The Miami Dolphins continued the franchise's 2018 overhaul by releasing starting center Mike Pouncey in a move that clears $7 million in cap space.
Before the release was announced, Pouncey posted a cryptic Instagram message that featured the words "Be wanted!! To be continued."
In the post, Pouncey wrote, "Let's see where life takes us baby."
Pouncey is expected to be replaced by veteran San Francisco 49ers center Daniel Kilgore, who was acquired in a trade Thursday, along with a 2018 seventh-round pick (227th overall), in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round pick (223rd overall).
Kilgore spent the past seven years with the 49ers (2011-17) after being drafted by San Francisco in the fifth round in 2011. The former Appalachian State standout played in 74 games with the 49ers, including 39 starts, all at center. He started all 16 games last season.
Pouncey's release makes the Dolphins' 2011 first-round pick, who has started all 93 games he's played, an unrestricted free agent.
Pouncey becomes the second team captain to be waived, joining defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and will possibly become the third team captain leaving the Dolphins because safety Michael Thomas is also an unrestricted free agent.
Pouncey, who turns 28 in July, was slated to make $8 million in 2018, and at the end of the season he celebrated playing all 16 games for the first time since the 2012 season, and felt his $8 million salary was a bargain.
With the Dolphins reportedly signing veteran offensive lineman Josh Sitton, Ted Larsen, the team's starting left guard for the final eight games of 2017, could move one spot over to center.
The Dolphins also spent last season grooming Isaac Asiata, a former Utah standout Miami drafted in the fifth round, as a backup center. Miami also placed a tender offer on Jake Brendel, a second-year player who worked his way up from Miami's practice squad.
The Dolphins opted to not place a tender on Anthony Steen on Wednesday, making the team's backup center the past two seasons an unrestricted free agent.
The Dolphins could potentially target a center in the draft, or sign one in free agency to serve as Pouncey's replacement. Lions center Travis Swanson, Ravens center Ryan Jensen and Jets center Wesley Johnson are the top available unrestricted free agents.
Ohio State's Billy Price, Iowa's James Daniels, Arkansas' Frank Ragnow, LSU's Will Clapp and Michaigan's Mason Cole are the top draft prospects at center. Each of them are expected to be taken in the draft's first four rounds, and Price is viewed as one of this draft's top 50 talents.
Pouncey, who will turn 29 in July, was viewed as the alpha male of the team's locker room, a tone setter for the offensive line when he wasn't sidelined by hip issues, which have forced him to miss 17 games since 2013.
This offseason the Dolphins have released Pouncey, Suh, linebacker Lawrence Timmons and tight end Julius Thomas. The Dolphins also traded former receiver Jarvis Landry, a three-time Pro Bowler, to the Cleveland Browns for two late-round draft picks.
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