Back-row Cornell du Preez, scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and stand-off Duncan Weir will all depart in the summer, along with former Wales Under-20 stand-off Jason Tovey.
Head coach Richard Cockerill said: “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.
“The squad next season will be smaller but it’ll be of better quality.”
Edinburgh currently has a 44-man squad, and Cockerill is determined to balance things as part of his long-term plans for the club.
“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 back line.
“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,” he added.
Insisting that it wasn’t a short-term plan, Cockerill continued: “We’ve got to remodel the playing roster a little bit at the end of this season and that will evolve.”
Weir, who was on the verge of completing a loan move to Worcester Warriors, has been recalled to Cockerill’s squad for Friday night’s match against Ulster.
Edinburgh are without the injured Tovey and Phil Burleigh, while Blair Kinghorn is currently on international duty, with Cockerill taking the decision to bring the playmaker back for coverage.
Cockerill told Edinburgh Rugby’s website: 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’ve 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.”