Vernon Carey could be starting last season with Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS — Dolphins offensive lineman Vernon Carey didn't merely take a pay cut during training camp. He signed off on a deal that might bring his Miami career to an end after the 2011 season.

Carey, the Dolphins' first-round draft pick in 2004 out of the University of Miami, will be a free agent after the season, according to NFLPA records.

Carey and the Dolphins not only decided to lower his 2011 salary from $4.15 million to $2.5 million, they moved him from right tackle to right guard and voided the final three years of his contract, which was supposed to run through the 2014 season. Carey accepted the pay cut instead of being cut outright by the team.

Carey, who has started 92 of 106 career games at left and right tackle, originally signed a six-year, $42 million contract extension with a $12 million signing bonus before the 2009 season. But after the restructuring of his contract, Carey will collect a little more than $16 million for three seasons.

Carey, 30, had started 87 consecutive games before a knee injury ended his 2010 season after 12 games.

Carey, however, wasn't the only Dolphin asked to take a pay cut. Backup safety Tyrone Culver, one of the team's top special teams players the past three seasons, took a pay cut from $1.25 million to $700,000 to help his cause to make the team.

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