In perhaps the least surprising move of the offseason, the Dolphins have told the representatives for linebacker Phillip Wheeler he is being released in a salary cap move.
The release is being designated with post-June 1 timing (teams get two such designations before the actual date) and that means the Dolphins will eventually save $3 million in salary cap space but also carry $1.4 million in dead money this year for Wheeler.
Wheeler came to the Dolphins during the 2013 free agency binge that also remade the team's linebacker corps by cutting Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. Wheeler came in after one fine season with the Oakland Raiders and cashed in on that year from the Dolphins.
Wheeler signed a five-year, $26 million contract that included $13 million in guaranteed money.
But he never played up to that level in Miami.
Wheeler was beaten often as Miami's stronside linebacker in 2013 and in 2014 when he was moved to weakside linebacker, he accepted the move but faired worse than he did the previous year. At the end of the year he said he'd be better off playing strongside linebacker.
Wheeler also disagreed with coach Kevin Coyle at times.
Now Wheeler will have a chance to play his favorite position ...
With a new team.
Ellerbe will likewise be cut as early as Monday in another much-expected salary cap move.