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The looming issues with contracts, salary cap

Talking to a Dolphins club source recently the subject of salary cap space came up.

"We're not in great shape but we're not in terrible shape," he said. "We're middle of the pack."

I am waiting on the current NFL cap numbers, but I estimate the Dolphins have approximately $10 million in cap space at this writing. So what to do with that cap space?

Free agency is over. But the Dolphins want to give themselves wiggle room in case any other "acorns" fall off a tree. If a player comes become available, as Chad Pennington unexpectedly did last season, the Dolphins want the cap room so they can be active in that market.

The club also has to sign its draft picks, needs to budget for a practice squad, and then there's the other thing:

The Dolphins have about a dozen free agents next year. The club cannot and will not re-sign all of them. But the team would like to re-sign some of them. And general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano already know which of those players they want to re-sign. They have a plan.

Of course they do, you're muttering.

Well, don't take that for granted. The fact is the Dolphins consider themselves to have an advantage over this time last year relative to their looming unrestricted free agents. Last year at this time, the new regime didn't really know its players.

Yes, Yeremiah Bell was healthy again but he had been able to play only 21 percent of the downs the previous four seasons. And the team didn't know about the player. They didn't know his work ethic and desire. So they could not and did not commit to signing him early.

Bell eventually proved himself to the club but, by the time he did, it cost more to give him a new contract in March than it would have prior to the season. The price had gone up and the Dolphins, through no fault of their own because they were playing it safe, had to pay the premium.

This offseason, Bill Parcells and his crew know their players. So they know which to prioritize.

This is an important subject because we're talking about some very valuable players that are unsigned. RB Ronnie Brown can become a free agent after 2009, so can QB Chad Pennington, CB Will Allen, OLB Matt Roth, tight ends Anthony Fasano and David Martin.

In the coming months, prior to the start of the season, the Dolphins hope to lock up some of these guys. It's not an easy situation made more uncertain by the current NFL labor situation.

Understand that unless a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, the 2010 season will included an uncapped salary situation. But that also changes the rules of the game for free agency. Suddenly players with less than six years of experience become restricted instead of unrestricted. And teams get multiple vehicles for tying up players -- such as transition and franchise tags.

That will be interesting to see play out. But the Dolphins are operating under the assumption their will be an agreement and rules will remain the same. For their purposes they're playing this as if all of their scheduled unrestricted free agents will, indeed, be free.

So here is the scenario for you. I have just appointed you Miami's GM (I have that power, you know) and now it is your job to handle finite cap space prior to the start of the season. How do you handle it?

How much space do budget for an "acorn?" Do you try to re-sign some of the pending free agents? Which ones are your priority, realizing you can't re-sign them all? And what do you do with Chad Pennington?

He's the starting QB now. He might not be in 2010. Do you let him go into 2009 without a new contract? Do you tell him he's the backup and offer backup money for 2010 -- knowing he's probably not likely to take that?

The Dolphins need advice. What the heck should they do? 

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Something I was thinking about...

I think alot of the height weight stuff about this regime has to be completely re-evaluated after the Pat White pick... He is short and skinny... Yet they picked him 12 or 13 picks into round two... And I kind of picked this up about the regime... When it comes to skilled position guys, they will take smaller players if they produce... Look at production of Bess and White and the college level... They broke records.... I think that appeals to them... You also have to think that some of the Percy Harvin talk was legit, not as a 1st rounder because I think Davis was the pick all along but in the second, he would have been fair game...

It's just nice to know that they are not as in the box thinkers as the analysts say. How everyone had Parcells taking a LB because "Parcells knows linebackers" BLAH, BLAH, BLAH and they didn't take one til the 7th round. And just because we take one corner in the 1st, they are not afraid to take another one two picks later because the guy is the best player on the board. Next year's draft should be fun... I think RB, DT and LB will be the top needs...

Well, it's clear from the draft they're planning on letting Allen go. Which means of the players listed, Roth and his work ethic will likely be back, Ronnie familiarity with the Wildcat is a plus, but the front office has not put a premium price on running backs, and must be confident that they'd be able to find an acorn in next year's draft of find something serviceable with what they've got on the roster, with Lex Hilliard still around. So if Ronnie's price inflates due to the uncertainty with the market, I wouldn't be shocked to see him let go. The drafting of a tight end doesn't look great for Martin, I think they'll bring back Fasano, no way they'd have traded a pick for him last year if they were thinking they'd only get 2 years of service out of him.

Roth, I think this is his year to prove his worth, similar to Bell last year. He's not great, but he's a hard worker and would not be a bad guy to sign for depth. Ditto on Penington. Also, Penington might become a Jason Garret type of coach, so maybe he'll stick around for backup money to learn from Parcells and Sporano the ins and outs of coaching.

i damn thee acorn tree.

Remember guys Ricky is also in the last year of his contract noway the tuna goes in to next year with ricky and ronnie both gone.They love smashmouth football.Then have to draft a starting RB next year thats a lot for a rookie to handle. Ronnie contract ext.Resign MATT at a fair price for both sides.Anthony is a must.Pennington days are over to many quality QB on roster Henni Needs to play.When they worked out WR before the draft they took Henni not Pennington.Will it depends on how the new CB just drafted looks.

Here's what I'd do with the extra $10 million in cap space (I think you'll find it's quite ingenious):

1) Debra Messing - $1.4 million
2) Michelle Pfeiffer - $4.2 million
3) Hillary Duff - $1.8 million
4) Veronica from Archie's Comics - $2.6 million

I really should be a general manager.

The type of strategy that you ultimately employ will depend in large measure on your conceptual views of my two basic player acquisition theories. According to my efficient playa theory, player prices reflect all publicly available information concerning that player and so are extremely close to the true value of the playa. This is not to say that prices reflect the playa's true value at all times, but that prices on average reflect the playa’s true value. Variations about this average price can exist. Conversely, the kooky sports blogger theory (named for the seemingly random thoughts of a drunken person) expounds that these variations are unpredictable; sometimes they are positive and sometimes negative. As such, they are unpredictable; they cannot be used to obtain excess returns.
Therefore, the GM who believes that the market is efficient would see no point in pursuing the fundamental approach which seeks to find playas that are commanding significantly above or below their value, because the price very closely reflects the playa’s true value. Alternatively, this GM would concentrate on developing a more efficient acquisition strategy rather than concentrating on specific playa selection, a strategy that provides returns closest to the playa’s production at a specified level of risk. The GM simply determines the amount of risk that he or she is willing to bear and then builds the team accordingly.
GMs who believe that the free agency market is inefficient proceed on the assumption that variations in the way people receive and evaluate information cause the contracts to deviate significantly from their true value. Therefore, they see occasions for finding under- and overpriced playas through diligent analysis, and believe that they're able to outperform a buy-and-hold-the-playa strategy (ala Ted Ginn Jr).
Based on substantial research evidence I have conducted in the last 30 seconds or so, I believe that free agency often is inefficient, and that there are indeed opportunities for outperforming the league. The excess return potential generally appears to be in the range of 2 to 6 wins annually. Over several years, even relatively small additional returns such as this can lead to a substantially competitive advantage.

Barring serious injury, Pennington and Brown should definitely be the top priorities. I would hate to see either of these 2 guys go anywhere else with such a vast knowledge of our offense. After that its a process of elimination based on 09 performances.

I say we trade all of these soon-to-be free agents to Washington for 2 picks, then sign them all back at 1.1 mill. per year. Oh wait, that's been done already.

All of our "core" positions are locked up and thats what Im most happy about. As long as those positions are highly efficient everything else will fall into place.

If our core positions fail us in 09, all the rest wont matter any way. If the o-line cant run block it doesnt matter if we had Emmitt Smith and if they can pass block Montana, Rice, Warfield, and Tony Gonzalez would be relative non factors. So go figure!

Fasano for 3 years@ middle of the road money but before season where I think he will be the cheapest. Pennington for backup money only or not at all and the rest even Will Allen let walk unless the 2 rookie CB's look like busts. Now for Ronnie if he is still dancing at the holes this season as he still annoyingly does way to much for a back of his size and his power you got to let him go, I just think he will never be THE Back worth top 5 RB money untill he gets that out of his system and with the "improvements" to the O line there is no excuse for him to continue that. There is no doubt when he is hitting it up in there and with his pass catching skills he is in the top 5 RB's in the NFL

good thinking swflafan ,and after we sign them back ,we build an elderly home for all of the them,then we build a cemetary with a large stone saying,

dolphins the Home

Nathaniel? Hilary Duff??? Really? Isn't she a little young for you? After the likes Loren, Struthers, and Hepburn, this choice is a little disturbing... I Think she is probably young enough to be your grand daughter... or great grand daughter...

Souljahbeats, I'm a spritely 41-year old male, who although married, aspires to a Chaplinesque future of youngish wives and septuagenarian fatherhood.

Nevertheless, rest assured that I will not break any statutory laws. I would never lower myself to do anything as disgusting as seduce a minor or become a recording engineer.

superfin72. Is akin o'dele one of your core players. LOL

Judging by your taste in women, music, and your problems with dairy, I would have guessed that you are at least 83.

Do you have to put a sign in your yard to warn all of your neighbors keep their children away and get their hand soap ready?

Souljahbeats, as the late great Bill Buckley once said, and I paraphrase:

"Being open minded does not mean that one has to accept all views as equally valid. Anyone who says The Rolling Stones are the equal of Mozart is a f_cking retard."

As the late great Cuban Menace oncd said, and I paraphrase:

"Milk is yucky."

As the unfortunately not-yet-dead Charles Manson once said, and I quote directly:

"Recording engineer? RECORDING ENGINEER? I may be a mass murderer, but RECORDING ENGINEER? That's where I draw the line!"

Resign ASAP: Anthony Fasano, Ronnie Brown
Wait and See: Chad Pennington, Jason Taylor, Matt Roth, Ricky Williams
Gone: David Martin, Will Allen

soulj, show some respect to mr Dodsworth , be funny without insulting him. how old are soulj ? some times i feel you are old and some other time i feel you are 48 years old.

p.s...mr Dodswoth never insulted any one, he may insulted our brains but never personal

Fasano should be the first guy re-signed. Depth at TE is thin and he's clearly the top guy at the position.

Brown would be the second target, though he will be 29 once the 2010 season starts, so I would say proceed with caution. He is likely to play productively for a while though; legs are pretty fresh, he hasn't been run to death (partially due the injuries) and his pricetag would likely go up after the season.

Gopats,

I am 26... I have no problem with Dodsworth, I always read his posts... sometimes I laugh and sometimes not... I'm just giving him a hard time and he is doing the same... No big deal

Not to mention, you gotta give it to any 83 year old who can learn to use the internet!

mr DODSWORTH, Bill Buckley was sure over rated writer ,in the quote about "open minded " we know that open minded means the willingness to talk about any issue and not meant as one would accept any view ,but he was like a con man twisting every quote in site and introduce it as his with clever twist.this age has passed,today you can find the truth

souljahbeat...

some times i laugh at your post and some times i run to the bath room

GoPats, I haven't felt such generosity of spirit since my platoon rescued me during the Battle of the Bulge. The Gerries had me surrounded. They were closing in on me. I thought I was a goner. My life flashed before my eyes! The crazy things that go through your head! I kept hearing The Andrews Sisters sing "My Bir Bist Du Schein." I saw my old '31 Studebaker. And I harkened back to Walter Johnson finally winning a World Series in 1925.

It was rough, my friend. But The Fighting 42nd rescued me! God bless you boys!

So now I just sit around, surfing the internet, hoping that a young thing will raise my flaccid member to the point of an erection.

Sure, I have my problems. I may be old, nearsighted and hard of hearing, but at least my flatulence doesn't pollute the world as much as the unmelodic, unharmonic, unrhythmic ghastly sounds that Souljahbeats corrupts our children with.

don't like music Dodsworth?

this blog is honored to have mr Dodsworth, writing nice and many well written posts covering D. topics with such humor. I agree with you on the young people of today like soulj. all they is how much weight is SOLIAI.

Or are you just frustrated because cd's wont play on your victrola gramophone?

all they know is how much weight is SOLIAI

Soulj, do you have TV ?

Sammy, do you have electricity?

this blog is honored to have mr Bunglito and mr Tickle my Pickle .

of course i have electricity Soulj, i asked you b/c i feel that you need some thing,that's all

In all seriousness, Souljahbeats, you used to be able to say in any generation of music, it's not my cup of tea, but at least people still know how to write good songs. Sure, rock & roll was a cut below George Gershwin and Cole Porter. But Elvis had great songs. The Beatles were brilliant. The Mamas & The Papas wrote heavenly tunes. The 60s might be my favorite decade of all time for popular music. There was a lot of great stuff in the 70s too. In the 80s, the quality of music suffered another blow, but STILL, at least there were a few songs every year that were of high quality. What is there now? What song in the last five years will people be singing 100 years from now? It's so tuneless. I honestly give it a try. I try to be so open minded. I WANT to like it. But the emperor has no clothes - it's CRAP!!!!

But getting back to Veronica from Archie Comics - she was one fabulous babe. Even though she had the EXACT same features as Betty, somehow she just looked so much sexier.

Nathaniel D

Funny story!
Sounded more like the battle of the bulge was your battle against the bulge. Not the 1944 Battle pitted against Nazi Germany, which inevitably became Hitler's last stance. When you say the Gerries you mean the Gerryatrics? LOL...The Gerryatrics where closing in on you: exceeding your alloted time on the treadmill the Gerries where closing in as fast as they could. Where those dentures or pin bombs they had in there hands? LOL

Good story Nathaniel funny and insighful...But Debra Messing? Mosquito bites for a chest Debra Messing? Is it that she reminds you of Lucille Ball? and makes you laugh with her goofy antics on Will and Grace?

So it seems as if you don't like rap or hip hop? Not reading to much into the reply you gave Souljabeats, but I understand why yo may feel this way. Music like beauty can be in the eye or ear of the beholder. Today's maintream bubble gum music is too prevelant and no artistic melody or insturmental rythym. But rather all base and shootem up lyrics. Don't get me wrong I listen to some rap and hip-hop, far and few between but i do. But I'm more likely to jump on the dance floor and dance to it with a lady, than to listen to it recreationally. Of course it helps when youv had a few cocktails. Ok maybe a little more than a few...I'm not saying.

it's nice to see nathaniel and one of the most educated people on this blog D4life talking no politics,two nice posts to read and learn some thing and have fun without the venom of politics.........

P.S....I notice that nathaniel loves women put together very neatly ,heavy make up on face and over the top dresses as
sophia
rita.h,
r.walsh
debra messing
audry.h

it's the betty page effect

You roll the dice, sign Chad Pennington to a longer contract, and trade him. You gamble everything on Henne's development and expanding the WildCat/Pat.

I don't think the cap space should be used unless someone special comes available. Sign the draft picks and let us deal with the FA at the end of the year (possibly try to extend Brown). None of this year's FA are "can't lose" FA.

BP and Co. want to get younger and only Fasano and Brown are among the list of "in their prime" players.

Get Boldin for 8 million a year losing next years conditional 2nd round pick.

Do whatever you want with the extra 2 million.

WIN NOW!!!

Chris F. How the hell are you going to sign all the draft picks with 2 million dollars ? Can you please get a clue ?

Ronnie Brown I believe will be re-signed before the end of summer. But if I was the GM I would not re-sign him until the end of the year. This is Ronnie Browns contract year and players always play their best during contract seasons. If he has a great season which for all intents should!...given he's another year removed from major surgery. He's in the second year under the Parcells/Sprano system of conditioning and another year assimilated into the Henning offense (wildcat). Remember he was having a career year when he whent down two seasons ago. Your playing with house money when it comes to Brown, because he is (barring injury) gonna have a very good season, especially when teams begin to pay attention more to Pat White and things will open up because of White's ability to make teams play the entire field. What you saw last year from the Wildcat offense will seem like its on steroids this season. Brown will have a career year if you sign him at the end of the season.
If he does have a great season you slap the franchise tag on him and sign him later. Or given that he had a very good season you can use him as leverage to acquire HIGH draft picks. Its a win win situation...Playing with house money.

Chad P, though he brings stability, there is no room for him and the Dolphins offense will need a live arm to throw down field. Let him start this season and see where the Dolphins offense goes. But I beleive the offense will do well with him or with out. So this season will be his last as a Dolphin. Bye Chad

Roth, Fasano, Martin and Allen are gone after this year.
Though Roth is still learning the position I don't see him getting much better. Whatever improvment Roth will have his ceiling is pretty much set. Allen gone, two CB's through the draft and one signed from Zona. Fasano and Martin are well just OK. Though if I needed to keep one I would keep Fasano and I know Parcells loves this guy. But Nalbone and Joey Haynos are ready to step in and replace the two so...Fasano and Martin out.

Dodsworth,

I actually agree with you about the state of today's music. The only flaw in your argument was that you assumed that I like today's popular music. I record all genres of music from rap to country to metal to opera, but it sounds like you are also assuming that I only work in hip hop. I don't play the music, I just record it, and I don't have to like it (even though I do have to pretend like it is great for the client). There is alot of garbage out there, but if you look hard, you can still find good music (even though its not the popular stuff)...

P.S. GO PHINS!

We have cap space? How about signing MARVIN HARRISON to a one year deal with incentives?

Dodsworth,

I actually agree with you about the state of today's music. The only flaw in your argument was that you assumed that I like today's popular music. I record all genres of music from rap to country to metal to opera, but it sounds like you are also assuming that I only work in hip hop. I don't play the music, I just record it, and I don't have to like it (even though I do have to pretend like it is great for the client). There is alot of garbage out there, but if you look hard, you can still find good music (even though its not the popular stuff)...

P.S. GO PHINS!

dolphins4life. Antony fasano will be a MUST re-sign. Fasano is just starting to come into his own after being buried behind witten. In his first year as a starter , the man scored 7 tds. and as you said , the tuna loves him. He drafted him and traded for him. joey haynos is also a free-agent and hasn't proven a thing yet.Nalbone is a project. Miami is going to need a proven te like fasano and they usually carry 3 te's anyway.

NJ,

I agree with you about Fasano. Haynos has alot of potential and Nalbone is unproven as well... Apparently he wasn't very impressive at rookie camp either...

Martin is still good, but we all know how the front office feels about older players...

souljabeats,

Do you like 80's rap?

soulja. yup!

soulja. yup!

NFL Draft DVD all rounds 1-7 DVD $12, visit website to view catalog www.myspace.com/dvdmemorabilias or email [email protected] for more info

1.Don't even think about not signing Ronnie. Ronnie is a franchise back and he has shown it. He doesn't DEMAND the ball selfishly and he has done excellent considering he hasn't even seen a 300 carry season yet. Also he was stuck with a terrible offensive line for the beginning of his career while sharing carries. Even then he was the best fantasy back the first 8 games of this year and last year. He IS the WILDCAT!

2.Sign Pennington to a 2 year deal. Fasano is nice but expendable.

3.I would have let Allen go before Goodman but thats just me. Goodman played just as well as Allen did while he was here for the most part. Allen is solid which we need but he makes a good bit.

4. I think Pacman Jones would be worth ATLEAST a look. Especially now that you would have him where you want him at the bargaining table since he has been an idiot and looking to behave and make more money after learning a lesson. He still has upside and we might find something there. Many times a fresh start does wonders for players. Look at Moss in NE after Oakland and Welker after being in Miami. Michael Turner, Kurt Warner, Plaxico Burress did ok when they got moved to a different team.

5. Hope that the "acorn" happens to be a seasoned explosive WR and go right after him.

6. Get those two CB's from the draft under contract so that we have 2 big corners to cover Moss and T.O. for the next 4 years.

Falconballa2,

I agree with everything except about the part with Pacman Jones. I seriously don't see it happening.

'Pacman' is a hopeless, repeat offending thug...a perpetual 15 year old...not a professional worth even a minimum salary. Forget him and forget Boldin...not happening with this many WRs drafted and/or signed. Get over them both and move on.

I agree with others that Brown and Fasano should be resigned barring injury.

Mr Cote, (or is this Salguero same garbage different byline.)
What is the point of this drivel? I thought the job of a beat writer was to stay close to the team not to turn in badly written rubbish about things of no concern to him. I can only presume that no players or coaching staff will talk to you, which is understandable. I wonder if the Herald editorial staff ever read the paper. Either no one cares or they think in some way this is cutting edge stuff. It's not.
Edwin Pope we miss you.

NJphinfan

Fasano is nice but expendable
-Falconballa2

Your write Tuna likes Fasano and just might keep him...but his seven td's are the product of the weak arm of Chad P...I think Brown thew one to Fasano too. Also Fasano like you sad is a better fit now with experience and a year under the Dolphin system then Haynos and Nalbone. But lets see how the season goes for the Nalbone and Haynos. How many reps they see and Haynos'size in the red zone should help Chad P. Don't get me wrong I like Fasano and his style of play. He's still very young and had a career year. Butr how much of that was attributed to Pennys weak arm? So to me Fasano is NOT a MUST resign. It will be interesting to see how Fasano is used when Henne or White are under center. QB's with good arms often like to throw down field. Penne was taking two step drops and dumping it off to Fasano. His longest reception was 24 yards. By contrast David Martins' longest was 61 yards and the pass was a wobbler that Martin out jumped a SF defender for. The thing about the NJ native is that he has good upside: young, tough, can block, and most of all a Parcells fav
But if Jeff Ireland has anything to say, if he hasn't found the next Witten yet in Nalbone, he will be looking for him in next years draft.
Haynos in only his second year is cheaper to resign but lacks expereince.

E&O "Your right"

Im too tired to spell check so any grammtical errors are chalked up to the wind

Let Ronnie wslk. sre you guys crazy????
He's in a contract year and due a huge season, either resign him or use the franchise tag and then either keep him or trade him for a no 1 pick after another pro bowl season, you don't see the Pats let their best players walk they always get something for them.
As for the rest definately resign Fasano, offer Penne backup money, Will Allen all depends on his demands and how well Davis and Smith do this year!

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