The Dolphins released starting defensive end Mario Williams on Thursday and it appears starting left tackle Branden Albert will follow him out of Miami.
Williams' release is not a surprise. Brought in as a pass rusher, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft collected just 1 1/2 sacks last season and was set to cost the Dolphins $10.5 million against the cap in 2017.
Former Dolphins defensive coordinator — now Broncos head coach — Vance Joseph called Williams out last season, saying he needed to "play harder."
Williams, 32, will likely only receive one-year offers after a disappointing campaign. The Dolphins saved $8.5 million in cap space by releasing him.
We have released DE Mario Williams, DT Earl Mitchell and waived CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) February 16, 2017
It was originally reported that the Dolphins would also release Albert. However, according to NFL.com, Miami is still trying to trade the No. 15 overall pick in the 2008 Draft.
Albert signed a five-year, $47 million contract with the Dolphins in 2014. Cutting Albert would save Miami $7.2 million against the salary cap, allowing the Dolphins to address other needs. He never played 16 games in three seasons with the team, including missing four starts last season.
Miami will move 2016 first-round pick Laremy Tunsil to left tackle to replace Albert. Tunsil spent most of his rookie season at guard, but he was always projected to move to left tackle eventually.