The facelift has begun

The overhaul of the Dolphins began on Wednesday when the team announced it had terminated the contracts of four veterans — Jay Fiedler, Jay Williams, Arturo Freeman, Jay Williams and Shawn Wooden. But the fun has just begun.

The Dolphins, who had $17 million to trim off their salary cap before the NFL year starts on March 2, will be making a lot more moves in the next week, and some of them could involve some big names.

In addition to cornerback Patrick Surtain having been allowed to shop for a trade, there also is word the Dolphins are looking to see what they can get in a trade for fullback Rob Konrad and defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina.

There could be other players released outright, such as linebacker Junior Seau, cornerback Sam Madison and/or kicker Olindo Mare.

At the very least, it's highly unlikely those players will be back without restructuring their contract.

Wide receiver Chris Chambers also will be restructuring his deal, but he definitely will be back.

As expected, the Dolphins did not put a franchise or transition tag on any of their unrestricted free agents, simply because they didn't have anybody good enough to warrant that.

The four players released on Wednesday were not expected back.

The most obvious was Fiedler, who carried way too big a price tag for a backup. So now he will be left to shop his services as a backup, and teams like Chicago and Cleveland could use a guy like him.

Freeman, whose cap number for 2005 was around $3 million, was a starter but not enough of an impact player to merit that kind of money. It would be surprising to see him re-signed by the Dolphins.

Williams said before new head coach Nick Saban was hired that he had no great desire to play for a former college coach, and that probably didn't help his cause. The Dolphins then asked him to take a pay cut and the two sides couldn't agree on a figure to bring him back.

Wooden, finally, is expected to retire after spending all of last season on the sidelines because of a back problem.


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