The Miami Dolphins continue to clear a significant amount of salary cap space with free agency less than a week away. The Dolphins restructured the contract of wide receiver Tyreek Hill (per Adam Schefter) and left tackle Terron Armstead on Friday (per ESPN), one day after the franchise restructured Bradley Chubb's deal.
The Dolphins are converting their star receiver's $10 million roster bonus and $16 million salary into a $24.835 million bonus and an $1.165 million salary. This move will save the team $18 million against the salary cap.
Miami will create $11.876 million in salary cap space with Armstead move, one day after clearing $14.656 million in cap space with Chubb's restructure. The Dolphins, who were one of the teams that had been in the red as far as salary cap space, converted $18.32 million of Chubb's salary into a signing bonus in order to free up cap space. All told, the three moves create more than $44 million in cap space.
What is to make of the Dolphins urge to free up significant amounts of salary cap space? Of course, Miami has to be in the green by the start of the new league year Wednesday, but there are other factors in play.
The Tom Brady rumors with the Dolphins aren't going away and Lamar Jackson has the non-exclusive franchise tag, allowing him to negotiate with other teams while the Baltimore Ravens can decide if they want to match the offer or not. Miami could be in the mix for either Brady or Jackson over the next several days, trying to lure the one out of retirement while convincing the other to come play near his hometown -- giving Jackson an offer the Ravens may refuse to match.
As for current quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins are committing to him -- but actions speak louder than words.
Chubb was traded from Denver to Miami just ahead of last year's deadline. After recording 5.5 sacks for the Broncos, Chubb tallied 2.5 sacks during his eight games with the Dolphins in 2022. He also forced three fumbles and was selected to his second Pro Bowl.
The fifth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Chubb has 28.5 sacks in 57 career games. His best season remains his rookie campaign that saw him register 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Miami's roster is slated to go through a significant overhaul this offseason. While the majority of the team's starters are coming back, tight end Mike Gesicki, running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, wideout Trent Sherfield, inside linebacker Elandon Roberts and punter Thomas Morstead are slated to hit the open market next week. A slew of backups, including quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and pass-rusher Melvin Ingram, are also expected to test the open market.
The Dolphins made the playoffs in Mike McDaniels' first season as head coach. They started the 2022 season with an 8-3 before before stumbling to a 9-8 finish. Miami's season ended with a 34-31 loss to the Bills in the AFC wild-card round.