The Miami Dolphins are creating some extra cap space by saying goodbye to one of their captains.
The Dolphins have informed safety Bobby McCain that they are releasing him Thursday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. The Dolphins later announced the move.
A few hours after McCain's release was confirmed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the 27-year-old DB is set to visit the Washington Football Team on Monday.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft out of Memphis, McCain has grown into a dependable member of Miami's secondary who could be counted on for roughly a half-dozen passes defensed and an interception or two per season. McCain signed an extension to stay with the Dolphins in 2018, receiving a pay bump of nearly $5 million in the first year of a deal that was set to expire following the 2022 season.
With Miami now gearing up as a serious contender, the Dolphins have identified McCain's release as a way to save some cap space. Depending on how it is designated, McCain's release will save Miami between $5.6 million (pre-June 1) and $6.4 million (post-June 1), while carrying less than $2 million in dead cap.
Miami might have already identified his successor, too. The Dolphins hosted free-agent safety Malik Hooker for a visit this week, and though the two parties didn't conclude their visit with a contract in hand or a mutual understanding, there's clearly room to bring Hooker on board now. Though McCain wasn't making a ton of money on his deal, Hooker would be cheaper and, despite suffering two significant injuries in his still-young career, he would have a longer runway ahead of him.
Perhaps the Dolphins saw something they liked in Hooker when he visited. Or maybe they needed to make this move regardless of replacement. We do know one fact, though: Miami is going to have to choose a new captain this season.
Elsewhere around the NFL on Thursday:
- The Carolina Panthers agreed to terms with fourth-round pick Chuba Hubbard. Carolina added the Oklahoma State RB with the No. 126 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday. Hubbard's signing is the first among 2021 draft picks.
- The Detroit Lions officially waived running back Kerryon Johnson, a day after Rapoport reported the impending move.
- The Seattle Seahawks signed tight end Nick Guggemos, the team announced. Seattle also claimed cornerback Saivion Smith off waivers from the Cowboys, Garafolo reported, per a source.
- The Indianapolis Colts have signed defensive end Kwity Paye, defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo, safety Shawn Davis, receiver Mike Strachan and offensive lineman Will Fries to rookie contracts. Paye is the initial 2021 NFL Draft first-rounder to sign his contract. The club also waived cornerback Will Sunderland.
- The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms on deals with running back Brian Hill, linebacker Justin March-Lillard and defensive back Greg Mabin, and waived cornerback Kareem Orr.
- Former Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr. will be visiting the Washington Football Team next week, Garafolo reported, per a source. Leno was released by Chicago on Monday.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed cornerback Nate Brooks.
- The Atlanta Falcons signed receiver Juwan Green to a one-year deal.
- The New Orleans Saints signed defensive tackle Albert Huggins, the team announced. Huggins, 23, spent time with the Vikings and Lions (second stint) in 2020. The team also plans to sign receiver Easop Winston, Pelissero reported, per Winston's agent. The Washington State product was in camp with the Rams in 2020.
- The Las Vegas Raiders announced the signing of guard Marquel Harrell.
- The Los Angeles Chargers announced they have claimed cornerback Kemon Hall off waivers.
- The New York Jets cut cornerback Kyron Brown, Pelissero reported.
- The New England Patriots signed rookie free-agent kicker Quinn Nordin, the team announced.
- The Kansas City Chiefs announced the signings of linebacker Kamalei Correa, defensive back Will Parks and wide receiver Chris Finke.
- Former Tulsa quarterback Zach Smith, ex-Memphis quarterback Brady White and former Monmouth quarterback Kenji Bahar are trying out for the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, respectively, per Pelissero.
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