Surprising news out of Miami, as the Dolphins announced on Twitter that they’re releasing veteran safety T.J. McDonald.
The move came as a surprise to most writers covering the team, and they won’t save a ton of money by cutting him. McDonald still had $3.7MM of his $5.1MM salary guaranteed for this season, and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that they added $4.6MM in dead cap while saving just $1.4MM in cap space. Last we heard, McDonald had been receiving starters’ reps in training camp. It’s been widely speculated that the Dolphins were heading for a split with safety Reshad Jones, although this move might suggest that Jones is safe.
We heard just yesterday that Jones was being shopped in trade talks, but now it’s unclear if that’s still the case. The Dolphins also have been using Bobby McCain at safety, and they have last year’s first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick as well. McDonald originally entered the league as a third round pick of the Rams back in 2013. After spending his first four seasons in with the Rams, the USC product signed with Miami.
He was suspended for eight games prior to his first year with the Dolphins, but he still managed to make a strong impression with the team. Before he ever appeared in a game for them, they gave him a four-year, $24MM extension in September of 2017. The old regime of Adam Gase and Mike Tannebaum was always high on him, but things have clearly changed with Miami’s new leadership. McDonald is still only 28, and he should have no problem finding a new home on the open market. He started 14 games for the Dolphins last year, recording 86 tackles and three interceptions.
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