Wheeler is the first of what may be numerous cost-saving measures by the Dolphins to give the All-Pro DT a maximum offer.
The Miami Dolphins have cut LB Philip Wheeler in a cost-saving move to help make cap space for an impending offer to free agent DT Ndamukong Suh.
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NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Dolphins will release Wheeler with a June 1st designation.
The move saves the Dolphins an estimated $3 million in cap space – every penny of which they are expected to use to make a maximum offer to All-Pro DT Ndamukong Suh, who will become an unrestricted free agent next week.
Wheeler isn’t the first veteran the Dolphins have cut this offseason, as Dolphins beat writer James Walker pointed out:
— James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) March 7, 2015
Wheeler signed a 5-year, $26 million contract in 2013 and rewarded the Dolphins with solid play en route to a career-high 118 tackles. But the following year Wheeler struggled on the field and recorded only 45 total tackles in 15 games – with only four starts.
Prior to the move the Dolphins were at only $9.5 million in cap space – one of the ten worst numbers in the league.
At age 30, Wheeler doesn’t offer teams much in the way of pass rushing, but his run-stopping skills are decent enough to warrant teams that struggle against the run to give him a look. Teams that might have a need for Wheeler could include the Tennesee Titans, New York Giants, and New Orleans Saints.