Dolphins' kicking competition is over

MIAMI -- Dan Carpenter had his final practice with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday. After five seasons with Miami, Carpenter was released by the team this afternoon.

This puts a quick end to Miami’s kicking competition that wasn’t all that intriguing. The Dolphins drafted rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis in the fifth round, and Sturgis quickly took the lead with a stronger leg and a much lower salary ($405,000) in 2013.

"On behalf of the Miami Dolphins, I would like to thank Dan for his contributions he has made as a member of the organization,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement. “For the past five seasons Dan has been a tireless worker on the field while devoting countless hours of his time off the field to the betterment of the South Florida community. He has been a productive player and an outstanding citizen and we wish him and his wife Kaela all the best.”

Carpenter was due to make $2.68 million this season if he made the team. That meant the writing was on the wall unless Carpenter was absolutely flawless. The Dolphins will save about $2 million making this move.

Being released early actually gives Carpenter a chance to find another team fairly quickly. NFL teams can still hold 90 players until the first of two cuts later this month. Carpenter struggled making important kicks for Miami last season, which prompted the Dolphins and Ireland to draft a kicker.