The Dolphins’ purging of veterans players continued Tuesday as Miami dumped offensive lineman Jordan Mills, defensive tackle Akeem Spence, linebacker Chase Allen and tight end Clive Walford.
When he signed in May, Mills became the front-runner to start at right tackle. But he struggled at times in the offseason practices and was permanently removed from the starting group on the fifth day of training camp, with Jesse Davis shifting from guard to right tackle.
Mills’ $3 million contract included $1 million guaranteed. The Dolphins will carry $1 million in dead money for Mills, giving them a league-leading $42 million in 2019 dead money, which is the cap allocation for players no longer on the roster.
Mills started every game for the Buffalo Bills in the past three seasons.
Even before Mills’ release, coach Brian Flores said this week that Miami would move ahead with its current offensive line grouping, with Davis at right tackle and rookies Michael Deiter and Shaq Calhoun at guard.
Spence started all 16 games for the Dolphins last season and had 43 tackles and two sacks. He had been competing with Adolphus Washington and others for a fourth defensive tackle job behind Christian Wilkins, Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor.
Spence was due to make $2.9 million, which was not guaranteed. His release carries no dead money.
Allen appeared in 21 games and started five for the Dolphins over the past two seasons and had 29 tackles and a forced fumble. But he missed training camp and preseason with an undisclosed injury and isn’t yet healthy.
Allen had been due to make $645,000 this season. His release comes with a small cap hit ($334,000).
Meanwhile, Walford’s release thins the competition for three or four jobs at tight end.
Mike Gesicki and Nick O’Leary are very likely to make the team (barring trades), and Durham Smythe is likely. Also competing for a job: Dwayne Allen, who was the projected starter when he signed in March but has played only 14 snaps in preseason after coming back from a knee injury. Allen has missed practice this week with an undisclosed injury.
Temple rookie Chris Myarick is the fifth tight end under contract.
Walford, who played the past three seasons for Oakland, caught four passes for 43 yards in preseason. He’s in a walking boot and was waived injured.
“We did what we felt was best for the team,” coach Brian Flores said of all four cuts, declining to elaborate.
Flores — while noting that no decision has been made on the starting quarterback for the regular season — said Josh Rosen will play in Thursday’s preseason game at New Orleans and “we will see a lot of Jake Rudock” as well. Flores said Ryan Fitzpatrick is dealing with an illness and his availability this week is undetermined.
▪ Flores said cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche — who are both on the physically unable to perform list — are “both working and both making a lot of progress,” but declined to say when either would be available to play. Both are coming off knee surgery last year.
▪ Receiver Kenny Stills, Deiter and center Daniel Kilgore missed practice, with Stills nursing a minor lower leg injury. Linebackers Raekwon McMillan, Andrew Van Ginkel and Quentin Poling remained out with injuries that have sidelined them for multiple weeks.