The Miami Dolphins released safety T.J. McDonald on Sunday, just a year into a four-year, $24 million contract extension.
McDonald, 28, joined Miami on a one-year deal as a free agent in March of 2017 and signed an extension less than six months later, which put him under contract through 2021.
He is still due $3.7 million in guaranteed money in 2019 and will count as $6.5 million in dead money against Miami’s cap ($4.6 million in 2019, $1.9 million in 2020). McDonald had unguaranteed salaries of $6.6 million in 2020 and $6 million in 2021.
The six-year veteran started 14 games for the Dolphins last season, totaling 86 tackles, three interceptions and five pass breakups. A third-round pick of the then-St. Louis Rams in 2013, he has 412 tackles, eight interceptions and 25 pass breakups in 75 career games (all starts).
The Dolphins have been expected to move on from pricier veterans as they rebuild their roster, with the Miami Herald reporting Saturday that safety Reshad Jones, linebacker Kiko Alonso and wideout Kenny Stills have been the subject of trade talks. Jones told the Herald on Sunday he has been told by the team he won’t be dealt, but he is expected to take a smaller role.
Former nickel cornerback Bobby McCain and do-it-all defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, a 2018 first-round pick, are both listed on the team’s depth chart at safety.
The Herald also reported Saturday that teams have called about left tackle and former first-rounder Laremy Tunsil, but that the team would have to be blown away to trade its blind-side protector.