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Dolphins to release Vonnie Holliday [Update 2]

The Miami Dolphins will release defensive end Vonnie Holliday today, his agent Brian Levy is telling me.

"He enjoyed his time here," Levy said. "He did everything asked of him and he can leave with his head held high. This is a business. Players leave teams and teams leave players. It's an amicable split. He's happy to have left the Dolphins on a winning note."

The Dolphins are taking this step because they were due to pay Holliday a $1.5 million roster bonus Tuesday and another $500,000 workout bonus later this offseason.

The team offered Holliday, 33, an opportunity to renegotiate his contract but it was obviously at a pay cut and not one the player or his agent wanted to accept.

Holliday would have cost the Dolphins $5.75 million against the cap had he collected the bonus and his base salary in 2009. The team saves $3.25 million by cutting Holliday but he still will be on the books as a $2.5 million cap hit.

Holliday was a team captain for the defense and one of its leaders. He led all defensive linemen with 46 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

The Dolphins are obviously expecting second-year player Phillip Merling or 2008 acquisition Randy Starks to step into the starting job, with Kendall Langford handling the starting job at the other defensive end spot. The club also has second-year player Lionel Dotson on the roster.

The defensive end spot does not immediately become a need with the termination of Holliday's contract, but it is diminished by the loss of experience and leadership. The Dolphins will likely add another defensive lineman sometime this offseason.

[UPDATE: The Dolphins have confirmed my report and released the following statement from general manager Jeff Ireland: "These types of decisions are always difficult ones, especially with someone like Vonnie, who has been a role model both on the field and off it. He was one of our captains last year and was a proven leader, not just in his tenure with the Dolphins, bit throughout his 11-year career. We are grateful for all his contributions to the Miami Dolphins organization and we want to wish him and his family the best of luck in the future."]

[UPDATE 2: The Dolphins had no unrestricted free agents visit on Monday.]

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so many damn holes on this team.

Yeah we have a lot of holes but Phillip Merling didn't look to bad toward the end of the season so maybe their ready to let him step up and play his game.... Question is will he??

yikes. now what?

Armando, awhile ago you mentioned the message cutting a guy like Vonnie would send to the other guys. Do you still believe this will send a bad message or was this truly a two-way thing that Vonnie will spread the word he was treated right?

Holliday is a class act, it's too bad. That's the downside of the business. At one point the league was toying with the idea of a salary cap exemption for one vested veteran per team, unfortunately it didn't happen.

WRONG LOCKER ROOM MESSAGE!!!!!!!!!! JUST TO SAVE A COUPLE MIL??? YOU WASTED THAT ON ALL 1 1/2 OF WILFORD'S CATCHES LAST YEAR! No seriously, bad....bad...bad...move by the new Fin's brass. It's probably the first bad one I've seen. They needed Holliday and Ferguson to mentor that line for one more season. Yes, his stats were down, but so was his playing time.

It had to happen. Porter will probably be next years' cut. The trifecta just does not like players past their 20's. Of course there's a reason for that.

with no reasonable free agents at corner, why didnt they use vonnie's money to pay for goody? Im sure we can get a decent DE in the Draft. We still need a WR, NT, DE and 2 CB. I guess all will be rookies from the Draft

I am worried

Holiday was great as a Dolphin...I'm glad he got to be on last year's division champs team after going 1-15 and I think he played a big part in mentoring the young members of our d-line...that being said his production has dropped the last few years and 2cnd year defensive ends Merling and Langford are coming into their own...I have no doubt Merling will be able to pick up the slack...he is a big dude and was projected as a first round pick....

Philip Merling wasn't very good rushing the passer. Our front 7 went from bad to worse.

i have enjoyed watching Holliday also we will miss his locker room presence

Eric our front 7 just went from very old (with holiday and ferguson) to very young...that is a good thing

Eric our front 7 just went from very old (with holiday and ferguson) to very young...that is a good thing

So many holes? Did you forget we drafted two DE last year? We have depth on the line, will probably be replaced with a late rounder to add a little more depth anyways- starting DLine: Merling-Ferguson-langford. backups: Randy Starks, Paul Soliai...Rodrique Wrigh...plus that dude Cameron Wake who might split at DE/LOLB.

it doesnt make since considering the 2.5 mil cap hit,and the way money is thrown around tells me this wasnt about a roster bonus...just doesnt make since

I feel the only thing we miss out on with Holliday is his leadership/mentorship. He is a very intelligent and classy player. Maybe this cut will be the end of the Holliday chapter in Miami, the market may not be too apealling for Holliday and could come on Miami's terms. But business is business and I'm sure he understands that. Now we have extra cash to either go after a DB or maybe offset dropping the dead weight known as Wilford.

The dow at 68oo and as we said i hope ticket prices will go down

This cut was expected but sad. Vonnie was still productive and good locker room guy. I think everyone on the team understands it's a business and there was young guys behind him. With the amount of money we gave Randy Starks last year this opens up the starting RE job for him. I figure Langford will continue to be our LE with Stars at LE and Merling subbing in for both. We still got Dotson and Wright to boot.

CALEB,

Read all the information posted. Holliday costs 5.3 mil against the cap. The cap hit is 2.5 mil for cutting him.

5.3 - 2.5 = 2.8 mil saved.

Kicked our butts again. We suck.

Merling and Langford aren't that good.

With us having 14-15 mil in cap room already where does that leave us?

Is this a sign of something to come or was it just a move that had to be made?

Thanks for the fine effort. Good player - just too old.

Merling and Langford aren't that good.

Posted by: Eric | March 02, 2009 at 03:05 PM

=======

They were rookies... and you're dumb.

THIS WAS ACCUALLY A PRETTY GOOD MOVE. WITH GOODY, HILL, HOLIDAY ECT (OLD GUYS) GONE. WE CAN NOW REBUILD THIS ONCE OLD GUY DEFENSE INTO A YOUNGER, STRONGER, FASTER DEFENSE. IM EXCITED TO GET YOUNGER. WE NEEDED THIS FOR YEARS. YES ITS SAD TO SEE GREAT PLAYERS GO BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF HOW THE GAME HAS PROGRESSED THROUGH THE YEARS I THINK THAT THE GAME IS CHANGING AGAIN. D AND O LINE MEN RUNNING 4.6 OR FASTER, THIS IS FREAKIN SICKING FAST FOR 300 LB + GUYS. THIS WAS PROBALY THE BEST MOVE (I REALLY LIKED V. HOLLIDAY) BUT WHEN REBUILDING THIS WAS NESSICARY.

Nice work by the way Mando

No Tags

http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedailydolphin/2009/03/02/owner-tagliabue-wont-be-joining-dolphins/

Relax. Look at the whole picture. Parcells is getting his groceries from different stores not just one. Remember we already added Cameron Wake from the CFL. We have FAs, undrafted FA's and the draft.
Good teams (look at the 'Burg, N.E) let overvalued players go every year and they are ALWAYS retooling. If you are competent at securing new talent, you shouldn't worry. There is always a period between the FA period and the start of the season where you have holes to fill. Remember - it works both ways that time period is to allow players and teams to work out deals. So right now its musical chairs and the music doesn't stop until September so relax. Parcells is in the drivers seat and you cats are going to be front and center for another improving season. In the meantime, don't get your panties all in a bunch. Instead try relaxing, pop a top, and sit back & watch the best in the business do his thing.

Something is in the works. He is just a little too valuable. Are there any big FA's left?

OH YEAH, IF YOU THINK BECEAUSE WE WENT 11-5 (SOFT SCHEDULE) WE ARE NOT REBUILDING THINK AGAIN. BP AND CO. STATED MANY TIMES 2-3 YEARS. I HATE TO SAY THAT THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE AS GOOD AS LAST BUT WITH THE HARDEST SCHEDULE THIS SEASON WE WILL BE LUCKY TO GO 11-5 AGAIN. MAYBE 9-7, 10-6. I REALLY DONT KNOW. BUT NEXT SEASON AFC CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!

too bad Canty is gone already...

I agree with Buck , plus the DE they drafted from the Arizona Wildcats last year.

Seems like the Tuna and Co are setting the team back! They come out in a blaze by resigning key FA and bringing a strong safety like Wilson but have been silent since. Oh yeah I almost forgot they signed a guy named Berger to back up the OL which is fine but not what DOLFANS were looking for when they said "upgrade the OL" in the offseason. Seems like Tuna and helpers are so thick headed they cant see past themselves. Turn away Coles? Could have waited to see how the market values him and see if he comes cheap later on, instead you put a dager in the whole thing by publicly saying "no thanks" veteran WR that we desperately need to mentor or young up and coming WR's since the guy we wasted millions on to do the same job has OFFICIALLY FAILED! So Holliday is gone which I agree sends a terrible message in the locker room. Cut a guy for attitude or performance sends a strong message the right way. Cut a guy thats a leader and has done all that was asked of him sends a stronger msg in the opposite direction. First move I do not agree with from the trifecta and their continued silence in FA a close second. Goody is now a Bronco and good for him, I hope he plays well. Will Allen and ???? opposite from him? Jones, J. Allen..... Doubt we will have any success stoping guys like R. Moss twice a year! Bodden, McFadden, even vets like Springs, McCallister can still play at a high level but they wont even pick up the phone to say hellow to these guys. i expect to see ireland line up at CB w/Sparano in the nickel all season.

Ok I feel better now!

Could this mean we are closing in on a CB? Heard that Jabari Greer was in Tampa Bay today. Perhaps he scooted on down to Miami afterwards?

Possibly interested in Igor Olshansky? He'd be a great 3-4 end for us. Young, big, and strong.

Are you people serious ? Miami cut Zach and traded JT last year, did the team win more then the 1 game that it had with them ? Do you think Holliday is better then they were ? Get a grip, Parcells laughs at all you dolts.

tuna is building a young strong team that demand cut players and draft good players .i still think he will draft WR as his first pick and i don't think that RB out of question

Eric,

Thank You for your pessimistic, Jets fan input

I doubt that they will sign any Tier 2 FA's. I expect the team to use the draft to build depth and possible wait for preseason cuts to fill roster holes later on. I quit reading profootball.com and rotoworld on saturday because it became painfully obvious the only transactions the Phins would have would be releases and formaer players signing w/other teams! Go Phins!

jhnblaze,

I've been thinking about the public comment about not being interested in Coles and there must be something to it.

I wouldn't be surprised is Coles and his agent were trying to tell other teams that the Dolphins were offering some dollar amount in an effort to create a market for him.

Its the only explanation I can come up with that makes sense.

The editor of profootballcentral got back in touch with me after I complained about the false Burnett rumor as well as the Marvin rumor. He insists they're true. If anyone wants to see the email let me know.

in trifecta we trust

GUYS, " bigger, faster, stronger' and younger . Remember those words ? Enough said. Adam h , olshansky just signed a 5 year deal. Also ignore eric, he's a closet jets fan.

I hate Vonnie to leave but that's how it is.
Merling and Langford will step up, plus they're saving money and Holliday is too old. good luck vonnie

although I love Holliday, this was a move Miami needed to make. He is too old and $5.5 is too much for the type of production he had for the past 2-years. this is a business and I would prefer for them the Trifecta to use that money on a younger DE.. I wish we would have used it on Canty, but Igor Olshansky is still available; and he seems as a decent young acquisition; and cheap. Antonio Smith (ARI) is still available as well, but he might be too expensive just because he's coming off a superbowl game. Just sign a decent DE, so we can concentrate on picking up a CB, C and a WR in the draft...

The FA period is like watching the World Series of Poker!Just less exciting if you are a Phins fan this season.....

Marvin will most likely retire unless he catches a break later in the preseason from a team that loses a WR to injury. Dont see him signing a deal anytime soon unless its one of those incentive loaded deals which I doubt he is interested in. So Miami is unlikely, I thought the trifecta would at a minimum bring in Canty and or McFadden for a sit down..... Guess not huh?

NJ Phin Fan,

I was just reading Coles blog, that wasn't me today, I was impostorized. This blog is the first one I've commented on the Herald site today

Vonnie is a great leader and one of the classiest guys in the world, and he will be missed. But keep in mind, this probably wasn't just about the money. Vonnie is an undersized DE in a 3-4 (he's listed at 285 - which is small already - but he is actually maybe a biscuit over 275). He really doesn't fit what we are looking for at his position. They tried him at OLB in camp last year, but Roth was better suited to it. Add to that his age, which made restructuring him next to impossible, and this is a move that had to be made.

Good luck, Vonnie.

I think Langford and Merling will start at DE and Starks will be groomed at NT to take Fergussons place next season while shariing some time as DE, Dotson, Wright and a couple of late draft picks will be the backups at DE.

If the trifecta didn't thrust Merling and Langford they've gone after Canty or they haven't cut Holiday

SOULJA, i know. That also wasn't me . It was the MENACE up to his same old fun and games.

I don't know what to think here. His locker room presence shouldn't be underestimated... but at the same time, he wasn't willing to renegotiate his contract. So, in a way he forced his hand. I wonder if he wanted out of Miami for some reason?

Holiday was a good player and a great leader, but it was time for him to move on. This team will continue to get younger and better and figures to dominate this division for the forseeable future. BTW, THE JETS SUCK!!!!!

Manuel, no way on starks being a nt , See regular season game against balt whe ferggie was out. again olshansky signed a 5 yr deal with a team ( ari ? )

Folks, the net cap savings is $3.25 although Holliday will still be on the books for $2.5 million.

Also, don't read much into the fact he wasn't willing to renegotiate. They Dolphins gave him a take-it-or-leave-it pay cut offer. That was their way of renegotiating. And he decided not to take it.

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and you're done. If everyone signs up one no one will be able to easily impersonate you.

So, I'm going to be using this name now instead of Alienman, and I'm trying to get Luggi/monkey/cardoza etc.'s IP address banned.
Armando has already responded to an e-mail I sent him about this guy... IF YOU WANT THIS GUY BANNED, E-MAIL ARMANDO AT: asalguero@miamiherald.com . He is "impostoring" MANY different people, and using multiple user names to create the impression he has other idiots agreeing with his absurd comments... he's doing everything he can to completely ruin the integrity of the blog, so I encourage y'all to e-mail Armando!

I say In draft

Round 1 : Alex Mack (full fills our line, making it pretty dominant)

Round 2: WR or CB
CB ILB

At WR I dont think we look that bad,

1.Ginn - is in his 3rd year and showed promising signs last season
2. Bess - Was a steal being undrafted, hes a good slot guy
3. Camarillo - Def. a good reciever.

We should prob add one mroe either via FA orthe DRAFT but I think CB is our #1 concern. We have 2 very very very GOOD safeties


Why people still talking about the Jets, they have no QB, no WR, a temperamental rookie coach a useless GM who overpays way too much for old veterans (see Faneca, Favre)and don't know how to draft (see Gholston), they'r ethe joke of AFC East, we and the Patriots (hate them also) are the teams to consider for the next few years in the AFC East

i smell pepper. as in the guy up in Carolina.
we might be trying to screw New Englands hopes of getting Julius

The dolphins will continue to dominate This division For the forseeable future it only can happen in a dolphins fan dream. let's see Brady is back and REX RYAN COACHING the jets .Say after me ED REED.

Manuel,

People are talking about the Jests because they are spending money. they are the redskins of the afc...they spent $140 million last year and look where it got them...what a bunch of losers

who cares if they were rookies, they're job is simple: push the fat guy in front of you. Merling and Langford didn't rush the passer at all. In fact I think both only had two sacks a piece.

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