DAVIE, Fla. -- Joey Porter's widely anticipated parting with the Miami Dolphins took a bizarre twist Friday.
The Dolphins announced the release of the disgruntled linebacker. Less than three hours later, they said the move was "determined to be an invalid termination. Therefore at this time, Porter reverts back to the Miami Dolphins roster."
The Dolphins declined to elaborate, as did the NFL.
"It's a club matter," league spokesman Greg Aiello said. Porter's agent didn't respond to phone messages. The hitch may have involved NFL salary-cap rules, and Porter is still expected to be released or traded in the next few weeks.
A four-time Pro Bowl linebacker named in January to the NFL's All-Decade team, Porter campaigned last week to be waived. In broadcast interviews he said he was frustrated about his reduced role in 2009 and doubted his relationship with coach Tony Sparano could be repaired.
As his role diminished, Porter said, he talked with Sparano only on Sundays and stopped speaking with general manager Jeff Ireland and football czar Bill Parcells. Porter said he was the Dolphins' best outside linebacker and unhappy about being replaced by pass-rush specialist Cameron Wake in some situations. He said he wanted to go to a team where he could play every down.
Porter said he saw less playing time after Sparano held him out of a midseason game at Tampa Bay because he "went out to get something to eat" two nights before the game. The defense deteriorated at the end of the season, and Miami failed to make the playoffs, finishing 7-9.
Since Porter vented publicly, his departure has been considered inevitable. If the Dolphins release him before March 4, they save a $1 million roster bonus they would have owed him.
He joined the Dolphins in March 2007, signing a five-year deal for $32 million, with $20 million guaranteed.
An 11-year pro, Porter led the AFC in 2008 with 17½ sacks. His sack total in 2009 fell to nine, still the Dolphins' high.