The dumping of Williams comes as little surprise after the 32-year-old pass rusher recorded just 1.5 sacks during a campaign that saw him critiqued by former defensive play-caller Vance Joseph as a veteran who needed to “play harder.”
Set to cost Miami a whopping $10.5 million in 2017, Williams’ departure will save the team $8.5 million in salary-cap room. Mitchell’s release, meanwhile, will take another $4 million off the books.
It’s fair to wonder where Williams goes from here. After flaming out in Miami and Buffalo, the edge rusher feels destined for a one-year pact with a team willing to take a chance on a player who operated as a headache in Buffalo in 2015 before vanishing in Miami last season. He’s a far cry from the starry talent Houston made the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
Miami’s defensive front still includes Cameron Wake, the ageless terror who mowed down signal-callers to the tune of 11.5 sacks last autumn. Wake is joined by Ndamukong Suh, but fellow lineman Andre Branch becomes a free agent in March.
After trimming costs and dumping dead weight, look for the Dolphins to add a pass-rusher or two who will be asked to do what Williams couldn’t in 2016.