The Miami Dolphins finally freed up some cap space on Monday. Unfortunately, it came at the cost of one of the most beloved, longest tenured Dolphins. Dolphins safety, Yeramiah Bell was released by the team just hours before the Dolphins agreed to sign new quarterback, David Garrard. Bell’s departure came as a shock, especially due to the timing.
According to Dave Hyde, the Dolphins told Bell’s representatives 3-4 weeks ago that the veteran safety was safe and wouldn’t be cut. Then, a week into free agency, after many safety positions have been filled, the Dolphins cut one of their team captains. Yes, Bell’s coverage has slipped over the last few years. However, Bell is still a sure tackler and a defensive leader on the field. Even if he is no longer playing up to his contract, he could have been released in a more classy fashion. I know, I know, it’s a business. After all, the Dolphins saved about $4.3 mil against this year’s cap by cutting Bell. All I’m saying is that his release could have been done earlier in the offseason.
If you’re wondering who is going to replace Bell, look no further than the Dolphins recent signing of Richard Marshall. Marshall played some safety last year and will probably get his chance to start at free safety in 2012 for the Dolphins. If Marshall is moved to free safety, the Dolphins will still need to add a nickel cornerback, either in free agency or the draft.