MIAMI — The Miami Dolphins released two receivers Friday, and neither was Mike Wallace.
While the team continued to weigh its options regarding the disgruntled Wallace, they parted with Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, who combined for 21 starts last year.
Neither move was a surprise. Hartline was due to make $5.9 million in 2015, the third year of a $30.8 million, five-year deal he signed in 2013. Gibson was to make $3.2 million in the final year of a $9.8 million, three-year deal he signed in 2013.
Hartline's salary cap hit this year was $7.4 million, and Gibson's hit was $4.3 million. More payroll purging to clear cap space is expected as the Dolphins prepare for free agency beginning March 10.
It's uncertain whether the Dolphins will keep Wallace, their highest-paid player with three years left on a $60 million, five-year contract. He had 67 catches with a team-high 10 touchdowns last year, but he rarely clicked with Ryan Tannehill on deep passes and was unhappy not to be targeted more.
Coach Joe Philbin benched Wallace in the second half of the final game after an argument between the star receiver and coaching staff. The Dolphins might release or trade him rather than pay his $9.9 million salary this season.
Hartline started every game last season, but his productivity fell dramatically, and he had only 39 catches for 474 yards and two scores. He has spent his entire six-year career with Miami and was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2012 and 2013.
Gibson, also a six-year pro, played in 14 games in 2014 and started five times. He had 29 catches for 295 yards and one score.
Jarvis Landry, who led Miami with 84 receptions as a rookie last year, is expected to move into a starting role. Receiver will likely be a priority in free agency and the draft.
"We want to thank Brian and Brandon for their contributions to the organization," general manager Dennis Hickey said in a statement. "We wish them the best going forward."
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