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Salary cap, circumstances may force Garrard exit

You already know what the Dolphins are planning to do with Ryan Tannehill so that's yesterday's news. But the question now becomes what the team will do with its remaining quarterbacks.

Will the team keep all four -- Tannehill, David Garrard, Matt Moore and Pat Devlin -- or will someone have to go?

It must be said that Miami could very well keep all four, assuming all the pieces fall into place. Those pieces include Garrard accepting a backup role, Garrard getting healthy, Pat Devlin going to practice squad and no other team offering a trade for either Garrard or Moore.

But logic, financial ramifications and circumstances may lead the Dolphins to jettison one of the two veterans.

Let us examine the scenario.

First, accept the fact Joe Philbin and his staff are comfortable with three quarterbacks. He has said as much so I take him at his word. Also accept the fact the Dolphins are in a relatively awful salary cap situation.

How awful?

The Dolphins are in the bottom five NFL teams on cap space. The club's cap space hovers between $2 million and $2.31 million, depending on the week. Last week, that was third-worst in the NFL with only the Steelers and Lions having less cap space than the Dolphins.

Now, how a team without a proven franchise quarterback and a lack of bigtime playmakers can find itself in such a compromising cap situation, I haven't the answer. But that doesn't change the facts.

Understanding Miami's tough cap situation, you now understand one reason why Jake Long's much-anticipated contract extension hasn't been signed. And you hopefully understand that some of the roster decisions the team is about to make may be driven, at least in part, based on salaries.

Said another way, if the team can decide between two relatively equal players and one is making considerably less than the other, the more expensive guy is more likely to go.

That brings us to Moore and Garrard. Keeping both is a salary cap luxury. Moore is scheduled to make $2.25 million in base salary this year. Garrard is scheduled to make $2.75 million in base salary. Cutting or trading one would make sense. The Dolphins would lower the price they're paying for backup quarterbacks, which now promises to be at a relatively expensive $6.5 million in salary cap space for both players.

Most teams allocate anywhere between $3-$5 million in cap space for the backup quarterback. So you see the Dolphins are way above that.

And how does the team get down to a more acceptable number if it is looking to clear some cap space? It either cuts, trades or in Garrard's case perhaps negotiates an injury settlement, with one of the players.

Where would that leave the Dolphins?

With one veteran backup and a developmental player (Devlin) either on the roster or more likely on the practice squad. (Devlin is eligible for the practice squad.)

So which backup would the Dolphins prefer?


He is healthy. He is good in the locker room and in the quarterback room. He is accepting of the fact he has lost the quarterback competition to Ryan Tannehill even while he feels "frustrated" that he didn't play better this training camp and preseason.

Moore also has a history of having helped the Dolphins to a 6-3 finish last season as the step-in starter once Chad Henne was injured.

Why not Garrard?

He's injured. He's not going to be ready for the start of the season. He's the more expensive player. And there is a question of how accepting he would be of being the backup, given that he was the starter when he got hurt and his stated goal is to once again start in the NFL.

With Garrard, the Dolphins also have to consider that he is developing something of an injury history and reputation. He was out all of last year because of a back injury. While he says that is completely well, he hasn't taken a hit since then so questions remain. And even without taking a hit, Garrard injured his knee. He's also not exactly ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation.

All of this raises questions as to how long Garrard could hold down the proverbial fort if, say, Tannehill is injured or benched and the backup must play for extended weeks.

So while a healthy Garrard may be a better quarterback than Moore, he's not necessarily the better option to be kept now.

One more thing: This all would all have to play out before the first week of the season. That's the timetable because as vested veterans, both Garrard and Moore will have their full base salaries guaranteed for the year if they're on the roster for the start of the first regular-season week.

Speaking of salary cap space, check out the numbers below that show the bottom 10 NFL teams. They are from last week, which were the latest numbers available to me.

32) Steelers: $2.16 M 

31) Lions: $2.19 M 

30) Dolphins: $2.31 M 

29) Chargers: $2.87 M 

28) Falcons: $2.93 M 

27) Rams: $2.94 M 

26) Ravens $3.123 M

25) Giants: $3.125 M 

24) 49ers: $3.24 M 

23) Texans: $3.30 M 


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You aren't going to agree but I think it is time to move Jake Long. It is WAY too much money for a guy that doesn't put points on the board. Look at the (arguably) most successful team of the last 10 years, New England. They don't overpay anybody or any position except (rightfully so) Tom Brady. Also agree with the above that Dansby and some others should be shown the door. I think Ireland is doing an OK job, you all keep kicking him for stuff Parcells did when he was here but never facing the music for his idiotic moves.

I told you all 2 days ago that Garrard = retired.

One would think y'all would start to listen to me.

FWE is right. I told y'all 3.5 years ago that Long is overrated and way overpaid. What's our playoff record since drafting Long, again?

TRAINWRECK TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know Brandon Marshall was a head case but why wasnt there any backup plan to replace him (draft picks or trade for someone), this WR core cant help Tannehill. I cant believe Im writing this but Hartline the best WR on the team and hes no better than a 3 on other teams.


I just read the last post. Can you believe that people like Mark in Toronto are so clueless that they still wish we had little 5'11" RGIII.

Yes, he's 5'11". Watch carefully.

He will go down as one of the all time huge busts.

I'm glad we have Tanne, a QB.

The worst part about that salary cap list...


whats up with that....

Ireland gets another NAIL in the coffin...

Irescum got Egnew for Brandon Marshall. HAHA

Some would also say U said Moore is the starter.

Again the Owner gets the credit for the franchise Qb. The GM deserves the blame for it's failure

Also T-Hill got hit alot harder than vick the other day but didn't get hurt.

T-Hill is a big boy. If the fins need a qb to run a team without a line. It's T-Hill over Moore.

It's not the regular season. No need to see T-$izzle run for a 1st down now. We need to make sure that pocket is decent. Trust me in the regular season u are going to see The qb takeoff like a Wr. Notice how they haven't even rolled him out yet during the game.

Dansby and Burnett have to show play up to their pay.

Its going to take 4 YEARS after Ireland is fired to clean up this mess and put a competitive team on the field.

Why do the Dolphins continue to rank high in all the bad stuff?

With that said.... If this O line does not come together and I mean fast were gonna need 5 or 6 Qbs. I am very worried about Houston in the first game. They are a team that loves to injure QBs with San diego being my top choice for QB killers. We also need to find few Linebackers that can cover elite TEs if we dont were going to get killed by TEs all year. Every team in the NFL know we cant cover TEs and they expose that every time. Speaking of salary space we could trade dansby and his no tackling self and keep some of our QBs because were gonna need um

I told y'all in March that we should gone after Randy Moss. Tannehill and Moss would have a great year THIS YEAR, forget "development," assuming we have any sort of decent O line, which appears not to be the case.

Do y'all *watch* the games or just read about them or listen on radio?

He had a few bat downs early last game, but if you watch, you can see that Tannehill is really good *right now*. He'll get the stepping up in the pocket thing. Dude's a big strong fast guy with a great arm with his head on straight. He's already Manningish in his audibles at the line. In fact, Manning might be the only QB in the league right now who does more field generalship at the line than Tannehill.

What we will witness this year is Tannehill playing bravely while the O line and defense are *terrible*.

Pay attention. You'll see a lot of 3 and outs. But it won't be fair ot judge Tannehill, because a lot of times there will be a drop by Fasano (like last game), and then a punt and then the flippin' defense will take 11 minutes to get off the field. Then Tanne gets it back, perhaps bad luck, 3 and out again, the defense takes 9 minutes to get off the field-- ALL OF A SUDDEN THERE ARE ONLY 5 MINUTES LEFT IN THE FLIPPING HALF AND THE OFFENSE HAS HAD THE BALL ***TWICE***.

Pay attention. This is what happens a lot of the time.

In games where the O can get the ball a few times, you'll see Tanne play well.

All of this assumes no injury of course.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope Philbin has been holding everything back in preseason and we come out ripping, like Henne did last year, frankly, on the O side of things.

As I understand it -- Vernon Carey, Yeremiah Bell, and Brandon Marshall account for a tonne of dead money against the cap.

Now I get cutting Vernon Carey who was outrageously overpaid for sitting around and being fat.

Marshall was a headcase -- but I miss the two 2nd rounders the fins gave up for him more than the cap hit. That's what really smarts.

Like many of you I smart at cutting Yeremiah Bell who for the past few years has been one of the Dolphins top Playmakers. We're getting nothing for the cap hit now.

As for Overpaid (in terms of cap hit) players: I like Dansby -- but not for almost $13 million in cap room.

The Dolphins are getting a great cap deal on Wake: $2.2 million -- which is less than half of the cap hit of Soliai and Starks (both good players) and less than the $3 million on Tony McDaniel (WTF?). Add in Odrick's contract and there is a tonne of money committed to the D-Line -- which I can live with, but still.

Ditto the left side of the line: Long accounts for more than $11 million against the hit (ahh to be a #1 in the pre-new CBA days). Incognito is a good LG, but is he worth a $3.3 million hit?...fair question

Ditto for Brandon Fields who is a great punter -- but is a punter ever worth a $1.5 million cap hit? Worth pondering...

John Jerry represents $750,000 against the cap. Which is unfortuante since you could plug in a bag of potatoes and get the same blocking.

And Mando is right, either Moore or Garard has to go.

In other words, to be more concise: "3 and outs" are much more painful when your defense *always* takes 11 minutes to get the ball back, or gives up a quick TD, but never gets its own 3 and out.

All QBs have 3 and outs--even Brady and Manning in his prime. But for all these years the Pats DEFENSE has been underrated. Many times they get Brady the ball back quickly.

Our 3 and outs are PAINFUL because we don't get the ball back for 11 minutes and end up with 3 possessions all half.

How is Flatline the best Wr on the team?

He hasn't played a down in this system and he wasn't even the 2nd best Wr on this team for the last couple years.

Even Philbin said it. His best Wr is D.Bess. Look it up.

I can guarantee Bess will have over 80 catches. I don't even know if Hartline makes the final 53. Nevertheless have 50+ catches.

Again I rather see the Hulkster on the team than flatlie.

i thought the wonder women they got from Cleveland was the capoligist? how did we get in such a mess? and people say Shula left a cap mess, well that was JJ that said that. either way for a team doing so bad its not happy news!

Everyone gives Big Bill a pass cause he is gone, he signed all the guys to the huge contracts.....Ireland has only been able to add a few pieces, like Bush for a $5M contract....would say he was worth it last year...

Parcells killed us from a CAP perspective for years to come with crap signings

Matt Barkley, you are ours.

I find it hilarious that all the hate for Ireland spending too much money but yet how many people were outraged when Ireland wouldn't spend the money on Flynn. I remember seeing posts saying "just pay him the money, what's 30 million for a possible starting quarterback".

We have some pretty bad luck this off season. Garrad's knee and Chad's terrible career ending wife beating episode. Just take a deep breadth. I think rt17 has the right skill set to have a long career here in Miami but it's going to be a bumpy first year. Once teams start cutting players we might be able to find a couple upgrades, as well.

I'm ready for some football.

Calling Yermiah Bell a playmaker is a strtech, what he was good at was tackling the guy after he was beat for 30 yards.






C) Who cares? Lets go Heat!

The Steelers spend a lot of money because they have good players. We spend a lot of money because we're constantly drafting early in the first round.

I had no idea the Dolphins were in such bad shape salary cap-wise. How does a team with no franchise quarterback and underdeveloped talent become the third-most financially strapped team in the league? Oh yeah, by hiring Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland. If Ireland's players from this past draft don't produce anything, his head better be on the chopping block because most Dolphins fans wouldn't be able to stand another off-season of Jeff Ireland personnel mishaps. Thank G-d for the Miami Heat.

I still support Parcell. Had he taken part in team preperation, he would have made men out of the bunch of slackers they now have. Regardless of who the Phins release, they will in no doubt become contributing players with next team. Been that way since Shula was forced out. It was Parcell that said, If I have to do the cooking I should at least be allowed to buy the groceries. The Phins need a good grocery shopper.

This whole article ppoints to the ONE MAIN PROBLEM the team has had for the past 4 years......IRELAND.
This guy is single handedly DESTROYING the team. Add a 'no-clue' owner backing him and the team is now what the detroit lions used to be - bottom feeders for years to come.

two players that are good players, but getting paid like
great players jake long and karlos dansby should take pay
cuts both are overpaid

Best Players on Dolphins in order
1. Brandon Fields yes the Punter
2. Jake Long
3. I got nothing someone help me out


I understand the sarcasm and Miami is not a star studded team. They have a good core group with Tannehill, Jake Long, Pouncey and even Reggie Bush on O and D with Cam Wake led NFL in pressures last year with no help, Odrick looks promising and Soliai but not much else. Oh and Brandon Fields lol.

Miami really does have to "can" Ireland. I know the hate he gets on here and I really do try and stay away but the trade of Brandon Marshall told me that with two 3rd rounders they would double down at WR and that would have been ok by me. They used a 6th and 7th and undrafted guys doesn't cut it.

Miami will be picking in the top 10 in 2013


This is Reggie last year, he's gone next year as a FA. I'll give you Pouncey the kids a beast when he's not snapping the ball over QB's head. Cam Wake fell off last year and I remmeber a rookie named Nate Solder handling him pretty well last year.

Im not sold on Odrick, he's switching to a DE spot Im just not sure he's quick enough to get around the edge. Hes a tweener not big enough to be a DT and not quick and agile enough to be a DE.


Theses guys arent gonna cut it. And please someone explain to me wy Les "cant block worth a crap" Brown is still on the team and featured on Hard Knocks?

How can anyone say Tannehill is good when he's been awful in preseason? We all hope and pray he's good but we havent seen it yet. All we saw were lots of sacks and 3 n outs against the Panthers.

How are we #3? All the other teams except for the Rams are playoff teams...Someone needs to be fired. Hate to say that but it is the truth.

I don't remember the opponents having 11 min drives last season. I remember Drives like we've seen this preseason. Huge, embarrassing, chunks that take about 2 minutes to get into the end zone.
Who said off linemen were a dime a dozen? I'll donate my dime for a new RT (Ireland can keep the change)


That was the first game of the year and Wake was outta shape and gassed like the entire team. Terrible conditioning. Wake had what 8 or 9 sacks last season and according to Pro football focus he led the NFL in pressures. Pressures obviosuly isnt a sack but has to count for something particularly when your doubled and chipped and have Koa Misi as your counterpart as a rusher.

77. take the sax.
it's better than t/o's.

Fin 77,

Tannehill has been far from awful? That's an overstatement and not objective at all to say the least. I will say he has played good. Look what he's working with as an O-line and at WR. Do you watch the games?

u can pixx + moan that rt has the most talent on the o and is 2nd on the team only behind fields.

guys, rt is going 2 b running alot 2 his left and right 2 the sideline phones direct 2 f'n ire's box and he's gonna say,
hey axxhole, u come down here and play qb behind this putrid rightside ol that u gave me.

Fin 77,

Pretty much the same people that were saying how great Beck and Chad Henne were, are now saying how good Tannehill is. I agree, I havent seen anything from him so far. Remember, some fans were applauding Henne until he was let go LOL

rt, the only #1 wr on the team.

Didnt we have a chance to draft Jason Pierre Paul instead of Odrick that year someone refresh my memory. I remember we could of drafted Earl Thomas one year, dont know who we opted for just another acorn

You don't write English as you pronounce it, you illiterate fuc-. Learn Grammar!!

3 picks for D Thomas was moronic. But so was 1 pick for Egnew.

You are probably right, Armando,(Garrard) but you don't know it for a fact.


and the blog goes down hill in 3....2....1...

We have be Canosa'ed....

It's we have been, man, we have been...

phins news guaranteed last week that Tannehill would be the starter, i guess they were right

Actually, I dont have anything constructive to do now so I will be with you People for the rest of Today.

check out Jimmy Bourbon's thoughts on Ryan Tannehill being the opening day starter at http://phinsnews.com/ryan-tannehill-already-breaking-miami-records/

It seems that RT is the People's Choice to talk about these days so here it goes. Ryan Tannehill will be much better than Cam Newton. All the Tools. Physical, Mental, and Character ones, he has.

Trade for a WR

oscar.. G& 456 1 ( ?;;'
, m U r self.

Did you notice how Tannehill after he got sacked 3 times in one drive he went to the sidelines and pushed the page-turning boy to show him more plays? You didn't? Ahh, well. And cool as a lettuce.

oscar, have u ever sat in back of a lettuce truck smuggling migrants thru the arizona desert in mid july.?.
it ain't cool.

Although it might happen as with Dwight Stephenson where one of the Jets fuc-s ended his career. But We don't believe so.

I saw RT once throw a deep sideline ball and it was impressive.

Something that Devlin didn't do and spent 9 seconds realigning Players, RT rushed to the line and clocked the ball with little time left in the 1st half. Did you see that? I'm sure you did.

Its not like Devlin is breaking the bank. Cutting Moore or David puts us either over or almost over the cap by opening day.

The roster is pretty much complete..

Makes zero sense to cut any of the QB's since we really don't know what we have on our hands with Ryan.

If Ireland was a smart man (NOT) he would just keep all four and release as needed next year.

We're still paying for players that are no longer on the roster thanks to the old CBA. And, we're saddled with players from the old Sparano/Parcell's philosophy of football. Plus, there are quite a few players at the end of their contracts this year. Yes, it's a mess and it needs to be cleaned up. We're in re-build mode! I know they don't want to say it, but we are! And, we've got to live with it.

Finally, I think we're on track for once. But, the fans have to be a little bit more patient. I know that's asking a lot considering this team's history. For once, we have a first round draft pick at QB, lots of young players with potential that need grooming, and a head coach that actually sounds and acts like a head coach! He can't build a winning team overnight though. We may suck at first, but I think we'll pick up speed as the season goes on. And, then next year, draft players that fit the system better. I know the fans won't like it cause they want to win now, but it has to be done!

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