Spring is an exciting time in the NFL as teams make their runs at splashy free agents, but it’s also time to see goodbye.
The Dolphins won’t keep everybody, and they’ll probably add to the free agency pool with a few cuts as well. Here’s a look at the five players (not counting back-of-the-depth-chart guys who are always at risk of being reshuffled) who are least likely to be back for 2017:
1. DE Mario Williams
Williams made $6.5 million in his first year with the Dolphins and didn’t help much. He had career lows with 1.5 sacks and nine tackles, was called out by his defensive coordinator for not playing hard enough and was a healthy scratch late in the season. Miami owes $2 million from a signing bonus spread over the two years of his deal, but can get out of paying $8.5 million if it lets him go by March 13.
2. LB Jelani Jenkins
In his last chance to campaign for a future in Miami, Jenkins endured an array of injuries and started just seven games. Even when he played, he wasn’t healthy enough to perform in his usual capacity. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this season, and it’s likely the Dolphins will look to replace him with someone else.
3. WR Kenny Stills
The Dolphins love what Stills gave them as a deep threat last year, and he’s said he wants to be back, but his price seems to be rising as more teams express interest. Considering Stills has career earnings of $2.4 million, no one could blame him for jumping at the chance to cash in with the highest bidder.
4. TE Jordan Cameron
The Dolphins paid Cameron $13 million over the past two years and it didn’t work out at all. He had an underwhelming 2015 season with 35 catches for 386 yards and three touchdowns and faces an uncertain future because of concussion trouble. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent, and Miami almost certainly will move on to a new tight end in free agency or the draft.
5. LT Branden Albert
The Dolphins need to shave some money off their offensive line expenses after paying $28.7 million last season. Albert is good when healthy, but Miami’s management has said it would feel confident in Laremy Tunsil playing left tackle. Albert will count against the salary cap for $10.6 million this season and $11.3 million in 2018.
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