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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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I see you brought up Keller too. I couldn't agree more. He's a Dolphins killer and a very good passing threat. He's a good player with a little injury history but still very effective.

Kris, I believe in today's NFL the GM and HC work together -not like in the old days where some worked in a vacuum. Most GMs today integrate well with the coaching staffs to produce acquisitions. So, to me, Ireland can't be penalized for some of the acquisitions, especially for the "Parcell's players" and many of which were "Sparano's players." I'm not giving Jeff a pass, just wanting to give him more time and benefit of the doubt in trying to find "Philbin's players."

Yeah, lets cut players and rely on Irescum to replace them! HAHA

Posted by: Nat Moore | January 18, 2013 at 09:46 AM

. Hey, Irescum replaced Da Beast with Eggnew. LMAO!

JPAO, agreed. I don't like zone coverage (at least with this group). They either need to match the personnel to the system or change the system to fit the personnel.

But Smith and zone coverage do not go well together.

So, keep Smith, go man-to-man, and that should work for the time being.

Mark Toronto,

Agree Kruger could be tagged but Baltimore is so up against the cap I wonder can they afford it? I know the Jets can't afford to tag Keller. Kruger's tag would be $10 M. Not chump change. But you're probably right.

Mandos article gets me wondering about Jake Long as well. Last year I was a big advocate for keeping him but now he's had 2 injury shortened seasons.

Will he ever be back to even 85% of his old self? What will his market value be??

Could we get Clady, Vollmer, or Albert for the same price or a few million more than we would have to pay Long?

Its looking like either one of those would be an upgrade.

DC, I feel you. I'm not happy with the way things have been going for the Dolphins for over 15 years. But I like the things Ross, Philbin and Ireland have been saying and the change of the team over the past year. It is decidedly different from past years and gives me hope.

JPAO, could be they were playing zone so much because they other CBs just stunk after marshall went down - I don't really know. As far as him being the most picked on - I'm not sure how could that be since It seemed like Carroll and the merry bunch of ragtags were always either getting penalized or giving stuff up. Not saying Smith is top 5 by any stretch but he's pretty good in minimizing big wideouts. But you're right to have a guy with his assets always in zone, doesn't make much sense because those aren't hsi strengths - he's more of a mauler in coverage - like the guys in Seattle - just without their ball skills.

Mark Toronto,

I think a lot of the zone play had to do with a team concept rather then a preference. I agree the DBs had to play bend, sometimes just give it up but dont break. I like bump and run corners personally over zone guys myself but the talent is just not there.

In short Sean Smith isn't great but he's good. I mean the term shut down corner is a joke. Everyone gets beat in the new pass happy NFL so a guy who allows around 50 percent of passes his way is actually doing his job. I just wish for all his athleticism he had a few more plays (ints)

Andy, since pass rushers are in such demand, i would expect Ozzie to find some way to keep him - even if it means cutting other players to do it. But who knows. If a talent like him manages to find a way into the market then you do your best to get him.

Keller and the Jets - that's such a mess that I wouldn't be surprised if he finds his way into the market. What a stupid move to extend Sanchez - oh well - couldn't happen to a better team.


I see where you're coming from....Sporano is my Achiles heel....he turned out to be a pain in the jets @ss as well...loved it.....

I agree....Sporano was horrible...but I just can't see ANYBODY taking him seriously when it comes to picking players....not Parcells...not Ireland...not Rex Ryan....and not the recently fired jets GM....I do believe that Parcells could lean a bit of the TUNA weight on Ireland...but to think that Ireland listening to Sporano on possible players....I say heck NO.....

Look how fast Ireland tried to replace Sporano....

SO I would say Sporano had little to NO influence over Sporano when it came to personnel decision....

Andy, i feel the same about Smith - for all the things he does well, you just wish that he had better balls skills especially since he used to be a wideout - man - he must have stunk at that!!

But I just think for him - it is what it is and the player is still a pretty good one that merits a healthy contract.

Kris I would say for the most part yes on Sparano except for one guy - John Jerry.... Sparano was almost whacking off to this guy the week he coached the senior bowl. I mean he was going on record leading up to the actual senior bowl about how much he loved him. he also loved Odrick ... but that could've been mutual between him and Ireland.

Mark Toronto,

Yeah more wishful thinking on my part then anything with Kruger lol. As far as Keller he's a Dolphin harpoon lol, he kills us. I would love to get a TE that can stretch the field like him.

As far as Smith goes year imagine him at Wideout. Probably the reason the switch was made. But his thing is and has been the game is never slowed down for him other then early this year when he was playing well vs AJ Green and Fitz and others but once the guys started dropping like flys the zone really killed him and it became lazy, guessing game, bad tackling Sean Smith again. I think the zone and his comfort level went hand and hand.

BTW shout out to whoever pointed out the switch to zone hurting him in previous post. not sure if it was you, DC or JPAO or another.

Wasn't me - believe it was JPAo on the ball again ..

And you're right about Keller - he's almost a perfect fit and would free up one of those top draft picks we have. Here's to wishful thinking ...

Sorry guys had to step away for a second. Sean Smith, he is a hard guy to peg. I feel we really can not give him big money because he hasn't exactly been a difference maker, but has been solid most games in coverage 1 on 1. But to lose him and have to fill another spot would suck!

Yeah Poizen, for as frustrating as he can be, he would be a hard guy to replace. Darned if you do ...

and people dont want to pay Bush 5 million when we got cb's galore making more then him and riding the IR

Who doesn't want to pay Bush $5M? I think he gets $6M

Dansby stays for now unless a trade is in the works. That's the only way his dead money would be palatable. Patterson will re-negotiate or get cut. Marshall isn't going anywhere he's technically our best corner if Smith walks. No one to take Incognito's place so he stays. Soliai is not leaving. The rest don't provide the kind of savings you dump salaries for, they'll get cut only for roster space reasons or performance (Carpenter).

I hope to God we draft a decent ILB and OLB. We have a ton of cap space in our current line backing core and I wouldn't call any of them dominate at their position.

Corners I'm happy to re-up Bush at 5 Million, but I think he will want more based on his yardage and TD totals the last two years. Once you get into 7-9 million/year I think you pay that for a 3 down back which he is not. No back should make that if you need to platoon your backs to be successful running the ball IMO.

Don't get me wrong I was chanting "Reggie Reggie!!!" with everyone else when he went off this season, I think he's an electric runner. However running back seems to be a position that has a short shelf life and can be addressed successfully in any round of the draft. Secondly we have Miller who is bigger and has a similar running style. 5-6 million maximum and 3 years tops.

Bigtime football programs like Notre Dame and Penn State and their ignorant male jocks are pure, unmitigated garbage I'll tell you what.

T. Newman (CB CIN) 34 years old, 5-10, 192 LBS, 10 Yr Vet of the NFl out of Kansas State.

I know he is older. He did play for Coyle in Cincy.

As a free agent who just put up solid number in 2012:

53 Tackles, 22 Assisted Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble and 2 Ints.

He is alot better than almost every CB on the Fin's roster.

I'd sign him to a 1-2 year deal.

A 35 y.o. CB - not too crazy about that. I'd rather pay Smith .. but I'd take him over the plugs we had playing on the other side ...

I still think the biggest issue the Dolphins face in Free Agency is WR. I really think they need a proven veteran to go into the draft with as their #1WR. That would give them so much more stability and capabilty on offense and give them clarity entering the draft (i.e. focus rounds 1-2 on DE and CB's).

So who is best and who do the Fins pursue (even 'over pay for') to create this position entering the draft?

Player YR Games Rec YDS AVG TD

12 13 59 801 13.6 3
11 16 81 1159 14.3 5
10 16 72 1162 16.1 15

12 16 74 1083 14.6 1
11 16 35 549 15.7 1
10 12 43 615 14.3 1

Jennings12 5 36 366 10.2 4
11 13 67 949 14.2 9
10 16 76 1265 16.6 12
Wallace 12 15 64 836 13.1 8
11 16 72 1193 16.6 8
10 16 60 1257 21.0 10

Bowe = 28 yrs old, 6-2, 221
Hartline = 26 yrs old, 6-2, 199
Jennings = 29 yrs old, 5-11, 198
Wallace = 26 yrs old, 6-0, 199

Based on the past three years, age and size...I prioritize these 4 free agents i this order. I want WR's who score TD's and get chunk yards.

Wallace, Bowe, Hartline, Jennings

Why guys are talking Keller, Kruger as possible Te's here is beyond me. Especially when we have a legit chance to grab Eiffert or Ertz in the draft.

I would be highly disappointed if we didnt get at least one of them.

I think Patterson and Marshall stay. Patterson at a cheaper price and Marshall if healthly is a good option at #2 or even nickel. Also depends on if Smith stays or not. Maybe even Carroll because of his price and though he isn't great he did improve under Coyle. Good Depth at 4/5 if nothing else.

Also forget who mentioned it but getting a FA T is a good idea. Since it will cost the same or less than Long and there are questions about him. If that option exist I would take it.

Bruce Arians gets his shot....

He is the new HC of the AZ Cardinals....


I mentioned going after Brendan Albert(LT) and Andy Levitre(OG). Im in love with the idea of adding 2 "young vets" to oline. Both are going into thier 6th season.

Much rather do this than draft RooKs right now. T^his gives a much more solid "playoff calibre oline for 2013.

Yea, I would take reggie back at 6 million, no problems there. You don't think he is looking for more than that though?

Ireland has worn the hat of GM for 5 years ...Ireland has been the GM of the Miami Dolphins for 5 years....

believe what you want about Parcells this...and Parcells that....

but to DENY that Ireland IS/WAS the GM of the teams since Parcells hired him is to be woefully....and (I guess) blissfully ignorant of the facts....


It's amazing...

Of course everything that went wrong with the Dolphins rebuild at first could be placed at the feet of Parcells.

After Parcells was gone, it was Sporano.

After Sporano got tossed, Philbin and Sherman obviously had to be totally on board with any bad decisions by GM Ireland....

The latest to crop up is you gotta put some of the blame on the scouts.

If Irelands Republic Army hasn't put this out there, I will...There is only so much a skilled GM can overcome, no?

Signing Albert and Levitre should still gives about $20 millionish to resign a couple of our own fa's. Probably Smith and Hartline.

But some cuts as listed in this blog can create a little more cap money. I figure there will be some cuts on this list creating at least $5million more in "wiggle room".

YG, I can see that. They do have the money. I still wouldn't pass on Warmack if he is there. Though I doubt he will still be around. I wouldn't be suprised if one of the seconds or thirds goes for an OL. The mock drafts I am looking at are all over the place.


Reggie has convinced everyone he's "elctric". Im just not sure he's convinced the rest of the nfl he's an every down rb. Dances too much looking for the homerun every play.

Therefore, like you say, I see his top between $5-$6million whether it's with us or anyone else. He'll see rb carries, just not exclusively. He seems born to use in any number of ways as an explosive weapon.

Some interesting names in OT free agency,
Beyond Vollmer, Albert, and Baker ... under the radar names in
Bryant McKinnie (who's been fantastic in the playoffs and a good short term solution if you keep his weight eblow 400lbs), jeremy Trueblood, and Will Beatty. Winston Justice also out there ... Phil Loadholt, Andre Smith, jermaine Bushrod. One of these guys or jake Long, or a top two round pick is a Dolphin next year ... or else Tannehill will be squashed.


The part I dont like about going after Warmack is it will take a 1st rd pick. We've hurt at TE for the past 5yrs. Thats why I rather take Eiffert or Ertz 1st rd to make sure we get at least one of them.

I believe we can trade back, pick up an extra 2nd and still get Ertz or Eiffert. The Pats have shown the value of a great TE(Gronk).

I like rooks starting on the O-line more than rooks starting at wideout or defense. But I think you add them 1-2 at a time and you need a veteran anchor. Pouncey can be that anchor. The position is pretty much the same as they have always played, trench warfare, and if they come from a zone scheme but are athletic enough to play any scheme all the better. Free agent o-linemen will cost us, those guys get paid. That's why you need to keep drafting them, otherwise you pay too much into the oline.

That 46 million could go up to 50 with cuts and contract re-negotiations. It'll dry up fast if we are going after free agents. Wallace and Jennings will get paid and possibly in the Vincent Jackson range of 11+ Million. Add Bush and Hartline and keeping money for our draft class and it'll dry up fast.

I do like your picks though, but I doubt they go affordable.

Poizen, I don't know if anyone will give him more than that.... I mean how many 28 year old running backs sign for that much money. I think $18M give or take over three years is plenty fair. For what he is underpaid this year, he will make up for near the end of his deal when he isn't quite what he was. I don't know ... we will see I guess but I'd be surprised if he gets more.

Not sure why you bothered to put Soliai on that list. If that happened--combined with the fact that Starks is a FA--then you can forget about having any success stopping the run.

Soliai may not be an ELITE DT like Justin Smith or Vince Wilfork or Geno Atkins but he's still a very valuable player at a valuable position. With Starks disappearing in the 2nd half of the season, I'd actually rank him as our 3rd best defensive player behind Wake & Reshad Jones.




Devery henderson as a possible FA wr???

YG4E I think Bush will get a big payday. He's by far the best RB in free agency this year.

No one's talking about the Honey Badger. Need to take a flyer on this guy, I'm telling you. Some team is going to get a very good player at a reduced cost (since it's doubtful he's a 1st-rd pick, even though he's 1st-rd talent).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, he missed a year. So? Give him 1 year to get back into the swing of things and you've now got a dynamic player. If he's around in the 2nd, I'm telling you, I'd grab him.

Russell Wilson is so damn sexy AHWWW !! The Seahawks have 2 playoff wins under P.Carroll and will be my S.B.48 favorite to win it next year !! Miami is a damn joke as long as J.Ireland is the face of the organization what a group of clowns The Miami Dolphins have become very very pathetic !!

IMO, Soliai is an "ELITE" calibre NT/DT. He's definitely a top 5. What separates Soliai from say, the top 3, is he isnt as effective rushing the passer.

Soliai is definitely the reason this run defense has finished do high the last few seasons. If you dont think Solliai is "ELITE", I challenge you to put on the pads and get in front of him. LOL...

Posted by: Duck Dynasty | January 18, 2013 at 09:55 AM

THe Egnew pick wasnt with what we traded Marshall for.. Dee Da Dee

INteresting corners too, Mike jenkins, Antoine Cason (who I really like), Quentin jammer, Sheldon Brown.

Matthieu seems to not have his head straight. Repeat offender and a guy not committed to his athletic career. Pass.

Andy, i feel the same about Smith - for all the things he does well, you just wish that he had better balls skills especially since he used to be a wideout - man - he must have stunk at that!!

But I just think for him - it is what it is and the player is still a pretty good one that merits a healthy contract.


A healthy contract??? For what??? For being consistently inconsistent or for not being physical enough or for not forcing enough turnovers??? F#ck him. He's not worth more than what he's making right now.

On good teams he's not even a starter. Say what you want but the truth is that Seattle has two 2nd year CB's who are MUCH better than Smith. If the Seahwaks can find two CB's in one draft that are both better than Smith it just proves that Ireland & his scouts don't know what the f#ck they are doing. Great job by our scouts Nolan Carroll & Jimmy Wilson.

DC, if you want Mathieu in the 2nd - he will be there - doubt anyone takes him though he could be a solution to our safety problems.

Take T'eo too after the first round - have at least the most talked about draft, haha


In my mock I suggest going after a corner 4th rd. If the "the honey badger" is there, its a perfect time to pull the trigger.

Also in my mock, I suggest taking a big tackle breaking rb in rds 5-6 and 7. One of them has to work out. LOL...

AP BOSTON: Hours after it was revealed that all-pro New England Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski suffered a broken wrist during a game against the Houston Texans, more details are surfacing. Coach Bill Belichick, known for keeping team scandals "in-house," initially stated his tight-end was injured during the early parts of the game. Now, after hospital records are being disclosed, a much more disturbing picture is being painted. Reports reveal that his injury was suffered that evening after a "private dancing job" at former Congressman Barney Franks' Tremont Street gay brothel, The Pink Patriot, a popular post-game hangout for local Patriots fans. Even more disturbing revelations from his hospital records include evidence of a ruptured sphincter and stomach pumping of a "foreign fluid." Mr. Frank nor Coach Belichick were available for comment following this damning news release. However NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in "Since I've taken this job, one of my goals has been to increase player safety on and off the field" he said "I am extremely disappointed in our homosexual friends in Foxborough." Regulars in attendance claim that a long list of Patriots players are known to make appearances throughout the week. One man in attendance who only wants to be identified as "Sugar Bear" claims Gronkowski was injured while performing his signature "Gronk Trombone" on a fellow teammate. Coach Belichick is scheduled to hold a press conference regarding this matter later in the afternoon

wow, can't believe nobody has mentioned Louis Delmas, Will moore, or Kenny Phillips available in free agent at safety. Pff, definite target zone in the open market.

I can totally see Ireland's top three list on draft day being these guys;

1) Bjorn Warner (not good)
2) Barkevious Mingo (invisible)
3) Manti Teo (insane)

Matthieu is project 4th-6th rd. If available 4th rd I love him there for this team because our dc is a supposed db guru. If Coyle cant get him to put his head on straight I doubt there's little anyone else will be able to do.

Coyle is the primary reason I would like to see Matthieu in Miami. Plus Coyle loves guys that are "turnover machines".

WHDP, that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I like how he plays corner for the most part and have no problem paying the man. he's not perfect but there's a lot worse out there. And does his job.

No he may or may not start on Seattle but he would start on 30 other teams - guaranteed.

YG, if he's there in the 4th, it's a no-brainer. He smokes weed. Memo to the World, EVEN LANCE ARMSTRONG TAKES DRUGS!!!

This isn't an acorn. This is elite talent with possible off-the-field issues.

Remember, big risk = BIG reward!

Yeah I was suprised Solai was on that list as well. I agree with WHDP. Very valuable guy on that D.

Seattle has some pretty good CBs. They stack up well against anyone in the league and might be "the best". Not exactly fair to put them up against Smith and "who ever else" we could sign since Marshall was hurt. If Marshall played the secondary would have been considerably better, though not great by any means. Sherman was a 5th round pick, that is impressive.

Marcia in Toronto,

No one has mentioned them because these players only seem relevant to you. Many of these guys are past thier prime and no one wants to break the bank for them.

Last thing this team needs to do is "get old in a hurry". That's all these players you name pretty much does for us. Help us get old in a hurry.

All of these guys have already pretty much "lost a step". Geesh, dude what are you trying to do to us? LOL...

Cs, believe Sherman was a 4th and the other guy was in the CFL. Amazing that 31 other teams had multiple cracks at these guys and didn't see the potential.

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