Should the Bears sign Branden Albert?

Posted February 17, 2017

Williams' departure saves the Dolphins $8.5 million. As Garafolo reported, Laremy Tunsil, the 13th overall pick in last year's draft, will enter 2017 as the starter in Albert's absence.

The franchise is also releasing defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, according to the Miami Herald.

The release of Ekpre-Olomu is not salary-cap related.

The deeper question is whether the Dolphins meant to pursue this approach all along, setting the process in motion to cut Albert but waiting for teams to call and inquire about the possibility of trading for his current contract in lieu of signing him on the open market, in competition with other teams.

Albert was a team left starting tackle.

Still, when healthy, Albert could be an upgrade over Charles Leno at the left tackle position, especially if the Bears aren't satisfied with the 25-year-old lineman's development.

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None of the recent releases were complicated decisions for the Dolphins because of age, injury history, or lack of productivity.

He didn't play a full season in any of his three seasons with the Dolphins because of injuries, including a dislocated wrist last season that he had surgically repaired in November. He turned 32 last month and hasn't recorded double-digit sacks in a season since 2014.

But since 2012, only once has he played more than 12 games.

Williams, 32, saw little action after signing a $17 million, two-year deal in 2016. He was a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Williams recorded 97.5 sacks during his 11-year National Football League career.