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The cost and savings of cutting some players

On Dec. 29 I shared with you a rundown of the Dolphins 2013 cap situation.. That post explained how the Dolphins have tons of cap room this year by showing you the cap number for every Dolphins player under contract plus some dead money and other machinations.

When all was said and done, we came to the conclusion the Dolphins could have as much as $46 million in cap space in 2013 if they carry over $5 million that went unused this year, which most teams do anyway. The updated number now is $46,066,759, again assuming the Dolphins carry over their space from this season. The number will vary but you can give or take $2 million to be safe.

It was a highly popular post but it also opened the flood gates to more questions on other cap issues, and the most frequently asked of those was, "What players are likely to get cut to save cap room?"

My answer is I do not know. Look, when I know, I tell you. When I know, I write it hard.

When I don't know, I tell you that also. I have no hard information which player, if any, the Dolphins might cut for cap purposes this year. But I can show you the candidates and the ramifications.

That means I can tell you the potential cap savings and dead money whacking certain players would create.

I'm not picking these names out of a hat. I'm telling you the guys that are even remote candidates for this exercise. Doesn't mean they will get cut. But obviously, the team studies this situation. Now, you can also:

Player                   Cap cost    Cap savings     Dead money

Karlos Dansby       $8.575M      $3.925M         $4.65M

Paul Soliai             $7.875M     $6.3M             $1.575M

Richard Marshall    $5.766M     $5.35M           $2.33M

Kevin Burnett       $5.7M         $3.2M              $2.5M

Richie Incognito    $5.38M       $4.3M              $1.08M

Dimitri Patterson  $4.6M          $4.6M             $0

Davone Bess          $3.43M        $2.68M           $750K

Dan Carpenter       $3.012M      $2.7M             $312,500

Michael Egnew      $652,239      $210,522        $441,717

Nolan Carroll        $622,939      $575,000         $47,939

Remember that dead money is a cost that remains on the team's books after a player to which the team was invested is cut or traded. The Dolphins, for exampled, don't have Vontae Davis on the roster anymore. But he's still costing them $1.1 million in dead money on their salary cap.

If cutting or trading a player leaves a lot of dead money on the books, the move is less likely.

Obviously the list above does not include every player under contact. But let's face it, every player should not be here because some simply do not make any sense whatever to consider for cutting or salary cuts.

Cameron Wake is not here, for example.

Even some of the players on the list above are a stretch to even look at. Let's face it, the Dolphins will not cut Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett and neither is going to take a paycut because they could find work elsewhere pretty quickly.

But some players on here should be wary of what's going to happen this offseason and even into training camp.

Patterson, for example, will never see $4.6 million in cap cost from the Dolphins next year. He played well in exactly one game before getting injured. That doesn't earn you that kind of money the following year. And the fact cutting his pay or simply whacking him would cost the team zero in dead money means this is glowing in neon to happen.

Richard Marshall should be worried, too. He's coming off back surgery. The club will probably take him to training camp as long as he heals as scheduled and shows that he can return to being a contributor in 2013. But if he doesn't show bigtime in training camp and the Dolphins have other options, Marshall should be looking around corners. In fact, he should be monitoring what Miami does in the draft in free agency at the cornerback spot because he's not guaranteed anything at this point. Yes, that would be a lot of dead money spent on him. But the savings might be worth it to the team.

Same with Dan Carpenter. He's in the final year of his contract. He is coming off a season in which he missed pressure kicks that might have won two games. And then he couldn't finish out the season.

The Dolphins have not brought a kicker to camp to compete with Carpenter in years. I believe they will do that next training camp. Just in case. 

And if Carpenter loses the battle, the club saves $2.7 million.

 

 

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