Five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh officially was released Wednesday by the Miami Dolphins at the start of free agency, and the team made official the trades to acquire defensive end Robert Quinn and send Jarvis Landry to the Browns.
Miami also announced the release of tight end Julius Thomas, which had been expected. The Dolphins decided to keep right tackle Ja’Wuan James, which guarantees him $9.34 million in 2018.
Restructured contracts for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and safety Reshad Jones cleared $18 million in cap space. The Dolphins converted $16.7 million of Tannehill’s 2018 salary to bonus pay, underscoring their long-term investment in him, and converted $9.4 million of Jones’s salary this year to bonus pay.
Suh was halfway through the $114 million, six-year deal he signed when he joined the Dolphins in 2015. Along with the incentive of creating $17 million in cap space this year, the move was widely seen as part of coach Adam Gase’s attempt to improve the locker room culture following a 6-10 season.
Landry went to the Browns for a fourth-round draft pick this year and a seventh-rounder in 2019. Quinn was acquired from the Rams for a fourth-round pick, and the teams swapped sixth-round choices.
Thomas was a disappointment in his lone season with Miami, catching 41 passes for 388 yards and three scores.
On the day one-of-a-kind left tackle Joe Thomas said goodbye after 11 stellar seasons, the Browns took the first steps without their perennial Pro Bowler, a player who might be replaced but never duplicated.
Hours after Thomas announced he’s retiring, the Browns confirmed the acquisitions of Landry, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and cornerback Damarious Randall in three separate deals pulled off last week by new general manager John Dorsey.
Dorsey stayed just as aggressive in free agency, reaching contract agreements with seven players, including offensive tackles Chris Hubbard and Donald Stephenson, who can help offset the loss of Thomas. Running back Carlos Hyde also is leaving San Francisco for Cleveland.
A person with knowledge of the deal told the AP the Vikings are negotiating a trade with the Broncos to acquire quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Siemian would give the Vikings a capable backup who started 24 games for the Broncos over the last two seasons, with free agent Kirk Cousins the team’s primary target.
Cousins was scheduled for a visit with the Vikings on Wednesday.
Help for Garoppolo
The 49ers started free agency by getting some needed help for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, agreeing to a four-year contract with versatile running back Jerick McKinnon and a five-year deal with interior offensive lineman Weston Richburg . . . The Cardinals released safety Tyrann Mathieu, after the sides couldn’t rework his contract. Mathieu was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year began. By cutting him, Arizona saved close to $5 million in cap space . . . The Eagles and linebacker Nigel Bradham agreed on a five-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth $40 million . . . Julius Peppers, 38, re-signed with the Panthers, agreeing to a one-year contract. The deal is for $5 million, with $2.5 million guaranteed . . . The Ravens provided quarterback Joe Flacco with two new targets, agreeing to terms with wide receivers Ryan Grant and John Brown. To help make room for the newcomers, the team freed an estimated $5 million in salary cap space by cutting receiver Jeremy Maclin . . . The Jets signed linebacker Avery Williamson to a three-year contract worth $22.5 million. Williamson spent his first four NFL seasons with Tennessee and led the Titans in tackles in two of those years . . . The Chargers signed tight end Virgil Green to a three-year contract. Green spent the last seven seasons with the Broncos, starting all 16 games last year and winning a Super Bowl ring in February 2016.