Players who could be playing their final season with Dolphins in 2024

May 17, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A general view of a Miami Dolphins helmet on the grass during
May 17, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A general view of a Miami Dolphins helmet on the grass during / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have huge decisions to make in the next several months and those decisions will impact the 2025 offseason.

Naturally, players come and go every year but the Dolphins are about to spend money like they have never spent before and it will have a massive effect on next year's roster.

Consider the Dolphins either this offseason or next will dole out contracts to Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, Jevon Holland, and Tua Tagovailoa. With Waddle and Phillips, Grier can push those into the 2026 offseason but he still would be smart to get one of them extended before they play on the 5th-year option.

The good news is, that these are the only players on the roster who are due extensions, and the rather bland drafts since 2021 won't add more "must-sign" players to the equation in the coming years. There is a light at the end of the salary cap nightmare but Grier has to get through these four players first.

To do that, Miami has to create space and that could lead to another round of cuts or impending free agents leaving that Miami may have otherwise wanted to keep.

Terron Armstead - $22 million cap hit

Armstead is likely playing his final season with the Dolphins and both sides know this. Armstead will make $22 million in 2025 and releasing him prior to the start of free agency will cost Miami $18.4 million with a minimal $3 million savings.

Miami would instead, designate him a post-June 1st release like they did with Xavien Howard. They would eat $7.8 million but would save $14 million. It would be very surprising if the Dolphins did not go this route next year.

The Dolphins will have a decision to make on Jason Sanders but Sanders controls his own fate in 2024.

Jason Sanders - $4.7 million

Sanders is interesting here. In 2023 he had one of his better seasons in the league but can he put together two consistent seasons back-to-back? That is the question the Dolphins will want answered and fans will be watching.

Sanders will count nearly $5 million next year and releasing him outright would save the team $3 million and change with a modest $1.3 million hit. The key to all of this is consistency. If Sanders plays like he did last year, he will stick around for another season.

Miami won't designate Sanders a post-June 1st release as it doesn't make sense and the savings isn't remotely different. That being said, if Sanders has another good season, he could be extended which could reduce his salary and in the process, remove him from this list.

Several other Dolphins players will be on the bubble heading into the 2025 season.

Raheem Mostert - $4.06 million

Mostert was incredible last season and defied all of the naysayers. The fact he led the league in TDs at 31 was more than impressive. The Dolphins gave him an extension this year and it was well-deserved but 2024 will be interesting.

Mostert's deal will pay him more than $4 million but if he falters this year or suffers any concerning injury, the Dolphins could save all but $1 million of his contract. The chances of Mostert being released are pretty slim and $3 million savings isn't much in the overall scheme of the Dolphins cap.

Erik Ezukanma - $1.28 million

In order for Ezukanma to not make the 2025 roster, he has to make the 2024 roster and there is no guarantee at this point that will happen. There is a lot of potential but so far, the Dolphins haven't seen much of it.

Channing Tindall - $1.6 million

Like Ezukanma, Tindall has to make this year's roster before he can make 2025s. Tindall will get a shot this year to impress Anthony Weaver and if he can do that, he should get on the field more. He has a lot of unrealized talent.

The Dolphins roster is built on the backs of players with one-year contracts.

Generating a list of players that may be playing their last year with the Dolphins is an interesting wormhole. Half of the roster will cost minimal cap space due to one-year contracts or low salaries. The Dolphins have only 32 players on their roster under contract for next season and many of them are making league minimum.

There is no magic contract heading into 2025 that can be erased with a brush stroke unless Miami makes a move with Tyreek Hill or Jalen Ramsey which isn't likely. In those cases, post-June 1st releases would be required for the Dolphins to see any cap savings. As of now, Miami has $31.8 million in space for 2025 and that will change in both directions by the time we get there.