They were among five cuts made by Miami as teams make moves to get down to the estimate salary cap limit of $74.8 million.
The other cuts were guard James Wagstaff, wide receiver Joey Getheral, and offensive lineman Jim Bundren, who failed his physical.
A team spokesman told the Miami Herald that the Dolphins now are under the cap.
Meanwhile, the talks with the agent of star linebacker Zack Thomas remain unsettled.
Rick Spielman, the team's Vice President of Football Operations, told the paper that reaching a deal with Thomas before Thursday's cap deadline is unlikely.
"We told the Dolphins we'd be willing to be flexible on the payout in a new contract," Thomas' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told the paper. "Zack doesn't have to have an eight-figure signing bonus."
The Herald reported that Thomas is due to count $6.914 million against the cap this season, the final year of his contract, which includes a combined base salary and roster bonus of $5 million this season.
The roster bonus of $300,000 is not due until March 15.
Ward, a 5-9, 185-pounder, caught 36 passes in two seasons with the Dolphins. He is a six-year veteran out of Northern Iowa who also has played for the New York Jets.
He has 159 career receptions for 2,196 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Russell, a University of Miami graduate who played predominantly on special teams, spent most of last season on injured reserve with a knee injury.