June 25, 2024

How will the Dolphins get back under the salary cap this offseason?
For most of the season, the Miami Dolphins were the AFC’s team to beat. Mike McDaniels’ team was 5-1 entering Week 7 and 11-4 with only two games remaining in the season and the top seed in their possession.

However, the Dolphins’ failure to beat good opponents eventually prevented them from reaching the playoffs. Five of their six regular-season losses came against playoff clubs, while they only won once against a winning team. Miami’s season came to an end with a devastating road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in freezing weather. The Dolphins have now won four seasons in a row but have yet to win a postseason game. In fact, with the Detroit Lions’ Wild Card victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Miami now has the NFL’s longest streak without a postseason win, at 23 years.

Acquisitions are typically the attention after the season, but some of the most difficult decisions are internal disputes over which veteran players to cut to save money. The Dolphins are $51 million over the salary cap heading into the summer, and with so many players nearing free agency, finding methods to stay under the cap will be the team’s top priority. Here are the Dolphins’ top three cut possibilities this offseason.

Jerome Baker (Outside Linebacker)

 

Miami Dolphins injuries: Linebacker Jerome Baker headed to IR with knee  injury - The Phinsider

 

Jerome Baker has been a reliable outside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins for six seasons. However, as he enters the last season of his three-year, $37.5 million contract, the 27-year-old could become expendable. The Dolphins will look to re-sign a number of prominent free agents on both sides of the ball, but they do not currently have the financial flexibility to do so.

Baker is due to make roughly $15 million in 2024, but the Dolphins would save $11 million by cutting him after June 1, leaving them with only $3.7 million in dead salary space this season and $1.2 million next year. With Baker nearing free agency in 2025, the Dolphins may decide to cut connections early if they do not intend to keep the outside linebacker on the roster after this season.

Mike White (Quarterback)

 

Dolphins QB Mike White in concussion protocol after preseason game vs.  Texans - WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

 

Mike White, with a cap cost of $5.2 million, is the Dolphins’ 12th-highest-paid player heading into 2024. The Miami backup quarterback played only 53 snaps in 2023, and maintaining him on such a large contract is not feasible given the franchise’s current cap position. Cutting White saves the Dolphins $3.5 million in cap space while only costing the team $1.7 million. The former New York Jets quarterback appears unlikely to return to South Beach for a second season.

Jeff Wilson (Running Back)

 

Dolphins activate RB Jeff Wilson Jr. ahead of Sunday night matchup with  Eagles | AP News

 

Coming off a season in which he rushed for a career-high 860 yards, Jeff Wilson’s opportunities were limited in 2023. Wilson missed the first six games of the season due to injury, and dynamic rookie De’Von Achane took over his job, playing 43% of offensive snaps. Wilson rushed for only 188 yards in 2023 and played less than 20% of snaps in five of his ten healthy games.

Wilson has a $3.7 million cap charge in 2024, which is significantly more than the Dolphins should pay for a third-string running back. Trading Wilson is also too skilled to be an RB3, so a trade is in order here. Should Miami be unable to find a suitor, releasing Jeff Wilson gives the team $3 million in salary room this season.

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