Report: Dolphins and Chargers reworking deals for big-name players, could make cuts

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Facing a salary cap crunch, the Miami Dolphins continue to deal with their roster and reportedly are considering cutting some more players while also reworking the contracts of some big-name performers.

“I’m hearing the [Los Angeles] Chargers and the Dolphins are teams that could be making cuts to their rosters and reworking deals on big-name players,” wrote Dianna Russini of The Athletic.

The Dolphins entered this offseason significantly over the NFL salary cap for the 2024 campaign despite a large increase to its ceiling. They already have parted with defensive players Xavien Howard and Jerome Baker to help trim some cost and opted to not use the franchise tag on Christian Wilkins.

In addition, offensive linemen Connor Williams, Robert Hunt and Isaiah Wynn are about to become free agents. Despite all of that, the Dolphins currently remain more than $20 million above the cap, as do the Chargers.

Miami reportedly remains interested in re-signing Wilkins, though he apparently is now looking likely to sign elsewhere for maybe as much as $25 million per season. The Dolphins also are negotiating an extension for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is under contract for the 2024 campaign but not beyond that. It’s been reported that he could land a deal worth more than $50 million per season.

There is a decision to make regarding the fifth-year option on Jaylen Waddle, who also is eligible for an extension. His status has led to some trade rumors that were recently mocked by fellow wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

The Dolphins have almost $86 million in cap hits committed to three of their top players: Hill, cornerback Jaylen Ramsey and pass rusher Bradley Chubb. Reworking any of those deals could provide some much-needed relief.

The situation has not prevented Miami from spending money elsewhere, however, as it signed tight end Jonnu Smith to a two-year, $10 million contract this week. The veteran has already sent a message to Hill via social media and is expected to provide an effective new option in the passing game.

Miami was in a somewhat advantageous position by having a franchise quarterback still playing under his rookie contract. That window is about to close, though, meaning the Dolphins need to find other ways to navigate the salary cap while maintaining a competitive roster for the coming season and beyond.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.