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Dolphins have second-highest payroll in NFL

Dolphins salary documentation obtained by the Miami Herald on Tuesday shows the team may not be getting good return for the money it is spending on players in 2009.

According to those documents obtained from sources, the Dolphins spent $126,855,921 in total payroll in 2009, not including incentive bonuses. That is not only up from last year's $114,649,660, it is the second-highest total payroll in the NFL.

The New York Giants have the highest total payroll in the NFL in 2009 at $137,638,866. The Houston Texans, which defeated the Dolphins 27-20 on Sunday, settle in just behind the Dolphins with the third-highest total payroll at $122,573,860

The Giants are 8-7 and have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Dolphins are 7-8 and need a multitude of scenarios to play out over the weekend to make the playoffs. The Texans are 8-7 and similarly need help to get into the playoffs.

The figures obtained by The Herald show that paying premium money for talent is not necessarily a guarantee for success in 2009. Only four of the teams in the top ten for total payroll have already clinched a playoff spot.

How wisely the Dolphins are spending their money is a question that shows up tangibly all over the field.

The team's highest-paid player in 2009 is right tackle Vernon Carey who is making $15 million, with $12 million of that coming in the form of a signing bonus he received for signing a new contact in the offseason. Miami's return on that investment has not paid great dividends as Carey has slumped in the season's second half and has played poorly in recent weeks.

Center Jake Grove, who came to the Dolphins with a reputation for getting hurt, was rewarded with a free agent contract that is paying him $14.2 million this season. That makes him the second-highest-paid player on the team. Grove played well early in the year but has missed five consecutive starts with a high ankle sprain and tibia injury.

The Dolphins invested a lot of money in the deep secondary in 2009 -- $16.6 million to be precise. That means Miami has the most expensive set of safeties in the NFL.

Yeremiah Bell, making $8.6 million this season in the form a $6 million signing bonus, a $2.55 million base salary and $50,000 in other bonuses, is the league's second-highest-paid safety behind Kerry Rhodes of the New York Jets. Rhodes is collecting $9.95 million this season.

Bell, Miami's fourth-highest-paid player in 2009, leads the Dolphins in tackles and has made a couple of tackles that prevented touchdowns.

But free safety Gibril Wilson, the NFL's third-highest-paid safety in 2009, has been a bust for Miami.

Wilson struggled to tackle well early in the season, has struggled in coverage the entire season, and has no interceptions to show for his work. At one point this season, Wilson's struggles led coaches to use rookie Chris Clemons in his place in certain situations.

And all this at a price of $8 million, the fifth-highest salary on the team.

Jake Long, who was the No. 1 overall selection of the 2008 draft and was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl on Tuesday, is Miami's third-highest-paid player behind Carey and Grove. Long is being paid $8,006,240 this season.

In focus, Miami has gotten mixed results from its top five paid players.

Long and Bell have been worth the money. Carey and Wilson have probably not played up to their lofty salaries. Grove has earned his money when he's been healthy, but as had been his history prior to coming to Miami, he missed over one-quarter of the season with an injury.

The fact three of Miami's five top-paid players are offensive linemen should not surprise anyone. The Dolphins field the most expensive offensive line in the NFL, costing $156 million in total contracts for the starting five and $39,597,240 in total salary this season for the starting five. (The latter figure can vary by a few thousand dollars depending on who starts at right guard.)

The sixth-highest-paid player on the Dolphins in 2009 is inside linebacker Channing Crowder. He is making $6,516,000 in 2009 based on $1.5 million in base salary, $3.75 million from the signing bonus of contract he signed this year, and $1.266 million in other bonuses. The Miami Herald was the first news outlet to report that Crowder definitely would not play against the Steelers in the season-finale.

The Dolphins do have instances where they are getting great return on their investment. This typically comes from players the team drafted, rather than signed as free agents or re-signed once their contract expired.

Starting quarterback Chad Henne is making $950,340 before incentives this season. That makes him the second-lowest paid full-time starting quarterback in the NFL behind Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. Romo is making $625,980 in total salary this year. Romo signed a six-year, $67.4 million deal in October 2007. The 2009 salary is the lowest in Romo's contract and his salary rockets to $8.5 million next year.

The bargain the Dolphins are getting from Henne offsets the $5,750,000 they are paying injured quarterback Chad Pennington.

Other Miami players that have been relative bargains this year or played above their pay scale include outside linebacker Jason Taylor ($1,102,860 before incentive bonuses), defensive end Randy Starks ($2,625,000), wide receiver Davone Bess ($391,240), offensive lineman Nate Garner ($391,240), and fullback Lousaka Polite ($1,206,240).

Rookie starting cornerbacks Vontae Davis ($1,625,000) and Sean Smith ($1,255,000) have also been bargains for Miami. It is not correct, however, to say the Dolphins are getting a bargain for their cornerback money.

The rookies have offset the investment on cornerback Will Allen, who was a starter until he suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the season. Allen is making $5,506,240 this season, including $1,506,240 in bonus money.

And reserve cornerback Jason Allen is making $1,360,000 this season in salary and bonus. Allen, a former first-round pick, is almost exclusively a special teams player despite his lofty price.

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Saban 2 years 16 wins
Sparano 2 year 18 wins

add to that Sparano has amuch younger team on his hands and hasn't traded a 2nd round pick for a one legged quarterback and I'm much happier with where we are now.

I Have said this and will say it again, we need to be patient. I know some people say they have been patient for years but you have to look at how our team stacks up now compared to the last 15 years. In the mid to late 90's you had a team that was in a hurry and needed to develop a defense before Marino faded and retired. In the early and mid part of this decade you needed an offense to go along with the championship caliber defense with Thomas, Taylor, Madison, Surtain, etc. For once in a long while, We have youth at some critical positions (QB, OL, DL, CB, and even WR). Lets just say we get one draft pick and one free agent to make an impact for the next two years we should be set for awhile. Outside of Ferguson what player is irreplaceable over the age of 30?


That (about the 5 year old boy, who reaffirms)is what my mother always tells me man, but, as I always say, who died and made you God? It's not me the one who's intolerant.

Too much crying from grown men on this blog. You guys are hilarious!!!!!
Why are we still talking about Ginn and Wilson? We found out what Ted Ginn was two years ago, a kick-returner. Anybody that thought Ginn was going to become a star was fooling themselves.
We found out against Indianapolis that Wilson is not a good FS. Once you find these things out, you should not expect more from a guy. BOTTOM LINE. The front-office will do what they need to correct their mistakes. We have more young good players than we have had in 25-30 years!!! Be satisfied that this regime does not give away draft picks like Wannstedt and Spielman. Be happy that they don't sign average QBs like Jay Fielder and hope they turn into hall of famers. Depending upon free agency and our draft, we could become contnders!!!!! You know why? Because we have a foundation now. If you don't think Parcells and those guys don't know what they are doing, then you are crazy. Happy New Year!!!!

OUCH!!!! It has been yet another long season. We had every oportunity to make the post season! The J E T S! Really? I'd rather see the BILLS in the Playoffs. HAHA How ever Sanchez will blow it! I dont think Pitsburgh will show up Sunday so its back to B'More wildcard who cares who gets the other spot! WE wont! AFC N Superbowl champions will be Indianapolis Colts! My story and Im stickin too it!!!

Dear Mr El Magoo:
I am feeling that I have need to apologize to you. So I will. I do now believe it is possible for you to teach at a university. I know that when janitors are hired someone must then in turn teach them to sweep and mop the floors the right way. That is you?
You have never answered my questions?
your friend Juan Huron

Dear Mr El Magoo;
I do not think you are my father? Because my father is much, much older than 5 years old.
your friend,
Juan Huron

Mark in Toronto,

9w + 6w = 15w.

11w + 7w (so far) = 18w, a divisonal championship, our first playoff appereance in the decade and leaving behind that humiliation feeling that the 2007 season left in all of us.

Huuuge difference.

LMFAO @ JUAN HURON. Great Posts !!!

Mago, I stand corrected. I thought he hd won 9, then 7 games ... anyway, brain fart. Giving Saban too much credit I guess.

Juan Huron,

Yeah, that's me. That's why you were the best of my students. Noone left the WC as clean as you. I'll never regret the A I gave you and I'll always be proud of my master piece: you.

And I am indeed your father. I am not guilty of the paraphilias of your mom, man. Sorry to tell you.

2009 conclusion: brain trust wants to do it next year and they have there eye on someone in the draft

Noone ? Somebody i know ( another poster LOL ! ) uses that word ( noone ) quite often . LMFAO !!!

Mark in toronto , nick satan got 16 wins by luck .football on those days was lousy.today when you win it means a lot

Dear Mr El Magoo;
You have given the very reason why you could not be my father - even if you're not 5 years old. But you are.
Do you know that it is your own mom who is the "master piece"?
your friend,
Juan Huron

mr juan filth, i am enjoying reading the football talk and all of sudden you come w/you family filth and make us read it .please act out of respect for all of us .

ps....come tonight around 10.00 pm and engage DyingBreed if you dare .

Hahaha, ya DyingInBred gets major jollies from this type of thing. He should be waking up soon. His mother never lets him sleep past 4 pm.

Dear Mr Alcoa:
Why did you change from el magoo to alcoa?
PS see I can do the same

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple, Huron. So face it, we have philial-parental bonds.

NJ if the fact that I wrote noone instead of no one makes you laugh, then you're my pal at my kindergarden. Don't you think?

Say smart things, for crying out loud!

Mark, DyingBreed is GOLD ....he has it all

football talk he's perfect
talking dirty ...stay away from him .no one will EVER win VS DyingBreed .in fact



I just read someone (Bobonthis) thinks I changed my nick. Come on, guys! Hahaha! You're beginning to be obsessed by me.

Don't give a damn about me and, as I suggested, start saying smart things, dudes.

If we don't make the playoffs I would prefer the Jets to finish ahead of us in the standings. Besides a better draft position, it would impact the schedule in terms of both home vs away games as well as who we play.

I paid $250.00 for NFL ticket

$8.00 a month extra for HD upgrade

$3,200 in additional food and drink to host the games Sunday

$800.00 for tix, trans and lodging to see them get their ass kicked in San Diego

$1,000 to repair the walls after watching Ted Ginn and the Defense

$4.99 for a can of apholstery cleaner to extract Nacho sauce from the couch. This after my cousin tossed his Nachos over a dropped pass, guess who?

$10,000 for various medical and legal costs of busting Jets,Steeler,Raiders, and Pats fans upside the head, oh and a Bills fan too.

Fan since 1973? All together now class...We'll get em next year!

I exceeded my cap!!!!

Outstanding, Martin!

EL mago , " i invited you as well to bann me from the blog....... i'm not trying to be agressive.... " Posted by El mago de la Vida. Bann ? Agressive ? LMFAO ! Seems to me you never made it out of kindergarden much less you being a professor . How's that for saying something smart ? LMFAO ! YOU'RE A FRAUD !! how's that for saying something smart ? :)

HaHaha! Really ?

Guys , Dying brain said he's isn't going to post anymore until after the draft. Anybody want to take odds on how long that lasts ?

Most owners of business's don't mind so much about money spent IF the buisness is sucessful. Wonder what Ross is thinking? He'll have to dig deep if the CBA isn't settled.

LMFAO @ MARTIN. Very Funny stuff !!!! Bravo !!


What you claim to be something smart is actually something very stupid, since, as you can see (or perhaps you can't), I am a Mexican guy, who lives in Mexico City. Which means that my English is good enough for you to think I'm an American who has a couple of ortographic mistakes. Perhaps most of the times in those words that have a doble consonant. Those, my friend are minimal mistakes. My English is good enough to have an M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago. And yours?

Now, can you see that grammar and ortography are not the same subject?

Would you like to have this conversation in Spanish or German?

But let's talk Dolphins: In how many different languages could you critique and discuss about?

To be honest, I really love to have this sort of discussions. I'm on holidays and have not that much to do.

Mr Mago sir , anything you say that doesn't pertain to the dolphins , is irrelevant because you've been exposed as a FRAUD !!! I'am greek orthodox. I'M fluent in English and Greek and Can speak some Spanish. Happy new year to you and your family. :)

Armando, you're the man!

We need to make some major changes because no matter what I read, especially considering our payroll, Miami is not controlling the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball! We need, need, need a Lawrence Taylor type and, as badly, a receiver that scars the dickens out of all the other teams!

Tall order, I don't think so?

So you'are (sic) "greek orthodox" (sic) and not Greek Orthidox as well as over critical,and nevertheless I'm the one who has been exposed? Come on, man, once again, make laugh.

I want to talk about the Dolphins, but you don't stop talking about me, man, forcing me to talk about you. Why don't you propose a more interesting topic? I'll be in, man.

Hey Mango, it's orthography. But that's boring, I find pornography much more interesting.

Dear El mago. You have once again been exposed as a Fraud !!. " you'are "? Really ? LMFAO !!! . Also the correct word IS ORTHODOX and not " orthidox " as you stated. You have embarrassed yourself enough Sir . You need to stop. This is to Easy , FRAUD !!!!

Mango, why did your parents name you after a fruit?

Excuse me YOU'VE. happy new yeear

Hahaha! Come on, NJ, really, grow older.

OK Sir . Let's talk dolphins.

Juan Valdez,

I find pornography more interesting as well.

Juan Valdez,

In response to your interesting question, they called me Mango, cause, s you certainly know, mangos are a synonym for handsome. ;)

Hahaha ! grow older ? Do You mean UP ? OK . enough of the Fun and games. I do wish you and yours a healthy and Happy NUEVO ANO !!


I agree. Let's talk Dolphins. TO be honest, I even kind of like you. I follow your posts, and I followed your discussions with Breed as well. You are beligerant, but there's nothing wrong with that.

So, propose a topic, man!


So NJ, you're Greek Orthodox, so is my fiancee. Explains why you talk a lot, hahaha! (who am I to criticize????)

I will have to be baptized in a Greek Orthodox church in order to marry. You want to be my Koubaro?

ALoco, stop being a MALAKA!

No lo puedo creer???????????? El tercer mejor pagado Safety de la liga el tal Gibril?????

Tengo varias ulceras por soportar la inutil covertura de este tipo. Fire him right now.

Saludos desde Mexico DF

Go Phins

Razor Ramon just got here.



ALoco, you're a good man. Always make me laugh.

Razor Ramon? That's the best racial joke you cam up with? My bad, I shouldn't expect much from Canada...

I would expect even less from someone named Rodge

Hey, we don't all bat 1.000, Rodge. I like you too though Rodge. Seem very reasonable. And that wasn't so much a racial joke as it was a generalization.

And Rodge, weren't you born in Yellowknife?

Hahaha, BTW, I didn't write that Rodge joke. Although Rodge is a silly nickname for thename Roger. Doesn't shorten the name at all.

Dear Mr El Magoo:
You say "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple, Huron."
I respond with Occam's razor.
Plus I do believe you meant "overly critical"; not "over critical.
In addition your syntax is most assuredly NOT strong enough for anyone to mistake you for what you pretend you are.
Mr El Magoo, stupid people always think that everyone else is as stupid as they are.
Bless your pointed little head though..(not thou).
Thank you for playing.
Good luck in all your future endeavors.
your good friend still,
Juan Huron

My name isn't actually Rodge. Rodge is an inside joke and it makes me laugh every time I see it or someone calls me that. I'm just bustin chops. Canada is nice. A little too cold for me now though.

seems like we signed a lot of people this year, if you take away the bonuses, which will happen next year, we will have a much lower salary number

The 3 best franchises of this decade (NE, IND, PIT) have followed the same pattern:
- building trough the draft
- developing players
- giving huge contracts only to keep their own players

Our recent mistakes? The huge contracts given to average players from outside the organisation (Wilson, Grove, Wilford, etc).

All the in-house players we re-signed have performed well (except Carey, who's been lucky because there was no valuable alternative on the market).

We should stick to that formula.

Mark , i will love to be your KOUMBARO. You will enjoy being baptized and then wed in a greek orthodox church. They're two of the most Beautiful ceremony's in the world in any church. One thing , they're a little long. Good Luck.

Alot of greeks in toronto. I'be been there to visit some distant relatives.

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