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Karlos Dansby out after Dolphins add Dannell Ellerbe

Nearly three years to the week that the Miami Dolphins signed Karlos Dansby to the richest contract for an inside linebacker in NFL history, general manager Jeff Ireland threw a wad of cash at his replacement, Dannell Ellerbe.

In with the new money, out with the old money. The Ellerbe signing has made Dansby superfluous in Miami. NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reports the Dolphins will release the 31-year-old linebacker.

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Still playing at a high level despite a torn biceps muscle last season, Dansby led the Dolphins with 134 tackles.

The problem was Dansby's age and a salary that was scheduled to count $8.575 million against the salary cap. In cutting Dansby, the Dolphins save $6.05 million in cash and $3.925 million in cap space. Due another $9 million in cash in 2014, Dansby no longer was in the Dolphins' long-term plans.

It will be interesting to see if Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome can turn the tables on Ireland, snatching up Dansby at a fraction of Ellerbe's cost. Although he has lost a step and become a liability in coverage, Dansby might be an upgrade in run support.

The Dolphins' swap of middle linebackers is a microcosm of the NFL's free agency conundrum. Today's savior becomes tomorrow's cap casualty.

UPDATE: SI.com's Jim Trotter reported Tuesday night that the Dolphins have informed linebacker Kevin Burnett that he is being released.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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