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Money will never be a problem, salary cap another story

On the one hand, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is a billionaire. On the other hand, the Dolphins last season were one of the bottom five lowest spending cash-outlay teams in the NFL.

On the one hand, the club has few stars and no franchise quarterback. On the other hand, the team is cramped up against the cap unless it reworks some contracts. My estimate is Miami has $4-$6 million of cap room currently.

So what gives?

“Money will never be an issue for us becoming a winning football team," Ross boasted Monday. "That I can tell your ight now. We have to live with the limitations of the cap, the salary cap, as all teams do. Sometimes you lose players. You have to put your money where you really think it’s going to have the biggest impact."

Stop. That is true. Unfortunately, for the Dolphins, they've put an extraordinary amount of that money on the offensive line -- a unit that neither scores touchdowns, nor makes game-defining plays. And yet Jake Long has a cap number ($12 million) like many quarterbacks. The unit takes up approximately $20 million in cap space.

Long, however, is soon due for a contract extension.

"We have a lot of players expiring and we have to make sure we don’t make a stupid mistake by signing players with big names and big salary bonuses that are going to really impact the cap. You have to take that into consideration," Ross said. "One thing I’ve learned in response to your questions is this is one hell of a complex business, let me tell you -- in trying to figure out how you’re going to do things and maneuver things around within the system. I think that’s very important. But those players we know are coming up, we all know we want to retain them. We have to make sure we’re in a position to do that.”

I know, I know, many of you are going to try find fault with something Ross said. Let me suggest a different course: Read my column in today's paper.

It suggests we call a cease fire on the friendly fire for a bit. The Dolphins really, truly think they're doing good work. Most of us don't agree. But let's give them an undeserved benefit of the doubt for now until we see the finished product on the field, at least.

And let us remember there are other circus act teams in the NFL with their big tops wide open for viewing.

[Blog note: Coach Joe Philbin will be available at the NFL annual meeting this morning. I'll be back here to blog what he says. Come back for the updates throughout the day.]


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My problem has never been with the work they're doing, it's been with the chronic lack of communication.

Now they're communicating they have my support, for now.

If they say they're building a team to contend then great. Even if I have doubts and will be waiting to see what happens, I'm looking forward to September.

I think Miami is going to let Jake Long walk and replace him with a late round draftee, probably one they draft this year and groom to replace him.

Mando - please get Steve to pull out some vids of Waynes press conferences - especially where he says that he hires football people to make football decisions - he hires the best football people and gives them the money to get the job done - not talk about making a huge splash and disappoint everyone - he should take a back seat

Stop. That is true. Unfortunately, for the Dolphins, they've put an extraordinary amount of that money on the offensive line -- a unit that neither scores touchdowns

Armando, good point so why was the OL the 30th rated in the NFL last season? In my view because Sparano a so called OL guru and Parcells made some bad choices. Let's face it Parcells made the decisions until last season. Sparano got what he wanted on the OL. Long was an easy choice because he was the best left tackle in the draft and the Dolphins chose number one. Colombo and Carey were not good last season. That answers why Ireland is still around and Sparano and Parcells are not. The QB that was chosen Chad Henne is not a franchise QB and my guess chosen by Parcells. The Dolphins are still paying for the Parcells mistakes and you should write the name Parcells so that the blame goes where it should and not on Stephen Ross who has gotten a bad rap for just a few protocol mistakes.

Miami seems to be always be cap strapped compared to other teams who are able to make significant signings. So when will Miami be in better position from a cap standpoint to be able to leverage their dollars???

If they were doing such a great job building Rome why are they so penny poor? Seems like the team would be a lot better if they were getting the most bang for their buck.

Poor management is reflected by the product on the field.

Signing awful players that take up cap space is the problem. Columbo, mcquistan, dobbins, sapp, carpenter, porter, jerry, murtha, clemons, henne, misi, odrick are a few recent examples.


We are all looking at a fiasco of a franchise and are trying to put lipstick on a pig. We are one of the poorest run franchises in sports these days.

Blame Parcells, craphead.

Go Phins, I still beleive!!!

Where's all the regulars to repeat all day long that we need a QB and tell us how much the team has screwed up again and again?

Ross's first order of business should be to contact Kahn and ask him who he gets his tarps from. He may need some next year.

The Dolphins have my support, and always have. Not much to be excited about right now, but hopefully that will change with the draft. With 20 million being spent on the O-line that is exactly why they will NOT draft another o-lineman in the first round.

Maybe with better coaching this year we can see players such as Jerry, Murtha, Wallace and Marlon Moore turn into some really good players. Yes, that's a lot to ask, but one can dream right?

The more I hear, the more convinced I am that Stephen Ross is his own worst enemy. This makes him our problem too. Being transparent NOW is a bit too late. Fixing the team NOW is a bit too late. Making a 'Splash' NOW is a bit too late... The problem he never seems to get is in order to get US to spend money on a team we are losing passion for, he MUST put a quality team on the field EACH AND EVERY YEAR! He cannot force me or anyone else to give up our hard earned dollars for a hope that they do it right this time! Doing that requires faith on our part and a good track record on his. If the stock market was run like his team everyone would lose!

I am hoping they turn things around BUT I will NOT be spending until they do! I have already spent money in 'Hopes' they would do better and that didn't work!

Mando, I see your point, especially about them not being the jokes of the NFL. That does not make them good at what they do. It just means that other teams have screwed up more..for now. Let's see what happens this season when they play and my money is still in the bank. Time for them to put up or shut up!

The offensive line was bad last year because Vernon Carey played Right Guard and Marc Colombo played Right Tackle. Neither player should be on the team.

Amando, you've normally been balanced and fair, but for the past week you have defended the Dolphins more than normal. This post and your article today are just the latest examples.

Yes, there are some teams that have issues other than the Dolphins. You're right about Jeff Fisher having to let go of Gregg Williams; that's not good. Then again, the Rams have lots of draft picks thanks to their trade with Washington. As long as thier QB progresses, they are miles ahead of the Dolphins. If he regresses, they have draft picks to find one next year.

New Orleans still has an offense that can potentially score more points in a month than the Dolphins could in a season. BountyGate will be swept under the carpet as soon as possible. And the Saints can polish thei SuperBowl trophey and years of success if the season goes badly.

Yes, Washington may, or may not, take a cap hit. But they took a risk and traded up to be in position to get RGIII. They have a QB to build around. Of course, we are in agreement that the Dolphins should have also taken a risk to get RGIII.

The Jets are probably not going to do well. Of course, at least they took a risk and attempted to get a franchise QB in Sanchez. It hasn't worked out, but they tried.

The 49ers made the NFC Championship game last year. Alex Smith may not be great, but he's had more success than Moore has to date.

The Colts were a disaster last year. But they have hope and Luck.

In many ways, the Dolphins are in worse shape going forward than the vast majority of teams.

Regarding your "Letter to the Dolphins", it was overall pretty good. In it, you listed many of the mistakes the Dolphins have made for quite a long time. You did, however, leave off the national embarrassment that resulted during most infamous interview in the NFL Combine's history.

Gerrald has had a successful career and is a decent QB, but he was cut by Jacksonville and then had back surgery. He is exactly the kind of player that you mentioned the Dolphins NOT sign: an aging and injured player who is a short-term solution.

And what happens if Moore/Gerrald play well enough for the Dolphins to finish 8-8 or even 10-6 with the result of not being able to find an elite QB in the 2013 draft? They cannot win long-term without a quality QB.

In short, the Dolphins have not done a good job in twelve years. Ross has been owner for three seasons and things have got worse during that time, not better. I will give Ross credit for trying to get Harbaugh. He really handled the process of trying to get Harbaugh quite poorly and that is also on Ireland.

In the four seasons since Parcells/Ireland came to Miami, the Dolphins improved from 1-15 to 6-10. And they, under Ireland, are starting ANOTHER rebuild.

Ireland did indeed avoid making some bad mistakes in the draft and free agency as you detailed. Of course, he avoided good personnel choices as well; for example, the Dolphins could have had QB Dalton instead of a Center. Or the Dolphins could have had either of NE's tight ends. So, Ireland has avoided misakes and successes. The result was 6-10.

As part of the rebuild, will they trade Long before he breaks down even more? Or will they resign him to QB level money and he can block for a QB that even the Dolphins do not really believe in.

The only way the Dolphins will change is for the fans to refuse to buy ANY tickets, merchandise, and to be firmly critical until the Dolphins change.

So, what's the reason behind the appeal for fans to stop being critical of the Dolphins? The Dolphins have had plenty of chances for success. They've fired coaches and cut players. So, what's so special about the current Dolphins 'Powers That Be' that they be praised for earning millions while doing very little to produce a winning product?

What is concerning is that 'spin' will take the place of 'results.'

Where's all the regulars to repeat all day long that we need a QB and tell us how much the team has screwed up again and again?
Posted by: Parrot | March 27, 2012 at 07:46 AM

---They do not wake up until noon......

promichael is spot on that we are still trying to clean up Parcells mess. I think they are going to see if Long can go a whole season w/o getting hurt again. If he ends up on IR again expect to see him lowballed or let go. As Armando rightly points out, Long has yet to score a TD or throw a TD pass. If Parcells had gone to Atlanta we would have Matt Ryan right now and things would look far different. We also wouldn't have wasted a 2nd on Pat White (did we draft his family too?)

I have the exact opposite opinion on how this blog has gone. I think Armando has been pretty harsh to the point where you would question his unbiased reporting ability. I am happy to see this "cease fire" or whatever you wish to call it. Unlike Wayne, Ross was a Phin Fan before he bought the team. He is learning the hard way indeed and made some bad mistakes. He also got some bad advice (how much is a ticket to KC?). This will be the 2nd draft that Ireland owns and 1st year for Philbin. Lets see how the draft goes. If Ireland blows it, I will step in line with the naysayers then.

OR they are putting their money where their mouth is and have given up and walked away. I have given up but am hanging around to observe the performance of Ross and his staff. They do good, I think about spending money, they don't and I won't. Simple.. In the mean time, their are other teams I can watch play that has a quality product and MUCH LESS DRAMA..

The football people have their list of prototypical physical attributes for each position, depending on the type of offense/defense they install. It seems that the money people would have their list too. A list of prototypical salaries for each position. I would think that a GM would know what is an appropriate amount of money to spend on each position and I suspect the Dolphins have woke up and realized that they have some work to do in the regard.

barkley 2013.

Goodell said their will never be another Super Bowl in Ross's 1.1 Billion dollar trash heap and certainly no more national games for Miami because they embarrassed themselves greatly pretending to be a football team with the world watching

Laughing stock of the NFL = Stephen Ross, Jeff Ireland & the Dolphoons

Posted by: Ross is a slum lord |

Life is short.

Let's pass our precious time on the blog complaining.

Amando states (concern his column), "It suggests we call a cease fire on the friendly fire for a bit. The Dolphins really, truly think they're doing good work. Most of us don't agree. But let's give them an undeserved benefit of the doubt for now until we see the finished product on the field, at least."

He also states, in his column, "Many of those saying general manager Jeff Ireland has to go also argued last season on behalf of Vince Young, Kevin Kolb, Travaris Jackson, Kyle Orton or Donovan McNabb. Ireland signed Moore, and he was better than all the others.

Is that the move of incompetence?"

Is sticking with Henne, the handling of the Sparano situation, signing Columbo, Ireland's NFL Combine interview, and going from 11-5 to 6-10 the marking of doing very good work or compentence?

The Jets have improved they got the NFL's leading Red Zone QB in the NFL and Winner of AFC teams Tim Tebow

Also Sparano to reintroduce the Wildcat & Spread which WILL RUN WAY MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN RONNIE BROWN who fell out of football and was an embarrassment most of his career here and a complete loser on the Eagles

Tebow WILL run the Wildcat effectively
Heck Tebow scored 15 points against the so called 6th best defense in the league in less then 3 minutes setting an NFL record

I am always wrong

Put a winning team on the field and all will be forgiven! Just stop with the smoke and mirrors. If you tell us something...do it! A little less talk and a lot more action!

miami has a football team.?.

The Pack, Pats, Steelers, Giants, Ravens...these are teams that save & spend their money wisely. They are in the thick of things almost every year.

Dallas, Washington, the Raiders...these are teams that need credit debt counseling. They should visit lowerMyTeamSalary.com for help with their mounting bills.

I think the Dolphins have taken the step and are on their way to fiscal responsibility.


Rex Ryan: Tebow a perfect fit for Sparano’s creative offensive mind

Ryan referred to Sparano as “one of the most creative guys I’ve been around” and described himself as “excited” — a word Tebow used dozens of times during his introductory press conference on Monday — about how Sparano can utilize Tebow’s skills.

Yeah, I heard part of the Tebow presser...I thought I was listening to Ronnie Brown. Ronnie was always very excited.

They seem to have a lot in common.

"It suggests we call a cease fire on the friendly fire for a bit."

A cease fire, if only just for a bit, would be pleasant!

Good thinking!

The dolphins management just needs to shut up right now. Everytime they open their mouths everyone is picking everything they say to pieces. Just Shut UP! Ownerships big mouth is what has them in this predicament today. If they never would have let their intentions be known stating that "We will get an upgrade at qb this offseason" they wouldnt look so much like fools now that they didnt get one. Just shut your mouth, handle your business and stop creating all these stupid expectations.


Ross is great at the talkin part. He just cant come close to delivering.

Rome was not built in a day but it was destroyed in a week because the Roman leadership kept believing their own BS about how great they were because they always had been great and could not field a winning army when the Vandals arrived. The Dolphins were great for many years but are not great now and Ireland and Ross keep blowing smoke about greatness while they banish our best player, Brandon Marshall, for telling the truth about the poor QBing and coaching. First rate organizations keep their best players and solve their problems. Third rate organizations banish whistle blowers to try to hide their problems.

Ms. Steve Ross explained in one word.

The ideal scenario would have been to sign Winston instead of giving Hicks a $2 million/year contract along with all the other band aids. Winston could have given much needed depth to the line and we could have drafted a tackle and/or a guard and TRADE Long before the 6th week deadline for a ransom of picks which in turn can help the team to land their next LT, which under new CBA would cost a fraction.

That is how you manage the cap, thinking outside the box every now and then does not hurt. Letting Winston walk out our building with no contract to see Scott Pioli -laughing at us again- sign him for 4 years $22 million is a joke, throw in there there's no state income tax and it then borders the ridiculous.

Our cap situation is just embarrassing, I can give Ireland, Ross and co, a pass on all the moves, in fact I did like the trade of Marshall (it should have happened last year before the deadline though) but the cap situation is unforgivable when you look at our starless roster and grounds for firing just about anywhere in the NFL.

That said I hope, and for Ireland's own sake, that they come with an ambitious draft plan, ambitious but with a conscious. The last thing I wish to see is for them to reach for Tannehill at 8th, no way, no how. If he does not pan out you are setting this team for failure for a couple of years easily. All that "hard work" getting us a high pick to the garbage. Coples is the best talent at 8th but too many questions surrounding his work ethic. TRADE DOWN! Show the fans Mr. Ireland you CAN pull one on another GM. Then pick skilled positions in offense that take a year or two to develop unlike a DE/DT that makes a more immediate impact and that we should be in position next year to draft one.

If you can't trade down then pick Trent Richardson if he falls to us, do not reach for another OL like Reiff unless you want to see not 30 but 3,000 people outside your office. With a trio of Bush/Richardson/Thomas you will take a lot of pressure to whoever your QB is and the line. Because Bush's contract expires next year he will play his heart out and the team can then decide to retain him if we are somehow in contention or trade him -and his likely impossible contract- for a ransom of pick(s), we'd get good production off him, sell tix, give fans hope and we get a much younger and durable player in Richardson for the future at a much, much better price. Again think outside the box. Perhaps you should watch Moneyball, good movie. I still have faith in the office, as a fan I have to but I really do. Please do not disappoint the very few who still believe in you.

Finally the situation at QB obviously must be addressed, but Tannehill at 8th is wrong. The only two guys I see we can develop into Philbin's WCO are K. Cousins who we can have in the 4th round or R. Wilson in the 5th. Pick both, one of them will be your future franchise QB, mark my words.

the team is cramped up against the cap unless it reworks some contracts. My estimate is Miami has $4-$6 million of cap room currently.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2012/03/im-very-excited-the-way-things-are-going-on-we-have-probably-the-best-organization-the-dolphins-have-ha.html#storylink=cpy

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