The Miami Dolphins released wide receiver Brian Hartline this morning, ending the 2009 fourth-round draft pick's tenure with the club. The move was the first of what should be several moves as the team frees up salary cap space for this season. But, was it the right move? We will let you decide.
Hartline played in 92 games for the Dolphins, missing just four in six years (all in 2010) with 69 starts. He caught 298 passes for 4,243 yards and 12 touchdowns in thet span, good enough for eighth in team history for receptions, seventh in yards, and 25th in touchdowns. His career long reception, an 80 yard touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in 2012, is the third longest passing play in team history.
The 2014 season, however, was a down year for Hartline. After back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, Hartline recorded a career low 474 receiving yards on just 39 receptions. He never seemed to fully fit into the Miami offense being run by new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, and, despite having been a primary target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill in 2012 and 2013, just did not get the targets in 2014.
Hartline had been scheduled to count for $7.35 million against the salary cap in 2015. Now, he will be a $4.2 million hit in dead money, with $3.15 million in cap space. If the team designated him as a post-June 1 cut, they will save $5.95 million in cap space this year, deferring some of the dead money to 2016, but they will not see any of the savings until June 2.
Was this the right move for the Dolphins? Will losing Hartline hurt the offense? Will the salary cap savings help the team bolster the roster? We will let you decide if it was the right decision. Just vote in the poll below.