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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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Guys, how happy is Brandon Marshall to be off this trainwreck team? LOL

Matt Flynn=Another overpaid Kevin Kolb

Oh and by the way, flynn lovers would probably NOT like to know that he could also be replaced by a 3RD ROUND qb in russel wilson...Please stop thinking that this guy was anything other than a management system type QB, its rather insulting and in no way should miami ever look back at not Paying this man....NEXT!!!!

Garrard was a cap cut after drafting Gabbert because of the back injury. Garrard was unable to pass a physical. WTH else were they supposed to do. Once you start your rookie qb, you dont all of sudden sit them. Plus at that point Garrard was making too much to be a backup qb.

Guaranteed, if we cut Garrard, he'll be signed elsewhere as a backup immediately. That's because most nfl gm's really are smarter than most dolfans.


That kid is QB Wilson from Wisconsin. He was a oretty good player in college and they say if he didn't have the "Brees Disease" aka a little short, that he would have gone much higher in the draft.

The fact that Wilson is starting over Flynn speaks volumes about the correct call our front office made ONLY wanting Flynn at a certain price. When Flynn balked, they moved on. Miami comes out ahead in the scenario imho.


I always said Flynn could be the 2nd coming of that Philly qb we signed. Dolfans will base success on anything but the right thing. Even alter the truth to make it fit thier foolish perceptions.

How dont even understand how some of these dolfans pull thier shirts over thier heads without hanging themselves. That this hasnt happened to you yet, proves there must be a loning God in heaven. Especially one that looks out for fools.

Hey Parcells - please go and ruin another team and leave mine alone. This team should have all kinds of cap space!?!? Who are they paying? The next guy that makes a big play...he'll be the first one to make a big play since he signed his contract. At least we have Tannehill to look forward too - although as Dolphin fans we are braced for the worst. I guess I would rather root for a team with no talent to overacheive than root for a team like Philly or Dallas with have all the talent and never produce.

who cares...Garrard will not start a game for miami this year(Barring injury) regardless, they made their choice and it doesnt matter who's expendable at this point as a backup, Garrard or Moore can both fill the role just fine but it might be easier to just cut their losses with garrard since he hasnt played a game yet...This team will not be any better despite who's under center only that it will increase tannys time and experience on the field...

Look at all the rookie qb's that have started over the last 5 years. Tannehill has shown he belongs in that group. No way he gets pulled unless its an injury, I expect to see steady progress between the rookie gaffs.

Good to see that the Patsies make mistakes too! Although not at QB where again Mallet looked every bit his draft status and more. Still bummed JI overpaid for RB Daniel Thomas with a 3 for 1 trade!!

The Patriots cut a DT they picked up from Cincy and signed him to a contract that gave him 3.85 MILLION! LOL, take that Belly-Chuck!

With Albert Haynesworthless, Chad "Mums the Word" Johnson and now Fanene "Taking Kraft $$ all Day Day" the Pats make terrible player aquisitions as well...Brady just hides a ton of their mistakes with stellar QB play.


It seems to be a lesson very few have learned yet. You don't sign backups QB's from either NE or GB, Rob.

Neither from Philly, it seems.

I dont care about the patsies and their mistakes, every team f#cks up something or overpay and take chances on risky type players. the difference is that they can overcome them becuase overall, they have the talent to make mistakes go away and become forgettable. Unfortunately miami's made too many that are impossible to become forgettable to notice and thats why irefiend and ross look like @ssholes!!!

Crazy to see that there are no less than 5 brand new rookie QBs starting this year in the NFL!!...

Luck Indy
Weedon Cleveland
Tannyhill US
Wilson Seattle

Second year starter QBs as well...

Locker Tenn
Ponder Minn
Gabbert Jags
Newton Panthers
Dalton Cincy

Seems like a definite changing of the guard movement in the NFL! It won't be too much longer and Brady will have Father Time tap him on the shoulder.



From that, it can be gathered that the great QB Coaches somehow "hide" the faults of backup QB's, then trade them.

Reid rules in handling qb's, every one of them look like gold while under him and look like mud once traded to other teams.

Ross and I'm sure even Philbin knew Flynn wasn't the answer, which is why they didn't pay him the money Flynn thought he deserved. And Philbin helped groom the guy for 3-4 seasons, if anything Philbin knew best. Philbin already has Matt Flynn, his name is Matt Moore. Why pay the guy starter money. Philbin probably didn't want to disrespect him so they lowballed the offer hoping he'd go somewhere else; im glad he did. No need for him here, and it's evident when a QB under 6 feet, picked in the third round, without too great of an arm, is taking 1st team reps away. Good call by Philbin and yes even Ireland and Ross on that one, gotta give credit where credit is due.



Phin, I'm not rooting for Flynn's failure, per say, I agree that it's pretty immature to root for a guy to fail (unless they're a Patriot, or Jest :p) I'm rooting for the fact that the dolphins made the right decision.

Reid rules in handling qb's, every one of them look like gold while under him and look like mud once traded to other teams.

Posted by: Lance | August 21, 2012 at 06:51 PM

It also helps IN great fact to have GMS that know that building talent around a QB helps out greatly too, as in GB, NE, and PHilly..dont go given too much credit to the head coach there...just sayin!!!

So, you getting ready for tonight? Prepare the hard drinks, as Ben likes to say.

Tanne is a first round franchise QB.
Franchise QBs are not held back by a lack of personal competence or a lack of skill around them.
Franchise QBs raise the level of those around them, that is why they are franchise QBs: Rivers, Ryan, Romo, Schaub, Cutler, Stafford, Flacco, Flynn etc.
All repeat SB winers.

Bottoms Up!

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Miami Dolphins are “low-balling” free agent quarterback Matt Flynn in contract negotiations. The Dolphins’ thinking is apparently that Flynn wants so badly to play for head coach Joe Philbin, his offensive coordinator in Green Bay, that Flynn might be willing to settle for significantly less than market value.

The blog sure flows quite enjoyably without odinfreak polluting the place up.

How's that again, Cadillac Williams? You might mean Mannings, BenR, Rodgers, Brees maybe......

John Beck and Chad Henne were franchise QB's too!!

Franchise QBS*lol*..Romo,Flynn, and the jury is still very much out on Flacco being the long term answer for Baltimore...why dont you just add sancheese to the mix too while your at it*lmao*...and cutler has yet to reach the playoffs and stay healthy at the same time!!!

Me no saw it. Never. Suc-ed dic-. Big one.

I didn't see Mallet yesterday. I'm curious how he looked compared to Tannehill. I'm not in the best position to judge but based on what I do know I'd rather have Tannehill just because he is so much better on his feet and he may be much more versatile.

Now, really, Clarence!

I've been in this blog for 10 minutes, first time here, and all I hear are excuses.
Other teams don't make excuses.
Look at Jags:
They want a new head coach: they call the OC of the Falcons, offer him the job, he takes it. The whole thing took 36 hours. Not 4 months.
They wanted to upgrade thier recieving corps: Boom. They signed Laurent Robinson and drafted justin Blackmon. They didn't make excuses. Every FA they bought in that was offered a contract signed right away.
They wanted to upgrade the QB: Boom. 3 hours into FA they sign Henne $3.5mil/yr the same deal Flynn got and they release Cade McCown.
No excuses.
No visits with multipleFAs that turn them down.
C'mon guys get on board.

Ryan Leaf was a franchise QB IN PRESEASON

I believe Cadillac is fuc-ed up.

They wanted to upgrade the QB: Boom. 3 hours into FA they sign Henne $3.5mil/yr the same deal Flynn got and they release Cade McCown.

Damn son, you almost made me believe your logic there for a sec and then you gone and fuc$ed up by calling Chad Henne an UPGRADE....

There's a new sheriff in town.
There's anew franchise QB in the NFL: Ryan Tannehill aka Tanne.
Tanne's not making excuses.
Tanne's not blaming Jeff Ireland because he has a miserable life.
Tanne's is not living paycheck to paycheck, trying to steal electricity from the base of a utility pole.

Now you guys cut the b ulls hit and get with the program.

Bottoms Up!

I have no life.

Tannehill has looked awful so far.

reports have Robinson suffering from hamstrings early in camp and not exactly lighting it up either and as far as blackmon is concerned, he could turn into dez bryant both on and off the field...not sure that would be good PR for a team already tring to rebuild..just sayin!!!

This is the program.
Right here.
Right now.
Stop talking about Jeff ireland and The Tuna and Stephen Ross and Fasano and Misi.
Tanne is the man.
The new sheriff.
Forget the past full steam ahead.

Bottoms Up!


And on a side note, Sanchez continues to light it up for NY. Dont you just wish miami had that kind of face for their franchize!

Tannehill = Mr 3 n out = another Ireland bust = Chad Henne 2.0

I'll tell you guys what I saw Tanne take command of a huddle.
I saw Tanne changing plays and formations like a franchise QB.
I saw frozen ropes hitting covered receivers between the numbers.
When the defense couldn't make a stop I saw Tanne put himself in on D to force a punt and then march the team down the field.
Now stop the negativity.
Or I'll have to stop by with my 24s.

Bottoms Up!

Jurys out on tanny but I like his upside and unlike most here who knows nothing about the pros and cons of being a rookie QB (NYFIN), He can certianly excell given the right talent around him!!!

Im in the program Cadillac, just NOT all in on our roster Moves!!!

Now, what would you do if you had a commando knife strapped to your throat? Cry for mercy, stay still and ask who this is, sh-t, pee, other. I know what I would do.

My Nigga

Bottoms Up!

When I know whats true about this team and everything Miami Dolphins football


Tanne put himself on D? I didn't know he was THAT versatile.

He might just be. Who knows with these kids nowadays?

I do believe thet put GH in those frozen patties, you know, at McDonalds and Burger King and maybe Wendys.

Hey, since were playing the blame game, can I blame tanny for having one sack on fridays game too and little to no pressure all night on defense

Oh, and egpeewyou's drop over the middle and fasanos inability to cath a short pass over 5 yrds deep...

Hell, and I absolutely believe its all tannys fualt that our run game can only muster 3.1 yrds a carry all night...LoL, CAN I PLEASE BLAME HIM FOR THAT TOO!!!

...Hmmnn made these exact point a few days ago..I suppose when you are making them to SMF..The posts lose credibility..Fair.

My younger son, besides having a long pre-adolescent dic-, has an IQ of 130(tested when he was hyperactive and having had to be redirected to his task). So, who knows with these young Stallions? An American-Cuban Stallion.

I would like to blame tanny for some of the absolute retards that were allowed to have opinions on this blog.

NFL live just talked about Matt Flynn. They all sat there and said it was a bad move by Carroll.

Russell Wilson the teams 3rd round rokkie draft pick has outperformed Flynn in every practice and every game. Flynn has yet to throw a td in preseason. His completion percentage is horrible and he's only averaging 4.2 yards per throw.

Russell Wilson is starting this weekend for the Seahawks. He learned the Wisconsin offense in two weeks after transferring from NC. He was named captain by his teammates before he even played in one game. It's a good bet to figure him in as the starter for the regular season. Unless the front office does something incredibly stupid and starts the worse QB to save face.

Chris Carter and crew went on and on about how Philbin not taking Flynn was a huge red flag and this is the second one. They said Philbin knew something others didn't.

They low balled him because he wasn't worth the money the Seahawks threw at him. This was the smartest thing the Dolphins have done in a decade. If you think otherwise you are either a fan of another team in here to start trouble or you most likely don't follow football enough to know what you're talking about. Thank you and have a nice night.

I could care less what NFL live thinks of flynn and seattles QB situation Phins...
Miami was right even before they formed their BIASED opinion on him and philbin..
And Carter also said that cutting chad Stinko was a horrible move that miami would regret this year...so take that mans opinion with a grain of salt like most experts that talk too much...

Bottom line is we will be happier in the long run flynn is not here....

..Rob in Oc...What UP!!!

So I know that usually the 3rd preseason game is the only real "dress rehearsal" for the regular season. Russell Wilson be named starter for that game normally would mean he is going to start the season(he indeed may)..The issue is, and living up here it is all Seahawks, all Broncos..A living hell. Anyway. Pete Carrol marches to the beat of his own drummer. Don't be suprised if Flynn starts the season, and I'll tell you why.

This isn't an opinion, but borrowed(much like Armando likes to do) from a local reporter. Carrol needs to see if Wilson can compete against the 1's(something we saw last week) Since this is the only game where defenses actually gameplan. Naturally testing Wilson this week is an easy choice(because he has played well in the 2 preseason games) Flynn hasn't been awful, he hasn't been outstanding. Wilson has just done everything he can to make a competition at the position. Add into account the way Carrol runs the practices..where even Tavaris Jackson who started the first game is sharing first team snaps..It has become difficult, next to impossible to get these quarterbacks into a rythm.. He also said don't be suprised if Josh Portis starts week 4..

Since I am close to the source, and have to hear it all the time from Seahawk fans..Most believe Flynn will end up starting the season. Most think Carrol did miscalculate Flynns ability in his teams system(we will never know if Flynn would have succeded here..Easy to say we did the right thing as the Seahaawks at least have some decent offensive personel...Better the ours anyway) We will see. I was against Tannehill pre draft..Excited to have him now. Hopefully it works out in our favor.

in tight,hilarious

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.

Posted by: AndyNJ | August 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Andy, you don't have to defend Wake. Don't "Fall for it" Somebody is trolling.

Nate Solder was a highly recruited 4 year starter that made all the All American/All Conference teams. Was expected to be a High 1st round pick and was. He played great at Right Tackle, as expected. And ultimately, Bellichest and planned is starting him at Left Tackle this year.

Wake on the other hand re-wrote the Canadian Record Books. Tore it up so bad, at leasy 13 NFL teams were in line trying to sign him.

He transitioned to OLB no problem and racked up double digit sack totals. Even as teams started game planning and doubling him, he still produced at a high-HIGH level.

Ultimately being rated as the top OLB in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. That's DESPITE the FACT that he's not REALLY even an OLB!

There's alot of things to critique and cry about with this team. Wake isn't one of them and he needs No Defending.

By a Vowel, get aClue!

He's so stoopid. If he would just come clean and post with us under one name.....

Posted by: Coalition To Get Coalition Out Of The Closet | August 19, 2012 at 03:42 AM

And so why don't you do the same?

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