Scotland trio Cornell du Preez, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Duncan Weir as well as Welshman Jason Tovey will leave Edinburgh at the end of the season.
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill wants “to remodel the playing roster”.
“The squad next season will be smaller but it’ll be of better quality,” he told his club website.
Fly-half Weir, 26, was expected to complete a loan move to Worcester but has been recalled by Edinburgh for Friday’s Pro14 meeting with Ulster.
“Unfortunately, because Jason Tovey and Phil Burleigh are out injured and Blair Kinghorn will be retained by the Scotland team, I’m bringing Duncan back for this weekend because we need that coverage – we can’t expose ourselves for the next week or so.
“But Duncan needs an opportunity and there’s an opportunity at Worcester. Now because he is a good man, we’ll let him take that opportunity, because he needs to go and find a new club. Where possible, we’ll try and help any player to move on in a positive way.”
Weir has scored 57 points in 27 Scotland appearances while scrum-half Hidalgo-Clyne, 24, has made nine senior international appearances and South Africa-born Du Preez, 26, won the first of his six caps last year.
Tovey, 28, was capped at under-20 level by his country and previously played for Dragons and Cardiff Blues.
“We’re looking to build this squad for the next three, four, five years so we can have some continuity and build some strength so we’re able to compete,” said Cockerill.
“When I arrived, there were lots of forwards and not so many backs so we’ve got to get a balance to this squad across the forward pack and the back line.
“It’s not a short-term thing. We’ve got to remodel the playing roster a little bit at the end of this season and that will evolve.
“You have to make good decisions, which sometimes can seem a bit tough because of what you’re paid to do, in getting the best team out on the field.”