The Miami Dolphins continue to set themselves up financially for the start of free agency Monday, and are now well below the salary cap after two immense moves.
After they restructured outside linebacker Bradley Chubb’s contract for $14 million in cap relief, as reported Thursday morning, the Dolphins first cleared another $11.876 million by reworking left tackle Terron Armstead’s deal and a whopping $18 million with a restructure of wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s contract, both according to ESPN Friday morning.
Between the three moves and the release of tight end Cethan Carter on Tuesday, the Dolphins go from $16 million over the cap to about $29 million under. They’re also clearing $13.6 million from releasing cornerback Byron Jones, but since Miami is making that move with a post-June 1 designation, those savings can’t be realized until then.
Free agency negotiations begin Monday at noon. Free agents can first sign with new teams Wednesday.
Contract restructures largely alter a player’s base salary into bonuses. The player still makes his money, but the franchise can find cap relief with the bonus not counting against the cap.
Hill’s $10 million roster bonus and $16 million salary is being converted to a $24.835 million bonus and just $1.165 million salary. Armstead carries with him a $21.1 million cap number in 2023. More than half of it now doesn’t count against the cap for Miami.
Other Dolphins who could be candidates for restructures include cornerback Xavien Howard and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.
With further moves made, Miami can potentially pursue a standout free agent at positions of need like linebacker, cornerback, running back, tight end, possibly safety or on the offensive line, plus fill out the roster with either its own free agents or economical outside options.
Source:: The Mercury News