Miami Dolphins to release Pro Bowl LT Branden Albert

Jan 1 2017 Miami Gardens FL USA Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Branden Albert is introduced before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins made a series of cuts on Thursday to create an additional $20 million in cap space.

The upcoming free agent pool of offensive linemen isn't particularly deep, but it had a little bit more talent added to it Thursday as the Miami Dolphins released veteran offensive tackle Branden Albert, who could be a potential upgrade for the Bears.

NFL Network first reported the news of the Dolphins' plans to release Albert and Mitchell, while the Miami Herald first reported Williams' planned release. Cutting Albert saves the Dolphins $7.2 million on the salary cap, allowing them to address other needs. He hasn't played all 16 games since 2011 with Kansas City. Andy Reid came to town and many folks expected them to trade Albert. He had 1.5 sacks last season, a massive disappointment. But Albert struggled to stay healthy in his three years with the Dolphins, and Miami has spent all of last season grooming Laremy Tunsil, the team's 2016 first-round pick, to serve as his replacement.

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.

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Drafted No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans in the 2006 draft, Williams has 97.5 career sacks, putting him eighth on active leaders list.

From the moment Tunsil was drafted, it was obvious even to Albert that Tunsil eventually would take over that key position on the Dolphins' offensive line.

Mitchell was limited to nine games and five starts because of injuries.

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