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Miami Dolphins restructure Benardrick McKinney’s contract

The Dolphins want flexibility moving forward.

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have restructured the contract of linebacker Benardrick McKinney.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported early Wednesday morning that McKinney will earn a $3 million salary, along with $200,000 more in playtime incentives. Most importantly, he will be a free agent in 2022.

The Pro Bowl linebacker was acquired by the Dolphins in a trade with the Houston Texans. Miami sent Shaq Lawson to Houston, completing the deal in the middle of March.

It seemed like McKinney, who was linked to the Dolphins during trade talks involving Laremy Tunsil, was in Miami’s vision with three years left on his contract. However, it looks like flexibility will be key for the Miami Dolphins next offseason.

The Dolphins are currently slated to have $62 million in cap space for the 2022 season with zero dead money on the books. Miami ranks fourth, behind the Colts, Steelers and Jets, in 2022 cap space.

The money could be used to make Xavien Howard happy or go after the next superstar player to be disgruntled with their team. It is also possible that general manager Chris Grier and the rest of the organization wants to be prepared for any and every possibility, even those that may not be clear yet.

The Maimi Dolphins arrived at training camp on Tuesday and will have just over two weeks before the first preseason games. The Dolphins will play the Bears on Aug 14. at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, Miami begins the regular season in New England on Sept. 12.