After spending the last eight seasons acting as the Dolphins’ punter, Brandon Fields will be looking for a new NFL home this week. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter), Fields has been released by the team, having lost the job to rookie Matt Darr.
Fields, the Dolphins’ second-longest-tenured player, earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2013, but wasn’t as effective for the Dolphins last season. Appearing in all 16 games for the team, the 31-year-old ranked 23rd out of 32 qualified NFL punters, according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Back in March, Fields agreed to restructure his contract, reducing his 2015 base salary to $1.65MM. At the time, reports indicated that the veteran punter’s only hope of remaining with the team was to rework his deal, but it turns out that even that didn’t save his roster spot. By releasing Fields, the Dolphins will create some cap savings, but will still carry dead-money hits of $870K in 2015 and $770K in 2016.
According to Salguero (via Twitter), the Dolphins made the decision on their starting punter based on performance, not based on Fields’ higher cap figure.