After placing the franchise tag on wide receiver Jarvis Landry, the Miami Dolphins will find themselves $8-plus million over the cap once he decides to sign said tender. Sure the team is still looking into moving Landry in a trade. It could also rescind the offer to create $16-plus million in cap room. But the Dolphins are going to have to make other internal moves in order to even have a chance to be players on the free agent market.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, that will likely include the Dolphins releasing three starters from last season. That list includes tight end Julius Thomas, linebacker Lawrence Timmons and former first round pick, offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James.
“The Miami Herald has learned the team will cut tight end Julius Thomas by March 14. That will save $6.6 million in cap space,” Salguero reports. “The Miami Herald has learned the team will cut linebacker Lawrence Timmons by March 14. That will save $5.4 million in cap space.”
The longtime Dolphins beat writer goes on to conclude that Miami could also terminate the fifth-year option in James’ rookie deal, effectively releasing him on to the free agent market in the process. These three moves would save Miami $21 million against the cap. If the team were to then somehow move Landry, that number would grow to north of $37 million — giving the Dolphins $30-plus million to work with.
Coming off a disappointing 6-10 campaign that saw starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill miss the entire season, it’s apparent the Dolphins need to upgrade their roster. By moving on from these three holdovers, that would start the process.