The Miami Dolphins released defensive end Andre Branch and guard Ted Larsen on Thursday.
Branch's release had been reported previously, but was not confirmed by the team until Thursday. Larsen's release is not surprising, following a lackluster 2018 season. The moves give Miami a combined $9.1 million in cap space and the team figures to complete more transactions as the off-season rolls on.
Branch spent three seasons in Miami, with his finest campaign coming in 2016. Branch had 5.5 sacks during that season, which set a career-high for the veteran. Branch compiled a total of 11.5 sacks in his 44 games with the Dolphins, but he had his worst season in 2018. The 29-year old only picked up 1.5 sacks last season, which likely is a big reason for Miami's decision to move on.
Larsen spent two seasons as Miami's left guard and may struggle to find a similar workload on the open market. The veteran has been in the NFL for nine seasons and will be 32 when the 2019 season gets underway. With a roster reconstruction taking place in Miami, the team has opted to go a new direction on the offensive line.
The Dolphins will have some big decisions to make going forward, including whether to move on from Cameron Wake. The 37-year old Wake will become an unrestricted free agent next week and the Dolphins may not make an effort to sign him. Miami's roster figures to be younger next season and Wake may not make sense for the team going forward.
NFL teams are permitted to negotiate with their own pending unrestricted free agents beginning on Monday. Free agency will officially get underway on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.