Miami would drop to around $7 million.

David Long, Jr. - $4.5 million

Long played well last year but the Dolphins appear to be making a lot of changes to their LB group and Long may not fit in with what Anthony Weaver is trying to do. If that is the case, Long could save the Dolphins a big chunk of money while only eating $2.2 million. I'm not an advocate of this move as it would totally decimate the LB group but again, if he isn't viewed as part of the plans, do him a favor and let him go.

I'm not going to include him in my totals because I don't think he should go but if the Dolphins wanted to, he reduced that cap to $2.5 million.

The Miami Dolphins could clear almost $7 million from their cap by releasing these players who are playing at a cost of nearly $1 million per season with no dead cap space. Yes, the Dolphins would need to replace them but in some cases, undrafted free agents would be more cost effective.

  • TE Tanner Conner - $985K, Quinton Bell - $985K, Kion Smith - $985K, Ryan Hayes - $915K, Chasen Hines - $915K, Ethan Bonner - $915K, Cameron Goode - $915K, Mathew Sexton - $915K, Zeke Vandenburgh - $794K.

Those would obviously leave a lot of holes that would need to be filled but making these moves get the Dolphins back to the salary cap and after restructures they can then add them back to the roster. None of them have guaranteed salaries and are not likely to see much entertainment in free agency. They are simple moves that can easily be re-signed after getting under the cap.

Miami's biggest problem is going to be finding money to use in free agency to supplement a roster that is going to undergo a lot of changes this off-season.