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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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There exists the possibility that Garrard saw the writing on the wall regarding Tannehill and decided to "retire".

You are going to hear from this crop of rookie QB's for many years to come.

Look at Russell Wilson, all 5'11' of him. That guy can move any NFL Team.

Believable so, RG3 might be the one that takes longer to develop, but once there, he'll shine.

D-Linemen, LB, or FS with Top 10 pick next Year. We need to sign a Guy that can be a Leader of the Defense.

A Franchise DE, In the JT mold.

Or a LB, that will make either Dansby Expendable or Move him to OLB. Like I said Kuecky(MLB) and Cousins(QB) would've been Nice. But we were not having it a 3rd Rd Qb. Ur crazy. Ireland wouldn't have made it thru Training Camp around here. We paid the Price for the Franchise Qb, but it had to be done.

It ain't Curse it's just Common Sense. If u are going to draft someone better than are as Good as Marino, U would have to draft him higher than Marino. Or at least try with a 1st rd pick.

Who was the GM During Saban?

Him and Saban have to be the worst Qb Talent Evaluators in history!!!!

In a 2 yr Stretch they passed on Drew Brees and Rodgers. For what Dontae and Ronnie? The Fins still had Ricky Williams coming off retirement if they wanted. The Dolphins needed a Qb more than a RB in that Draft!!!

or a Safety but if ur getting a Top 10 Safety he better be Elite. It would fit Nice with Coyle if turns out to be any good at playcalling. I really hope this is a Act. And this weeks game gives us a Peek into how our Real Defense Will look like at the start of the season.

Is most of the Starting D playing this Week?

Is Misi still with the 1st Team?

Is Clemons going to stop acting and play all out? Do we have 2 Starting safety's?

Friday's game will be interesting to watch. Even on Philbins behalf. Does everyone know what they are supposed to be doing? Are the Players Disciplined?

Again, Philbin said Game 3 he wants to have most of his Starters in to start the Season. Lets see if he's Honest?

Who starts at Wr's? (Sidebar: Is Flatline even going to play this Preseason? Is he even going to Practice?)


On Defense OLB? Please can we find someone to replace Misi.

And Our Secondary? The Cb's We have 3 of them it doesn't matter who it starts it just matters that they play well. The Fins need to have at least 3 starting Caliber Cb's to compete in today's NFL. They are paying all 3 of them like if they were good players. Would be nice if they Show Up.

The Safety position is probably my biggest concern on defense. We really have no Depth in the secondary. I only see Wilson and n.Carroll working for depth on this team. I know Carroll is a CB.

All those other Safety's are Garbage. Culver, Johnson, Anyone Else. They are slow.

I have no life.

Luck is Luck and everyone knew it. But even Kirk Cousins and Weeden are looking good and could start for many Teams in the NFL.

Ha!, youyou mean.

No need to rush the D, Armando. You should know that by now.

Jeff Fuller will not only make the 53, he might even start.

Keep Moore? Moore's still young and becomes a fa next year. Im pretty sure he'll be signing somewhere where he thinks he has a chance to "compete" for a starter position. In my heart of hearts, I believe Moore's only a 1yr rental this season.

On the other hand, Garrard is an eyelash diameter to being at end of his career. I believe at this stage of his career he maybe "far more" willing to resign as a backup qb at backup pay.

So if we had to dump a qb, Moore would be the most logical choice, because if we dump Garrard its like dumpping :2 qb's" because it's unlikely Moore returns next year once he hits free agency. Overall circustances state Garrard would be nuch easier to be signed as a backup next year.

Plus the $50,000 difference in what Garrard's being paid vs Moore means zilch. Its not like we could take that 50 grand and go out and sign another nfl player with it. Heck, nfl ballboys probably make close to 50 grand a year. I dont think we need anymore ball boys, we already have one in the fo(Ireland).


I was screaming for Curt Cousins this offseason, but many here thought I was nuts. LOL

Next year I belive Moore signs with whatever team out there that's willing to pay at least 6 million a year. For us that's far too much to pay for a "backup qb". We probably resign Garrad as backup qb for about 4-5 million a year max.

What do you think about Pat Devlin, YG?

Armando uses the salary cap to support is flawed argument based on saving $50,000 this year. But we save at least 1.5 to 2 million a year after this season by keeping Garrard over Moore.

At his present age and injury issues, Garrards a very short term solution at best for any team even thinking to sign him as a starter. He would recieve lower lowballed offers than even Matt Moore on the open market. Because Matt Moore at least has "youth" on his side, something father time has already taken from Garrard.


I would keep Garrard, resign him as backup qb next year, then make Devlin 3rd string backup. Resigning Garrad to at least a 3yr backup contract allows Devlin to be ready to be 2nd string backup to Tannehill by the time Garrard's contract is done.

However, this also depends on Devlin's willingness to be resigned 2 yrs from now. Undrafted rookie fa's get 4yr contracts, so after this season, Devling has 2 more left before he has to be resigned.

Charlie Batch is 38yrs old and stil the backup to Roeslisberger. Its not out the question Garrard could become our "Charlie Batch" under Ryan Tannehill.

Fair. Regarding Garrard, it is to be seen in what shape he returns, if ever he wants.


Keep Moore over Garrard just to save $50,000 we cant do anything with anyway? Do you als realize more likely than not Moore would be the most difficult of the two to resign next year?

Where's your real "thinking cap" son? LOL

YG, you lost your brain again. Garrard has a broken knee and back. Moore is 28 and a proven winner, at a minimum a very good backup. We keep Moore. Garrard is done.

Garrard is done.

A CFL or Arena team may want him as a backup.

Philbin said he couldnt even learn the Dolphins


Cutting David or Matt does nothing this year for us. All it would do is disrupt the locker room.

Ross and Ireland are already disrespecting Moore and now they are disrespecting David.

Who hasn't Ireland pizzed off on this team lately?

A smart man would stay put until next year.

PS...are these numbers over or under the cap?

A smart man would put negative signs in front of the numbers if they were over the cap.

If we are over the cap then there is literally no reason to cut Matt or David unless they ask to be cut.

Then again...

A Tea Bagger GM might cut Garrard in order to pay Ryan.

My math was off in the prior posts, Garrad makes $500,000 more than Matt Moore. Still, I believe to resign Garrard over Moore next season, Moore would at least command $1,000,000 more to be resigned because of his "youth" on the open maarket.

You save $500,000 today, but loose more than $1,000,000 a year to resign him tomorrow(next year's free agency).

Hey Ross I can ruin this organization for 100k a year.I have no experience at any level of football and I couldn't possibly do any worse than front office or coaching staff.By dumb luck I can win the division in the next ten years.So how about it?You save cash and I live a dream.

Another thing (many of you will have to close your eyes and squint like Forrest Gump and concentrate really hard to understand this one): Moore is apparently--while perhaps not thrilled--"content enough" to be a backup QB. That would explain is "aloof" or "surfer boy" demeanor. It's understandable. Dude's a millionaire with a respectable career that 99.8% of all American men would want. He's a really good QB. He gets to play plenty, because in the NFL, injuries happen. The backup gets on the field.

My point is, in addition to the fact that he's just plain better and only 28 years old, this is another reason Moore is the better option to keep over Garrard.

I suspect that's why Moore is always not quite picked by the coaches or he's not considered a good practice player. He doesn't put in the "extra" work to be the starter.

I can relate in the my nonathletic, professional world. There are the driven "partners." They are the "starters," and they work 70 hour weeks (on their blackberry), they live, breath, bleed and die the firm and their profession.

Other professionals choose to have a less "successful" professional life--they are the worker bee "associates" or perhaps "junior partners" and they make less money but also work only 50 hours a week and have a life.

Moore is sort of a "purposeful" backup, and he's a very good QB to have as your #2, as we saw last year. He's a "gamer" when it counts, in real games.

Garrard, on the other hand, *wanted* to be the starter really badly, is 35, injured, won't be happy as the backup.

Tanne starts.
Keep Moore as backup.
Then Devlin.
Garrard will retire.

Tim Couch,

How is Moore a prove winner? We were 6-6 under him last season. At best he's a proven "yo-yo"(up-down up-down). He wasnt even a .500 qb at Carolina.

With Matt Moore you have absolutely no idea what youre gtting from game to game, nor year to year. Will it be the .500 qb Moore or the Carolina Panthers Matt Moore? Matt Moore wear "mystery meat" underneath his feet.

He had no training camp. AFter warm up he was 6-3 shoulda been 8-1.

And he was a winner once with his past team too.

Regardless about Moore -- Garrard CAN'T PLAY AT ALL. he's injured.

and 6-6 on last year's Fins that started 0-7 (yeah 3 losses were Moore's) is "proven winning" in my book!!!! could have been much much worse with many or MOST backup or even starting QBs in the league, if they had to play on last year's team, if you know what I mean.

Moore took a team that started 0-7 and finished 6-3 including with an interim coach.

But that's not even the point.

The point is that Moore is still only 28 and stays healthy. He's a competent backup *who doesn't mind being a backup* apparently (see my last long post).

Garrard is 35, injured, a former starter, who WANTs to be the starter. That's an important point.

Moore is a better backup.

I would not be surprised if Garrard privately told Philbin that he doesn't want to stay as a backup.

He says all the right things publicly of course.

But basically Garrard is a washed up former starter.
Moore is a proven backup. That's what he is.

Heard that Jerry was taking snaps with the Ones at RG. Hicks no where to be found. Fuller playing hard and trying to make a name for himself--slowly moving up the roster from a 4 to a 3 with potential to make the cut down to 53. Big Paul laid the smackdown on our 2nd year RB. And, Wake said "Hello, I'm back!" sacking MM. Tanny starting to look a little more comfortable back there with the starters.

That's all I got...and, it's hearsay. So, let me know if you've got something different...


Yes Tim,

He was a winner with Caroline once. But saying the guy is a winner based on 3-4 games is ludicrous at best. He followed that up by awarding the Panthers Cam Newton.

Dont you understand yet? The primary knock on Moore is "CONSISTENCY". He's proving those critics right whereever he goes. T-hill is now named our starting qb because Moore has been "INCONSISTENT" in both preseason games and practice. Do you get it now?


Weren't you the one that was reporting that the owner's didn't get their big increase in the salary cap like they thought they would right after the new CBA was signed? And how certain clubs had spent money expecting it to happen, but it didn't. And, that Miami was one of those who jumped the gun, but got caught holding the bag? Seems like I remember...

And, now you're stirring the pot about the salary cap? C'mon man!

Garrard is injured and washed up. Moore is the team MVP. Nuff Said.

Tim Couch,

Moore tookover a team that was 0-3, he took over in game 4 when Henne went down. So youre giving him a pass on all the rest of those losses?

Moore beat not one .500 team or better last year. We never even beat any of the team as crappy or crappier than us soundly either. Yet, you're so sold on Matt Moore.

Youre now leaving me to wonder how many times have you purchased that same old bridge in New york that's always up for sale? Imso afraid to ask.

Monte is right. YG is wrong.

If it makes all of you "lets keep Moore" people happy. Bill Bellichick would agree we should kep Moore ver Garrard too.

Garrard clearly outplayed Matt Moore, and you guys rather keep Moore over Garrard. You choose the loser and yet b!tch about the team's losing ways.

I just dont get you guys that call yourselves "dolfans". Good thing you dont hate the team because then you would choose Garrard simply because youre as uneducated as youre showing to be right now. The team would flourish if you would only them. LOL

"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."

LMFAO! Where does this statement come from? I've heard it repeated many times. He didn't help us to a 6-3 finish, he helped us to a 6-6 finish. How do those first three games get thrown out when Moore people use this in his defense?

He wasn't ready because he came in late? THE ENTIRE NFL CAME IN LATE! Cam Newton had more success than Moore as a rookie after no ota's or off season. There are plenty of qbs who had better numbers than "No Moore" who had the same amount of time to prepare if not less. Please with this garbage already.

You guys act like its such a HUGE THING that Garrard had to have his knee scoped. Well, it isnt. Some here seem to need thier brains scoped, but refuse to do it. LOL

Send Garrard to the cooler. He fooled this team during months to endup injured with a misterious, last minute injury. Ireland brought this recycled player who, I'm sure, as soon as he gets to the field he will get injured again.
Ireland is the worst GM in the history of this team. I don't understand how does he manage to be around here. His decisions, manners, etc. revolt me.
The Dolphins are always notorious in this league since Parcells infected this team.

The Dolphins are going to be in the top ten to top five next season under the cap. Look at all of the one year deals on the team. They are set up perfect to clear tons of space and make big moves in free agency during the off season.

If the team struggles or more likely, if Ireland's draft picks from the past two years struggle this season then there will be even more fan pressure to fire him. A new GM will come in (lets hope he's not a gm in training but we don't have a lot of options) and have a lot of money to work with not to mention a high draft slot in each round. (once again if the team struggles like everyone expects).

The team is set up to make some big moves next year, hopefully Ireland won't be the one making the decisions.

Thats the key Phins78, if Ireland still here were screwed.

"Moore is 28 and a proven winner,"

Okay not trying to be a d**k but really? Moore is a proven winner? Where and when has he proven he can win?


They also excuse the FACT that Moore beat not any team with a .500 win-loss recod or more. Also, all 6 of Moore's wins could have gone either way. They could just as easily have been 6 losses.

Even the only 3 losses Moore people are willing to give him credit for. 2 of those losses were to teams crappier or s crappy as us. Heck he Brady on the ropes, then in unisom, he couldnt score another point and the defense couldnt stop the Pats from scoring. He was a key part of that late season avalanche loss.

March cool,

Garrard lied about his knee? Prove it, Imsure no one else can. He sat out of football for an entire year. Stuff floating around in your knee doesnt show up or cause pain when your lifestyle is inactive.

The pain/swelling probably never reared its ugly head until the extended rigors on the knee taking reps in camp. If Garrard had "lied", as you say, dont you hin the tea would have cut him by now just for that alone?

Geesh, th stuff some of you snatch from your asss here and post as fact is unbelievable! LOL

Tim no one had a training camp and rookie QBs outperformed Moore all over the league.

I don't know, I'm giving up on this point. I have no clue what people see in Moore. The guy is a decent back up at best. He withered when playing playoff teams. He's terribly inconsistent, he throws one of the worst balls in the league, he is a fumble machine, and his footwork is atrocious. These are ALL facts. Another fact, HE'S BEING OUTPLAYED BY A QB WHO STARTED 19 GAMES IN COLLEGE!

Moore people like to sight his 6-3 record, ignoring the first three stinkers he "performed" in. They also use his 12th best qb 'whos thrown for this but only has this many things,blah blah blah.

Okay 12th best in the league? THAT'S STILL MEDIOCRE MIDDLE OF THE PACK! LOL

I'm with ya YG, I just don't get it. I'm going to stop trying to understand the rationale here. :)

Guys do a little research. This isn't a mysterious injury. Garrard was playing with his son in the pool and he planted his foot to turn and felt a crunch. His knee swelled up right after that. There is no mystery, his knee was hurt playing in the pool with his son.

If Russell Wilson starts for the Seahawks this season I would be more than eccststic....because that would mean Miami made the right move in not signing Matt Flynn (which may have in turn eliminated Tannehill from our draft board). Actually, the fact that there is even a debate in Seattle means Flynn was nothing more than a one-game wonder

The Jags chose Henne over Garrard as a backup. And an injured 35 yr old is no part of a rebuild anyway.

Okay guys, I tried to find a story about it so I could post for you but no one knows how it happened. The way I heard about it was on Hard Knocks. The trainer comes in to talk to Philbin and tells him the whole story about the pool thing. I think Mando might have reported on it as well.

It was loose bodies in there that were aggravated by the twisting which is what caused the swelling. They cleared room so that it won't happen again from a simple turn of the leg.

Miami D20 I never root for people to fail or get hurt but I agree. It will show us that Philbin really does know how to evaluate his qbs. He was with the kid and didn't think he was worth signing. If he can't start over a rookie then Philbin is the man for knowing what was what. But the media and especially espn who crucified the Dolphins for not signing him will have nothing to say. They will never admit they were wrong.

And did you hear about Dez? 6 to 8 weeks out, injured again. And on the back side of punching his Mother. (bwaaahahahahahaha)

The Jags chose Henne over Garrard as a backup. And an injured 35 yr old is no part of a rebuild anyway.

Ummmmmm Garrard wasn't with the Jags when they signed Henne. He had been cut the year before in preseason. They didn't choose Garrard because they had already moved on. Garrard never would have went back even if they did want to talk to him. The team promised him the starting job after his pro bowl season and pro bowl appearance. Then they went out and drafted Gabbert. They lied to him and then they cut him. He HATES JAX and so does his wife. They were bad mouthing them on Hard Knocks.

Philbin wanted Flynn to be his QB. Ross was too cheap to pay Flynn. After meeting with Flynn several times Philbin said....and I quote " I have no idea why Matt chose Seattle over Miami."

Phins 78, Garrard would've signed with the Jaquars in a heartbeat.....if they wanted him.

Philbin didnt want Flynn, but he met with him 3 times? PUUUULLLLEEEAAASSE!!

News flash!!

Seattle can have Matt Flynn!!

Oh, one more thing Tanny is better than RG3!!

Ross lied when he said HE didnt want Flynn. Ross didnt want to PAY Flynn fairly.

Philbin wanted Flynn to be his QB. Ross was too cheap to pay Flynn. After meeting with Flynn several times Philbin said....and I quote " I have no idea why Matt chose Seattle over Miami."

Posted by: Burger 305 | August 21, 2012 at 06:07 PM

The bloggers here get dumber by the minute. Flynn = 7th round noodle arm. Tannehill is 5 times better than Flynn already. Bigger, faster, better arm, more accurate. FLynn hasn't even won the job yet over two qb's worse than Moore and Garrard.

Some kid is starting over Matt Flynn, I'm told.

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