Dolphins to release Mario Williams, Branden Albert

Jan 1 2017 Miami Gardens FL USA Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Branden Albert is introduced before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Branden Albert will reportedly hit free agency again 3 years after he left Chiefs
Author

17 February, 2017

The moves save about $20 million in 2017 cap space.

The Miami Dolphins will release left tackle Branden Albert on Thursday, according to NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo.

In a move that had been a forgone conclusion, defensive end Mario Williams also is being released along with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

The deeper question is whether the Dolphins meant to pursue this approach all along, setting the process in motion to cut Albert but waiting for teams to call and inquire about the possibility of trading for his current contract in lieu of signing him on the open market, in competition with other teams.

The release of Ekpre-Olomu is not salary-cap related. He hasn't played all 16 games since 2011 with Kansas City. Albert has struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons and, as The MMQB's Albert Breer pointed out on Twitter, he may not be "equipped" to play tackle anymore.

Williams, 32, signed with the Dolphins last offseason after he was released by the Buffalo Bills.

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Williams, 32, contributed 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks in the 13 games he played last season.

The Dolphins surprised everyone last season by surging after a bad start and making the playoffs.

Williams was a major disappointment for Miami after signing a two-year, $17 million contract last year.

Once the top pick in the NFL Draft, Williams put up all of 1.5 sacks in 2016.

Mitchell was limited to nine games and five starts because of injuries.

From the moment Tunsil was drafted, it was obvious even to Albert that Tunsil eventually would take over that key position on the Dolphins' offensive line.


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