Mike Pouncey has asked for — and will be granted — his release, a move that ends a tumultuous seven seasons in Miami.
ESPN first reported the surprising news.
Pouncey, a former first-round pick and three-time Pro Bowler has, had health concerns ever since the first of a series of hip injuries a few years back. But when he was on the field, Pouncey was one of the best centers in football.
Yet his age (28), salary (he was due $8 million in 2018) and the Dolphins’ desire to move to overhaul their locker room culture contributed to the decision for both sides to move on.
Still, this seems to be Pouncey-driven, because as recently as Wednesday night, he very much remained in the Dolphins’ 2018 plans.
The Dolphins were quick to move, acquiring starting center Daniel Kilgore in a trade with San Francisco. And all it cost them was a swap of seventh-round picks.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have agreed to a two-year deal with veteran guard Josh Sitton, who was in town overnight for a visit.
Cutting Pouncey will free $7 million in salary cap space in 2018. He joins Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry, Julius Thomas, Lawrence Timmons, Jay Cutler, Jay Ajayi and Jermon Bushrod among 2017 Dolphins starters who are no longer with the team.
Pouncey was one of the best Dolphins players during the last decade. But also, at times, he was one of their biggest headaches. He wore a hat that read “Free Hernandez” to his 2013 birthday party, in support of former Florida teammate Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots tight end charged with, and then later convicted of, murder.
Pouncey also was a central player in the team’s embarrassing bullying scandal. An NFL investigator determined Pouncey, Richie Incognito and John Jerry engaged in a pattern of abuse directed mainly at then-Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin, causing him to leave the team. Martin was back in the news recently for threatening Pouncey, Incognito, the Dolphins and his high school on Instagram, posting a picture of a shotgun and shells.
▪ Two other pieces of housekeeping: Long-snapper John Denney will be back for a 14th season, our Armando Salguero reports, and free-agent wide receiver Danny Amendola has officially signed with the team.
This story will be updated as more information comes available.