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Salary-cap problem prevents Porter's release from Dolphins for now

Joey Porter's wish was granted -- for a little while.

The Miami Dolphins released the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Friday, then had to place him back on their roster about three hours later because of a salary-cap issue.

Releasing Porter would have put the Dolphins over the cap. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, the team could release another player to clear enough space to be able to cut Porter before a possible uncapped year begins March 5.

The Dolphins declined to elaborate on why Porter couldn't be cut, as did NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, who called it "a club matter." Porter still is expected to be released or traded in the next few weeks.

Porter said last week that he wanted to be released, not traded, by the Dolphins because he was frustrated about his reduced role with the team. Porter also doubted that his relationship with coach Tony Sparano could be repaired, and he said he had stopped speaking with general manager Jeff Ireland and football czar Bill Parcells.

"I asked the coach if that was the situation you planned on using me, just let me leave. I don't want to be traded nowhere," Porter said. "If you don't want me to play full time, just make it easy on both of us and release me. I'm not asking for no more money. I'm not asking for nothing different. I'm just asking to play. If I can't do that for you, then why you want to keep me there, knowing that I'm unhappy? Bringing that negative vibe?"

Porter then appeared on NFL Network's Super Bowl pregame show and said he wanted no part of the Dolphins' youth movement.

"If it was a situation where the guys were better than me, then you just have to move on," he said. "But if it's not a changing of the guard, they just have to sit and wait their turn. Nobody is that good enough behind me to be stepping on my toes."

Porter originally signed with the Dolphins as a free agent on March 7, 2007, signing a five-year deal for $32 million, with $20 million guaranteed. In his time with the Dolphins, Porter started all but three games, registering 32 sacks, including a career-high and AFC-leading 17.5 in 2008.


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However, things went south in 2009, when Porter -- who was slowed by a sore right hamstring -- missed two games, including being benched less than 24 hours before kickoff for a Week 10 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a coach's decision.

"It was because I went out to get something to eat from 9 to 10:30 (two nights before the game)," Porter said about the benching. "I've never heard that before -- telling a grown man what to do on a Friday night."

From that point on, Porter's playing time diminished. Porter was angered after being replaced by pass-rush specialist Cameron Wake in some situations.

"I'm an every-down player," Porter said. "I'm supposed to be out on the field when the game's on the line. I was on the sideline in the fourth quarter cheering. ...

"My mind wouldn't be there because I'm frustrated that I'm on the sideline. It's hard for me to accept that after being in the Pro Bowl just a year ago. Now all of a sudden I'm taking a back seat -- for who and for what?"

The Dolphins' defense deteriorated at the end of the season, and the team failed to make the playoffs, finishing 7-9. Porter's sack total in 2009 fell to nine, still the Dolphins' high, and he was named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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