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Salary and contract status to affect some Dolphins in 2011

I was looking through the NFL Players Association database on salaries recently and noticed a couple of interesting little nuggets that I want to share with you.

First of all, I would point out that several notable players on the team will be entering their final contract year in 2011 so, obviously, there will be a hyper-focus from the team on how they perform and they will be under a self-imposed desire to produce at their highest level in order to ensure a big payday following or inside their contract year. (The Dolphins typically try to stay ahead of the curve so they try to sign players they deem worthy before they actually hit free agency.)

In 2011, whenever the season begins given the current labor uncertainty, the Dolphins will be looking at Channing Crowder and Phillip Merling in the final seasons of their contracts.

Crowder is a starter and Merling is currently not, but I would tell you the pressure is much greater on Crowder to perform if he wants to stay in Miami.

Crowder, simply, has been a good but not great player for Miami.

When he's healthy, he's typically reliable. But he's never rarely a game-changer. Interceptions, forced fumbles, recovered fumbles, bigtime tackle for losses are curiously absent from Crowder's resume. Last season, Crowder was 10th on the team in tackles. He missed four starts at the beginning of the season and another late in the year due to injury.

So Crowder is under the microscope in 2011 if he wants to show the team he deserves a new deal. The fact A.J. Edds is coming back from the injury that ended his 2010 rookie season before it even began is another factor that could push Crowder.


Similar story only, well, different.

Merling is in the final year of his contract in 2011 and like Crowder has been unspectacular after being selected with the 32nd overall selection in 2008. But the guy is a beast. The guy is young. The guy plays a more valuable position (yes, 3-4 DEs are harder to find than ILBs). So Merling probably is not playing for the right to stick around. No one typically dismisses a 6-foot-4, 300-pounder who can eat up snaps, even if they are played while coming off the bench.

Merling, however, will be playing for bigger money if he can win a starting job and finally, finally play up to his potential. So the player coaches in the past have worried isnt' always engaged or motivated in practice or training camp, has good reason to be exactly that in 2011. We'll see.

Lousaka Polite, Benny Sapp, Tyrone Culver and Lionel Dotson are others in the final year of their contracts.

OT Vernon Carey is facing a big season as well. Yes, he's signed through 2014. But I believe he needs to improve on what was an average 2010 because his salary grows substantially this season and is scheduled to continue rising for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Carey, as you can see in the chart below, is scheduled to make $4.15 million in 2011. That is a sharp increase from the $950,000 base salary he made last year. Yes, the Dolphins are still on the hook for the prorated portion of the $12 million bonus he got after 2008 when he signed his new deal.

But as the deal and the player age, and the salary takes a hike, the room for mediocre seasons shrinks. Carey needs a better-than-solid season in 2011 to make sure the team doesn't think long and hard about cutting him after next season to avoid having to pay $5.05 million in 2012, $5.65 million in 2013 and $4.95 million in 2014.

Think about it: The Dolphins could easily weigh finding a cheaper option with higher upside at a cap cost differential of $1 million ($6 million hit minus $5 million savings) in 2012 if Carey once again fails to impress. That assumes the entire remaining proration accelerated to 2012. That also doesn't even account for the $5 million cap savings in 2013 and $4.95 million savings in 2014 if the Dolphins cut Carey.

So Carey has work to do to avoid the possibility altogether.

Finally, the numbers below represent handsome base salary raises to LT Jake Long ($475,000), C Joe Berger ($700,000), P Brandon Fields ($260,000), DE Kendall Langford ($845,000), and Polite ($100,000). All met play-time or other incentive clauses that kicked in escalators in their deals, affecting their 2011 base salaries.


Player Name Position Team Compensation
Alama-Francis, Ikaika DE MD 640000.00
Allen, Will CB MD 1500000.00
Amaya, Jonathon S MD 405000.00
Baker, Chris DT MD 480000.00
Baker, Ryan DE MD 480000.00
Barbre, Allen OL MD 640000.00
Bell, Yeremiah S MD 3700000.00
Berger, Joe OL MD 1500000.00
Bess, Davone WR MD 1013333.00
Brandstater, Tom QB MD 405000.00
Carey, Vernon OL MD 4150000.00
Carpenter, Dan P/K MD 1005000.00
Carroll, Nolan CB MD 405000.00
Carter, Patrick WR MD 330000.00
Clemons, Chris S MD 480000.00
Crowder, Channing LB MD 2500000.00
Culver, Tyrone S MD 1250000.00
Dansby, Karlos LB MD 2700000.00
Davis, Vontae CB MD 676250.00
Denney, John DE MD 700000.00
Dobbins, Tim LB MD 1700000.00
Dotson, Lionel DE MD 555000.00
Edds, A.J. LB MD 330000.00
Epps, Dedrick TE MD 405000.00
Fasano, Anthony TE MD 1900000.00
Feinga, Leimoni OL MD 405000.00
Fields, Brandon P/K MD 986000.00
Foster, Brooks WR MD 330000.00
Hartline, Brian WR MD 480000.00
Henne, Chad QB MD 555000.00
Incognito, Richie OL MD 1050000.00
Jerry, John OL MD 405000.00
Jones, Reshad S MD 405000.00
Kopa, Matt OL MD 405000.00
Langford, Kendall DE MD 1400000.00
Long, Jake OL MD 11200000.00
Marshall, Brandon WR MD 6500000.00
Marten, James OL MD 555000.00
Mastrud, Jeron TE MD 405000.00
Merling, Phillip DE MD 700000.00
Misi, Koa LB MD 405000.00
Moore, Marlon WR MD 405000.00
Ness, Nate S MD 405000.00
Odrick, Jared DE MD 405000.00
Polite, Lousaka RB MD 1350000.00
Pruitt, Julius WR MD 330000.00
Restelli, Mark LB MD 330000.00
Rivera, Mike LB MD 330000.00
Rose, Robert DE MD 405000.00
Sapp, Benny CB MD 1900000.00
Shuler, Mickey TE MD 405000.00
Smith, Sean CB MD 480000.00
Spitler, Austin LB MD 405000.00
Starks, Randy DT MD 3625000.00
Wake, Derek Cameron LB MD 480000.00
Wallace, Roberto WR MD 405000.00


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Lou Polite is making 1.37M? isnt't that alot?

What are the chances of the Fins trading Jake Long to a desperate team in the top 5 in the draft, who is in need of an LT, for multiple draft picks this year; so we can draft the top QB, the top RB we so desperate need, and a new decent LT?

What's J Long's value right now? 2-1st rounders and a 2nd rounder?

I wonder if anybody will be willing to do; even though Jake Long is a monster...

If a team offers you 3 high picks this year, do you think the Fins will be willing to do make that sacrifize and take the risk?




As you can see, MOST of those guys aren't Millionaires.
just saying...

Robert Rose
play a down last year????????

Ripley's Believe it or Not?

Good blog Amando.

006, Polite is probably the most deserving of 1.37M considering the teams effort as a whole. If it werent for him, we'd likely won only 5 gams last year. He kept alot of drives going when it was 3rd (once on 4th down) and 1 yard to go. He accounted for 1 TD, but we only rushed for 8 or 9 as it was.

True, he was only allowed to rush a mere 26 att., for a miserable 62 yards and 1 TD, but he did keep us on offense.

He is paid more for his blocking potential. If he is replaced, so be it.

yazzo, they most likely are millionares, making 400K a year lets say you bank 300k a year, invest that and if you've been playing 3+ years, you are easily a millionaire or more, set for life.

Jake long has made the probowl every season so far... You'd trade your best player on the team so that you can take a chance drafting new players? just wow


I didn't see a Robert Rose play any snaps.

Maybe he was shuffled in and out quickly a few times?

Lotta cheddar for that amount of production.


Thanks for posting a new blog topic Armando!



I don't think the Fins brass wants to try and fill a Pro Bowl LT hole even if it nets a few sexy picks.

The draft is not enough of an exact science. They can't afford to step backwards if the 3 for 1 deal doesn't manifest into 3 good or better players.

Never hurts to think outside the box though.

If Jake was longer in the tooth I would say more of a remote possibility but, he is still youn enough to be growing and getting better.



Not a chance in hell will we trade J.Long.

What we do is keep our very best players, and add to that. Since we don't have many, we aren't likey to toss away the few we have on a bunch of unproven draft picks.

But I understand you're desperate. You ain't the only one. Just remember, desperation can cause the mind to think strange things...


The "Bling" costs alone don't factor into that equation for most players I would imagine.

Since so many of these players have rough, from the streets type backgrounds, the financial planning side is usually lacking.

It's very hard for new found, gusher wealth to be retained if they didn't earn it over time with their own business savvy and acumen.

I don't want to stereotype all of the players but a good portion will be hurting in the first month if there is a lockout. This despite their own Union preaching save 40% of your 2010 paychecks.


Ricky Stanzi anyone?

Good down field vision. Has definitely improved at NOT locking onto receivers.

Great with the pump fake and uses it often.

Excellent ball placement.

Good awareness, moves around in the pocket well and can throw on the run. Quick feet for a QB.

Solid throwing motion. Fairly quick release. In certain limited situations seems to wind up a bit causing a slight hitch(Looks to me like good coaching has ALMOST put an end to it).

Overall, mechanics are solid.

Being a Big Ten fan I've watched Stanzi progress every year. He's about one more highlight reel away from making my wish list.

There, I said it!!!!



This is your chance to shine Brother!

I want a complete and comprehensive analysis posted by morning!

PS: Please feel free to include any and all salary cap implication you feel are pertinent.


Thanks for the Stanzi report.

I have him about 7-8 on my list.

If they find themselves needing a late round flyer on a QB, Stanzi may be a guy they look at.


In a few more hours I can blow Aloco's mind as us Vampires never go to bed. ;)


Dfins, did you bump your head? Have you forgotten the YEARS of neglect the Phins paid to the O line, and the YEARS the Phins struggled, because the run game couldn't get going, and the QB couldn't make a five step drop, let alone a seven? Long is the best O lineman we have seen since Webb left us. Shula understood that the O line made everything on O possible. It didn't seem that JJ, Wanny, Saban, or Cam understood that you HAD to start the rebuild on the line. People want to talk about how we should have drafted Matty Ice, rather than Jake Long, but if our line couldn't protect him, what would Matt Ryan have done? He isn't very mobile. We aren't a west coast offense team. It would have just been more of the same.

I think they are going to be paying Wake a few more dollars soon.

Informative column, but if anyone reads those numbers as absolutes they would be woefully misinformed.

These are base numbers, and few are guaranteed. Some will be higher (as Devone Bess rightfully earned last year) and PLENTY will be excised from the roster.

That's how you afford the Jake Long's of the world. And the Dansby's in the FA game.

Clearly, Miami is not paying all that much in the QB department but why would they? Nobody has earned it and the best talent on that roster is elsewhere, obviously.

They don't seem all that out of whack salary-wise considering the situation.

When the Dolphins QUARTERBACK is the highest-paid guy on the roster...with reason...we'll be in business.

By the way, I see the same crazy numbers as anyone else (completely forgettable guys making more than Wake, for instance) but it evens out and you'd find the same on ANY roster.

I don't think these numbers even reflect incentives (which can be HUGE) and it's a pretty safe bet Cameron Wake will be loading up the Brinks truck next contract rather than making Lionel Dotson numbers in base.

Good points dr. roberts.

The salaries are many times fuzzy math with the bonuses, escalator clauses and gaurantees.

Speaking of money, did you happen to read that story about Tiki Barber? Talk about a whole bunch of wrong turn drama after leaving the game with two years on his lucrative NFL contract...tisk tisk Tiki, I bet no one touches the guy with a 10 foot pole.

I see my brother having all this fun and it's stoked my competitive fires...yeah right, he's already broke, how laughable is that?

Maybe he should have kept his own house in order before chirping out a bunch of stupid stuff before / after he walked away from the game.

Lotsa luck with that comeback Tiki.

Knock, knock,... who's there?... Tiki... Wrong door Tiki, the CFL is North of here.


Since I can't watch Fins games, I went to look the season's nfl highlights, just managed to watch the first 2, bills and vikes, I wanted to pay closer attention on Henne, not impressive alright but from a few throws I remember on his maiden season and what I saw this, I think the guy can do it, needs consistency, trying to find hope, I give him 1 more season

Good article! That is the Mando I have grown to love. Thanks Mando.

"Crowder, simply, has been a good but not great player for Miami"


I think good is a strech....adequate may be more accurate......

Chad Henne should be the most pissed of QB in the league.....if his salary, or lack thereof......for a statring QB doesn't lite a fire under him.....then nothing will.....

He's playing for the right to eat.......

Trade Down to mid 20s and pick up 2nd rounder.

1. phil taylor
2. mike pouncey or danny watkins
3. demarco murray
4. andy dalton
5. edmund gates
6. derrick locke
7. ricardo lockette
7. julius thomas

Armando, you have nothing else to talk about ?

Here is an idea for ya, why don't you go to Domino's park in little havana to see "los viejitos" playing domino's and come back and give us an up date ?





Hey, WHO. When a guy makes 400, at least in theh state I live in you pay in the neighborhood of 25% tax depending on your write offs etc.. That immediately takes your available funds to 300 before you ever pay any bills, eat, have a home, pay for gas, wipe your a-- etc. So, how do you bank 300 a year off 400? Please tell me! Maybe you bank 150 or 200 if you are really conservative and don't have several kids or women to support.

Look at the roster again, there is not one person on it that would be considered a tragedy to lose. Three years of this present GM & Coach with nothing to show but numerous mistakes on coaches, draft picks and on free agents. we will be lucky to be a 8-8 team this year, maybe we should root for a lock out!!!!!!!!!

Merling or Crowder? i keep Merling. younger w/still a chance to right the ship, Crowder? it turned my stomach when they re-signed him a couple years ago

if... and i know "if" if was a splift we'd be allll f'd up. but if this d-line can play at full strength, oh MAN!!!

Merling w/a straight head and healthy, Odrick healthy...Starks and Soliai playing at the level they have recently. add a Langford and if u keep McDaniels...oh and Wake who i know is a LB but is always on the line, bringing the HEAT... thats a deep young d-line.

After watching Path to the draft last night I believe the Phins will draft Gabe Carmini from Wisconsin. Especially if they are able to trade back 5-10 places. They said he is a RT that is capable of starting at G right now. That versitility has proven to be a value the Phins adore. I just feel they will go the safest route until their roster is set with playoff caliber talent.

So Sean Smith got paid about $100,000 for every dropped INT last year. I will say in fairness he finished the season considerably better than he started it.

Why isn't Soliai listed?

Merling is a guy a lot of us forget about but it's time for this guy to really step up. This is what, his third or fourth season? Very little production from him so far. My problem with him being a starter, who does he beat out? Starks? McDaniels? Langford? I don't see a consistent motor from this guy and I only see him as a rotational guy at this point. Can he show is more going forward? I sure hope so...


Soliai isn't listed because there's a lot of talk that teams won't be able to use the franchise tag right now, with an expired CBA. It remains to be seen if the NFLPA is going to fight that point or just use it as leverage.

Turd, I'd be OK with the scenario of drafting an OL that you talk about, as long as we're about to draft a guy like Ryan williams in the second.

Tony add in incentives and now you are banking 300 or more. Let's say only 200, well after 4 years plaything thats 800, with minimal investment savvy that becomes over a million. Also, football players don't wipe their a--.

I looked at this and at first thought "why is everyone playing for the Terps?" and then I got it.
I'm glad it tells me they play for the Miami Dolphins.

I have to say, and I know it's not an original thought, but Mark Ingram does look an awful lot like Emmitt Smith when he runs. Now I'm not saying he is going to BE Emmitt Smith, just saying size wise and running styles, the similarities are uncanny. I also realize that Smith played behind a great line and with a Hall of Fame quarterback, I'm just comparing them psyhically.

One last thought and then I'm done for a while guys....I'm going to look at Jake Locker as a guy who might be able to help this team. This guy looks a little bit like Drew Bledsoe to me. Not sure if that comparison is out there or not but his size and the way he moves reminds me of Bledsoe. Is that good enough? I don't know. I wasn't a very big Bledsoe fan, despite god numbers and the fact he took the Pats to a Super Bowl. I want to watch this guy a bit more on film but if we could trade back a bit, I wouldn't be angry if we drafted him for a couple of years down the road. The accuracy issues are a bit of a concern but perhaps that could be worked on.

If we're gonna trade anyone for picks it should be starks. We have Odrick and merling coming back. Starks we can probably get a second and 4th. Starks is great but the picks would help us more

Wow Boulder. You're really taking a chance there. You're willing to trade probably your best defender last 2-3 years for two maybes.

Odrick hasn't proven anything other than he's injury-prone in the NFL. He's just as likely to be a bust as anything else. We don't know anything from the 2 or whatever games he's played. Merling is also teetering. A high 2nd-round pick that hasn't made the splash he should've (and had off the field issues).

So, I think that's a horrible idea. If anything, I'd get rid of Odrick before anyone. Who's to say he's not the next Channing Crowder. The last thing this team needs is another guy that gets hurt every 5 plays.

If you've finally gotten your defense into shape, where now they're competitive, and have all those issues on offense, the last thing I'd do is mess up the balance and chemistry that's formed. Sparano tried to do that to the oline last year, and you see how well that turned out.

KEEP YOUR STARS, don't trade a PROVEN commodity for an UNPROVEN commodity, that should be the rule of thumb.

Why are we paying Dobbins more than 50K? And Bennie Sapp? that is a lot of money for those two.

The 50K thing was an attept to be funny, I know it is below the min, but Dobbins is god awful. And Sapp had a few good plays here and there, but not worth more than a mill at all.

They should pay them like the XFL did for their short lived existence. Pay the players only if they win! As far as I'm concerned this whole team is over paid!

Merling is young, rotating off the bench for the past 3 years. I believe he will hit his stride this year, exactly as Soliai did last year.

All it will take is an injury to either of our starting DE - if not outright winning the job - and you might get the DE we hoped for when we drafted him out of Clemson.

At 700 grand, this kid better buckle down this year, or will never see a million buck paycheck.

My greatest hope is Odrick can play brutal at 100%. $405000- That is as near rock bottom bargain as a team could get, provided it isn't spent on a player that keeps falling down, 'and I can't get uppp'. If he has another Life Alert moment, get out the ax. And while I am thinking about it, do we really need 6 DE's?

Cut the strings with Crowder, and take the loss. In the long run, it will pay off. Replace him with someone which has more heart, determination, and killer instinct.

If it wasn't for the lack of depth behind Soliai, Boulder, I agree with you that trading Starks would bring in good value to the Dolphins.

It is becoming apparent(at least to me), that Miami will be the most dominant defence in the NFL for years to come. Look at the ingredients.

I think that the fins have to trade back in the 1st rd. But the question is who do they pick? I have seen some people say they are going after Pouncey, some people say Smith. I am going to throw a wildcard out there. How about a NT? Yes we just signed Soliai but it is only for one year and there is alot of 1st rd NT talent in this draft. As much help that we need on offense we cant forget about the defense

Crowder is the only one man enough to take no sh** from the numb nu*s in New York.

DC, I disagree. Starks is really the only one that has real trade value out of all of them. He's in his last year of contract and I doubt the FO will re-sign him after that when they have all these young players on the team. What do you think bellicheat would do? He would trade starks for some picks similar to what he did with syemore.
I beleive in mike nolan and I bet he can get a lot of production out of odrick and merling.

Plus this draft is very deep with dline. We could probably pick another dline man in the draft. I would make that trade if anyone offered

oscar the lack of depth behind soliai is an issue but we could probably draft a youngster or get another NT in the FA.
I like starks and I think he's one of our best dlineman but this year draft is very deep with dline and we could pick someone up.
Either way we won't be able to keep both starks and solia after next year.
This is a good way to keep our 15th pick and get a 2nd round pick as well plus maybe another 3rd or 4th rounder that we can use to pickup dline in draft

Plus I dont understand why everyone is saying draft QB Andy Dalton in the 3rd rd. I like the kid too and he is a leader but in the 3rd round? Come on man

DC @9:39....Belicheat routinely trades away star power proven vets for draft picks...thats how you get 6 picks in the forst 3 rds....

if you want 8 picks in rds 4-7 then you trade less than stellar talent...and you get less than stellar talent in return....

but if you want to rack up talent...sometimes you have to part with it.....

That being said...JAKE LONG is my favorite fin....but nobody and I mean NOBODY should be above trade consideration....ALL OPTIONS MUST BE AVAILABLE.....and should be available....

If we can keep Jake and still get the QB this FO wants....then fine.....but if Jake is collertaral damage in aquiring the next Aaron Rodgers/Big Ben.......well...thats the cost of winning....

Notice...I didn't even use Manning or Rivers or Brees...all next level QBs.....

Armando...excellent off-season topic.....

A few days ago the poster's asked...and you delivered....nice Job.....

Thanks Kris,

That was exactly my point... I would prefer to have more early picks in the draft...

Do you guys remember the Hershel Walker trade? Wasn't that the trade that made Jimmy Johnson a genius in the NFL without winning a Superbowl?

Again, if there's a lucrative offer for J Long, and I get 3-4 early picks and 1 or 2 decent players... Mmm, I'll honestly think about it. ONLY if I get the chance to draft this year's TOP QB.

Early Picks + Young Players is how you build a competitive team...

And J Long is my favorite player on the team...

Plus you get the chance to save $11.2M of his contract this year..

You guys are crazy trade Jake Long? You do know that he has anchored the OL since he has been drafted don't you? If thats the case then lets trade Wake, Dansby, Marshall, and Bess why we are at it. You people are crazy.

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