This strips the Dolphins’ secondary of two key veterans — in a year that’s seen numerous Miami vets depart or head to IR — and creates questions about Jones’ future with the franchise. Jones is by far the Dolphins’ longest-tenured player, at 10 years, but he was a trade candidate throughout this offseason.
A chest injury cost Jones four games this season, but he returned for the Dolphins’ Week 11 matchup against the Bills. Against the Browns, the Dolphins will deploy a skeleton crew featuring Eric Rowe and a host of young players. McCain suffered a shoulder injury against Buffalo.
The Dolphins gave Jones a $12MM-per-year extension in March 2017; the two-time Pro Bowler’s play since, however, has not quite lived up to that price. Jones will turn 32 in February and stands to count $15.6MM toward Miami’s 2020 cap. The Dolphins could save nearly $8MM by releasing Jones next year, though that move would cost them almost as much in dead-money charges.
Miami offered Jones to Pittsburgh before sending Minkah Fitzpatrick there this year, but the former’s high salary impeded trade talks this offseason. For a Dolphins team that’s made no secret of a full-scale rebuild, as the exits of most of the franchise’s previous core have shown, it will likely not have an issue jettisoning Jones next year.
McCain has started eight games for Miami this season and 40 since joining the team as a 2015 fifth-round pick. He’s attached to a four-year, $27MM extension the Dolphins gave him in 2018. With only $5.5MM in 2020 salary due, the 26-year-old defender has a better chance of returning next season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.