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Dolphins Release Linebacker with Steelers Connections

The Miami Dolphins are releasing linebacker Jerome Baker, a player with a pair of significant connections to the Pittsburgh Steelers.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Free Agency Target Miami Dolphins LB Jerome Baker
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (55) heads out onto the field during player introductions before the start of an NFL football game between the Dolphins and the New England Patriots, Monday, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Miami Dolphins are releasing linebacker Jerome Baker, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN. Baker was a three-year teammate of Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Elandon Roberts while with the Dolphins, and with the Steelers in the market for an inside linebacker, a reunion could be in the cards.

Baker, 27, is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound Cleveland, Ohio native that was a third-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Ohio State.

Baker became a starter as a rookie for the Dolphins and remained there through multiple schemes and coaching staffs for the last six seasons. In a four-year stretch from 2019-22, he averaged over 100 tackles and four sacks per season.

Before the 2021 season, Baker signed a three-year, $39 million contract extension with the Dolphins that ran through the end of the 2024 season. Baker was due $10.8 million in salary in 2024. His release will create a $4.97 million dead salary cap hit.

The Steelers are in the market for an inside linebacker to go along with Roberts and Cole Holcomb in the middle of their defense. Holcomb is recovering from a season-ending knee injury that required surgery and is not yet ready to return to action, though he could be at some point later this offseason. 

Holcomb and Roberts were joined by co-starter Kwon Alexander in 2023, but Alexander was also lost midway though the season to an injury. He suffered his second torn Achilles in three seasons, and is not under contract for 2024.

The Steelers have always heavily scouted Baker’s alma mater, Ohio State, and Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert were in attendance at his pro day in 2018.