Miami Dolphins release Benardrick McKinney months after trading for linebacker

The Miami Dolphins have released linebacker Benardrick McKinney, months after acquiring the former Pro Bowl linebacker in a trade with the Houston Texans.

Dolphins coach Brian Flores told reporters it was a "tough decision" and one his staff and the front office "went back and forth on."

"I have a lot of appreciation for his hard work. There is a lot that goes into it. Position, salary cap, kicking game," Flores told reporters, according to the Miami Herald.

Linebacker Elandon Roberts returned from the physically unable to perform list last week, contributing to the decision. McKinney had been starting at inside linebacker while Roberts was sidelined. Now Roberts and Jerome Baker will be the team's starting inside linebackers.

The 28-year-old McKinney, a Pro Bowler in 2018, played in only four games in 2020 before undergoing shoulder surgery. He has posted 100 or more tackles in three of his six seasons and has 530 tackles and 11.5 sacks in 80 games.

The Dolphins acquired McKinney in March, sending linebacker Shaq Lawson to the Texans in exchange. The Texans traded Lawson to the New York Jets for a 2022 sixth-round pick on Sunday.