The Miami Dolphins on Saturday created $23.9 million in salary cap space for 2016 by officially restructuring the contracts of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and linebacker Koa Misi and cutting wide receiver Greg Jennings.
The moves come on the heels of the team hosting veteran street free agent defensive end Mario Williams, 31, who was himself recently waived by the Buffalo Bills in a cap costing cutting measure. Williams arrived Saturday and was expected to remain until Sunday at least.
None of the moves by the Dolphins were a surprise.
The Dolphins saved $18.18 million in the Suh move, which was agreed to in his contract when he signed it in 2015.
The team saved $4 million by cutting Jennings, 32, in a move that nonetheless will keep the receiver on Miami's books to the tune of $1.5 million in dead money. Jennings was scheduled to cost $5.5 million against Miami's cap but that was obviously not fiscally sound as he would be the team's No. 4 or No. 5 wide receiver if he remained.
The Misi move guarantees he'll remain on the team in 2016 but shows a clear intention by the Dolphins to begin an eventual shift in a different direction at the linebacker spot. The Misi move saves approximately $1.7 million in cap space.
The 2016 NFL camp is scheduled to be $155.3 million. The Dolphins cap will be approximately $164 million because they are carrying over approximately $9 million in cap space from 2015.
So where are the Dolphins at the moment?
They were scheduled to be over the cap for 2016 but the current moves along with previous cuts of Brice McCain and Jason Fox plus the placing of the tranisition tag on Olivier Vernon, which is costing Miami $12.7 million against the cap, means the Dolphins currently have approximately $14.9 million in cap space. That cap number includes the six exclusive rights tenders the Dolphins placed on six players on Friday.
All NFL teams must be at or below the salary cap when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. on March 9.