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The cost of doing business ain't cheap

Let's put aside the fanciful talk of adding this guy and re-signing that guy for a moment and consider what all this stuff is going to cost, shall we?

Let me scare you right off the bat:

If the Dolphins want to add an elite wide receiver this offseason in free agency -- assuming one is even available -- it is going to cost around $9-$11 million per season. That's according to former NFL agent and salary cap expert Joel Corry,  who now writes about NFL contracts and the salary cap for the National Football Post.

"The high end UFA WRs will be looking at Vincent Jackson's 5-year, $55,555,555 deal ($26M GTD) as a benchmark," Corry tweeted to me on Thursday.

That is $11 million a year, folks.

Obviously, there are two things at play that must be stipulated.

That price is for a Vincent Jackson-type wide receiver. The player asking for that money must offer that enormous amount of talent. Jackson caught 72 passes for 1,384 yards (a whopping 19.2 yards per catch) and eight TDs in 2012. I'm not certain anyone on the market rises to that level of ability.

Jackson is a deep threat all day long and he also happens to be 6-5 and 230 pounds. (Yeah, amazing).

And the $11 million is the starting asking price. It is not necessarily the final price.

While any elite wide receiver on the market may want $11, I'm sure most will be talked off that skyscrapper ledge to a much lower floor. I'd say, and this is a conservative estimate, the elite wide receiver on the market this year will get around $10 million per season and it'll fall sharply from there. Remember, Wes Welker made $9.55 million under a franchise tag in 2012 and would cost $11.4 million if tagged in 2013 -- which is unlikely.

By the way, the cost of doing business in the wide receiver market won't be cheap for the Dolphins even if they stick with what they got. Pending free agent Brian Hartline, a No. 2 receiver, will be looking for $5-$6 million per year on the open market if he gets there.

Greg Jennings? He'll be hovering in the $8-$9 million annual range.

And the price at other positions won't be much cheaper.

Elite cornerbacks are expecting $10 million per season. Agents will be looking at Brandon Carr's five-year $50 million deal with Dallas and Jason McCourty's 5-year, $43 million deal to stay in Tennesee and see that as the numbers to shoot for.

So Carr is averaging $10 million a year while McCourty is averaging $8.6 million per year.

That's the zip code cornerback Sean Smith expects to inhabit at the start of free agency. And yes, he's likely going to free agency. I don't think the Dolphins will pay that kind of money for Smith. They see him as a good player who still has unmet potential. They do not see him as a game-changer or playmaker.

There are also questions about how Smith will react professionally once he gets paid. Will he cruise? Will he feel entitled? Will the work ethic suffer?

(Kindly post comments on whether you believe Sean Smith is worth $8.6 million per season in the appropriate section below).

That's the cost of doing business, folks.

The Dolphins will be lucky to re-sign Randy Starks for the $6 million a year Paul Soliai got in March of 2012. The Herald's Barry Jackson tells me the sides have opened talks but are not close.

I'll say.

I would imagine Starks will be the highest-paid DT on the team, seeing as he's the only one that's been to a couple of Pro Bowls. But I don't see how the Dolphins can pay him the $8 million per year that Vince Wilfork makes or certainly not the $12 million per year that Haloti Ngata makes.

So that might land him in the $7 million a year slot.

That might well be the cost of doing business.


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Ross is way too cheap to pay for top players.

I would agree on those numbers quoted. Studying where cap hits fell in 2012 for the top players at each position - your numbers are in the neaighbourhood for each player. Jennings is an 8, Wallace a 10, hartline a 6.

I would sooner spend the 10 on Wallace than the 8 on Jennings. I'd sign up hartline too.

I would say bye bye to Starks. Good player but we don't need to spend that money there when Odrick is there to slot in.

No way anyone give Smith $9M. And I'm a big fan. I do think he should get $5m tho. If Smith gets $9M then great, you go into next season with Marshall and Patterson as your corners and draft a guy in the first two rounds.

I would say let Starks go. We have enough depth with Odrick, McDaniel, Vernon, etc. Pay Smith, he still may mature/grow up and continue to develop a bit more. Also keep Hartline....DO NOT let him go to New England or New York, lol.

Hartline is worth 5 or 6 mil. He is our chain mover and tanne's fav target. Lets wait till teams start releasing players before we set eyes on one or two guys. Lots of new coaches mean system changes and bringing in of my guys new coaches try to do.I think we should settle oline and cb in FA and draft wr and te but that's just this fan's opinion.

Agreed Mando, it ain't cheap. But people have to understand the flip side is you can bring in new talent via Draft at bargain prices (comparatively). And that's how it is now. Your draftees no longer are the highest paid players on your team, the vets are (as they should be). And to retain GOOD veterans, you need to pay them, or they will go elsewhere. If Ireland wants to hold that money out for some magic player, then go ahead and watch as other teams play in the SB every year. But you have to be in it to win it. So if you want good players, you have to pay for them.

Is Smith worth 8.6 mil? I dunno, but I DO know you can't go into the Season with 2 rookie corners, or 1 rookie and Dimitri Patterson or Nolan Carroll. That I do know. So ONE of our CBs will need to be paid higher so that we ensure we have a veteran corner. Smith might not be the best, but might be the best we can get (as a vet). Ireland should have ways to make the contract incentive-laden, so if Smith regresses, it hurts his wallet.

Sean Smith seriously at 8.6 million? If anyone on here can give a sound explanation to him getting that much money, ill give you Armando's job.

Mark my words--Ireland will either sign Long to a contract that pays him over $10 Million a year or use the franchise tag that will cost over $15 Million. So while everyone is getting excited about us signing a big time WR in FA bear in mind that Long will take up 25%-33% of our available cap space. After that he'll re-sign some other players who had average seasons like Starks or Smith or Bush or Fasano--and before you know it our cap space will be minimal with no improvement. BTW--No Hartline either.

And for those of you who are still wondering...The answer is yes, he's that bad of a GM.

Sean Smith is good.....but not top rate pay good.....he has not proved himself on a constant baasis yet....

I think smith could be worth that if they played press coverage which seemed to be his forte... If they want to play zone mostly they need to go another direction and let Smith walk.

We need Playmakers....I have to ask, if none of that happens will you admit you were wrong and admit that he may not be as bad of a GM as you say? Not trying to pick a fight, I am just curious.

Anybody that would pay Brian Hartline $5-6 million per year for 1 TD per year should have their head examined. They need a check up from the neck up.

On the other hand I'd have no problem paying Reggie Bush $3-4 million per year and maybe as much as $5mil because he actually puts points on the board.

"That's the zip code cornerback Sean Smith expects to inhabit at the start of free agency. And yes, he's likely going to free agency. I don't think the Dolphins will pay that kind of money for Smith. They see him as a good player who still has unmet potential. They do not see him as a game-changer or playmaker."

Sounds like Ireland's kind of player. LOL.

Smith or Jake Long for that matter are worth nothing more than $2-$2.5 Million per year.

I really dont see Ireland signing him to a deal like that based off his recent negoiations of bringing players in and not over paying for them. I could see Long at 6 million or so per year and an incentive laiden deal to get him the extra money hes looking for. But if the article Armando wrote was true stating that Long is a "proud guy" with him thinking hes proved himself already and shouldnt through a incentive type contract then I see Ireland thanking him for his services..

We need Playmakers....I have to ask, if none of that happens will you admit you were wrong and admit that he may not be as bad of a GM as you say? Not trying to pick a fight, I am just curious.


In a heartbeat. Trust me--I want to be wrong.

Mark, if we go into the Season with Patterson and Marshall as our CBs, then they'll be even WORSE than they were this year. I don't even think that's an option. Miami is pretty hamstrung here. They let Davis go (for reasons I understood and accepted) but that left a huge void. And none of the replacements worked out (Patterson is probably the most reliable out of the rest). Marshall shouldn't be on the team next year, plain and simple. If he is, we've got a HUGE problem. Not only did he suck, but that back injury isn't going anywhere, it will likely affect him in the future. Not worth the huge cost.

I agree you draft a guy (or 2), but that's hit or miss. Even if you draft a 1st-rounder. If I'm Ireland, and I know I have to put a competitive team on the field, and the secondary is my worst group, I'd feel more comfortable with a guy who's shown me at least something, even if it's going to cost a little more.

S. Smith we all knowis not worth that kin of money. BUH BYE!

Starks can walk too and we could drat a rotational guy in the early-mid rounds. I'd prefer a higher pick, top 2 rounds on a rusher.


Hartline should be resigned along with Wallace. NOT JENNINGS! Jennings is looking for a big pay day since this will likely be his last!

Re-sign Bush if you can to a modest contract although I'm ok with letting himwalk.

Use FA to get Finley, Wallace & a top CB.

Use the draft to find a rusher, 1 CB, 1 Safety & a RT.

Wow, Mando, way to make giving Mike Wallace $8M a year seem like a bargain... ;>

I agree with you that Hartline has to be Miami's #1 priority this offseason. While $6M a year is steep, a guy who showed he can routine get open and doesn't drop passes is a foundation piece.

I hope the team can resign Fasano. He's not a big time playmaker, but he's a guy who can be relied upon to consistently produce. Those are the ones you keep.

If I were running the Dolphins, the only way Starks stays a Dolphin is if I trade Soliai. I like big Paul, but he's probably more valuable to a team which runs a 3-4 defense (like the Saints), than he is to a team that runs a 4-3.

Yep! This is the year that Ross finds out if Jeff Ireland is worth what he's been paying him for the last few years. Dazzle us, Jeffy! Show us that you're as smart as you think you are! You've got the picks and you've got the salary cap to play with. Now, do something brilliant! Work your magic...if there is any! It's all on you now. You're in the spotlight. It's sink or swim time. Put-up or shut-up time. It's YOUR time, little Jeffy! Make the most of it...

Or, get out of the way, dust off your resume, and go somewhere else!

I really dont see Ireland signing him to a deal like that based off his recent negoiations of bringing players in and not over paying for them. I could see Long at 6 million or so per year and an incentive laiden deal to get him the extra money hes looking for. But if the article Armando wrote was true stating that Long is a "proud guy" with him thinking hes proved himself already and shouldnt through a incentive type contract then I see Ireland thanking him for his services..


This reminds me so much of what happened with Vernon Carey. He was coming off his worst NFL season of in 2008 & played like he didn't want to get hurt & Parcells/Ireland re-signed him. In short his play never improved from that season & he's now out of the league.

With Jake Long coming off his worst season & considering he missed the last 4 games b/c of an injury why the f#ck would we pay him $6 Million a year??? And there's NO WAY Jake's triceps injury has healed yet.

If we re-sign Jake I'd love to know what the plan for Martin is b/c he's not physical enough to be a RT.

Great Post Mando.

Good To See You Come Around. The Fins Can't Go Crazy!! Spending!!

The Fins Still Have Decisions To Make!!

On Smith!!

Dashi Believes The Consensus Is Smith Is Not That Good!!

For The Price Of Paying Smith!! We Will Rather Have Marshall and DP! And Carroll!!

Starks and Long Are The Only 2 Real Important!! Free Agents!! With Clemons and Hartline Close Behind!!

And Signing Jake Is #1 Priority!! Even Franchising Him!!

Based on the production that Hartline had this season & considering his age, I believe $6 Million sounds right. You also can't put a price tag on the chemistry he has with Tannehill which is going to be a question mark with any WR you sign in FA or draft.

I'm so sick of people saying that Hartline doesn't score TD's. He's EXACTLY the kind of player we need. Smart, productive, durable, & reliable. You sign Jennings & you have no idea if he can stay healthy at this point in his career. Maybe he can, maybe he can't but that's going to be an $8-9 Million a year question.

Smith Falls In That R.Bush Category!!

Someone else Can Overspend for All That Waste Of Potential!!

And Like Someone Said!! We Need CB's That Can Play Zone!! And Run Support!! None Of Those Are S.Smith Strength!!

And Signing Jake Is #1 Priority!! Even Franchising Him!!


With all do respect, Ireland is the only GM dumb enough to even consider paying a fading player that much money.


Or, get out of the way, dust off your resume, and go somewhere else!


He'll never be a GM again after this season. Just like Sparano will never be a HC or OC again.


Yeah...Good luck with that.

I would let Smith go (if the price is that high) sign Talib. Smith is going to the Pats, they are yelling up here for a tall man-2-man type CB. Hartline will replace Welker with Pats. I would do the unthinkable and sign welker to a 3 year 30+- contract and get one FA wr. Welker can run the same routes as hartline, also runs across the middle. With this I would keep bush. Long is gone so is starks (unless they r cheap)

Priority - Hartline and Starks. Would be nice to keep - Fasano (as a 2nd TE). Everyone else can leave - they were part of the problem.


Are you kidding??? There's NO WAY the Patriots are dumb enough to sign Smith. The only team dumb enough to sign Smith is the same team that was dumb enough to draft him & think he was good enough to be a starter.

Any way you slice it, this team is a f#cking mess.

Ireland will be here for a couple more years unless they go 1-15, then it will be clearing house time. We need a bit of stability with a Real head coach working with the GM. In his remarks it appears that he is listening to Philbin and will provide the type of players that Philpin needs to git his schemes. Also Philbin appears to like a certain type of player in the club house which will allow Ireland to cut bait with some of these Free Agents. Hartline was in the dog house for not practicing at the start of year. Welker is the right fit for this team!!

Yes they are. Belly and crew like his size. I am not an expert but dont be surprised..... Hartline will go there, and I dont care. (if they don't tag Welker, which they won't as he is pissed that they did not sign him)

There are no elite WRs available this year in free agency. Wallace is pedestrian at best.

So no-one talks of Talib and Welker? Why not these two?????????

I'd expect Fasano, Hartline, and Starks to be back.
Smith is somewhat of a grey area. I don't think Ireland will overpay him, he was quick to get rid of Davis for underachieving I don't thinnk Smith will get a pass.
Long, if Armando's articles are correct won't be here because the asking price will be too high for a guy that finished his last two season on the IR. Someone will overpay him on his reputation alone (Chicago/AZ).
Also, Marshall actually wasn't that bad. At all. Though I wouldn't want him to be the #1. Patterson might end up being a good #2 or nickel.

Not sure if Talib would be a fit with Philbin CT. Good player, but not plenty of off the field issues.


Ireland is smart- he already basically said that he's going to let our FAs test the market. He's doing that because he knows that they are overvaluing themselves.

Long needs to realize that he's not going to be paid like the best LT in the league, because he ISN'T the best LT anymore. If some other team wants to pay for his name, so be it; we'll sign or draft someone to replace him.

Same for Smith (a good, not great CB), Bush (getting older), and Hartline (an OK #2/#3 WR).

Starks is the only one that they might make an effort to keep off the market - and I hope that they do. $7m isn't much in the scheme of things and Starks is a beast. If one of the kids develops, fine. Then you trade Soliai or let HIM walk when his contract is up. You don't let Batman go because you're paying Robin.

Just remember Mr Ireland's first two draft picks several years ago were Vonte Davis (now a Colt) and Sean Smith (soon to be a unresticted freeagent). If you don't like these players now what confidence do you have that he'll get it right this time. You cannot keep using high draf picks to replace players you took high in the draft just a couple of years ago. It's called going backwards.

DC, why not bring back Patterson, Marshall, and a high draft pick next year to play CB?? That group would be better than the one we played with all of this year. Then next year draft another if you like ... you aren't going to have pro bowlers at all positions but having Marshall as your nickel is not bad at all ..

Past bad drafting strikes again!

Basically, to keep Hartline and Smtih we have to overpay both by at least 1.5 to 2 million a year, just to avoid "creating more holes" on our roster.

Hartline's here both as a result of "underdrafting a skill position" and "reaching for Patrick Turner" 3rd rd. Which Turner wnever worked out and Hartline was a 4th rd pick himself.

Sean Smth? Yes its a question mark, because thats exactly the way I felt when he was drafted 2nd rd on draft day. Sean who? 5yrs later, he's still literally Sean who?

Starks, he's going into his last contract of his career possibly. This will be his 10th season. Starks has performed well in Miami, so, based on this alone maybe we should go ahead and give him 3yr $24 million contract to show other players on this roster that we will reward very good play.

Let Smith and Long go. Hartline and Starks should be top re-signs. I would LOVE to keep Reggie if at all possible. Spend on ONE receiver at top value and see if we can't get another upgrade at lower price. Then trade for or draft 2 more receivers. CB and pass rusher next 2 priorities.

Tight end also, and if they don't resign Starks I hope they take a good look at Kawann Short of Purdue in the draft!

I dont think we have to worry about that cheap SOB Ross overspending! LOL

Anyone else get the feeling Harmel is a waiter who was under-tipped by S. Ross?

In what decade do we get a franchise QB?

The Dolphins should let Sean Smith walk & sign Brent Grimes at a cheaper price & draft Desmond Trufant or Johnthan Banks in the second round of the draft. That settles the CB pposition. We should also add FA Mike Wallace OR Greg Jennings in FA for anywhere from 8 to 11 million. Resign Brian Hartline & draft WR's Quinten Patton OR Robert Woods with the other 2nd round pick, if we don't draft Cordaralle Patterson with the #12 pick. Personally I would rather see DE- Damontre Moore drafted with our #12 pick though. As far as Jake Long, if he cannot be signed for less than 9 mil per year he should be let go as well & just draft a RT in the 3rd round to compete with Yeatman & Garner. Reggie Bush should not be resigned either because Lamar Miller is ready to take over as starter anyway. Anthony Fassano needs to be resigned as long as it's at the right price, otherwise move on without him.

Even if resigned, the thing which troubles me most about Hartline, is he just doesnt seem "dynamic enough: moving forward. Yes, he pits up good numbers. Decent amount of catches, very nice ypc stats.

What about what counts most, TOUCHDOWNS!

Hartline is great moving you up and down the field. I believe he's even capable of 2-3 long tds a year. But the problem is he totally disappears in the redzone and he doesnt score tds on yac.

So, besides th 2-3 long td catches per year he maybe capable of scoring, where are the rest of his td's are going to come from? Certainly not from yac or redzone scores. So what do we really have going forward even if Hartline is resigned?

Prayers? Yes prayers. Because owhom ever our other wr is, he had better be able to put up 15 our more tds a year to compensate for what we wont get out of Hartline.

There are no easy answers for this fo this offseason. Even though there's $46 million in cap money and 5 picks within the 1st 100 college player.

So many holes to fill and so many question marks concerning our own resignees.

Anyone here believing every problem concerning this roster can all be settle in one short season. Well, you know the story, there's a bridge for sell out there and its just waiting for you.

LMAO @ Mark in Toronto. Oh & yes I agree with you.

YG, you're the biggest idiot I have ever seen in my life. Stop talking!

I keep hearing alot of folks saying Sean Smith isn't worth 8 million per year. Although he isn't worth that if the Fins release him WHO do they replace him with? Releasing him only creates a hole,and with so many holes already why add to the list? And please don't say run with D.Patterson and R.Marshall those guys couldn't cover their own shadow...... also if the Dolphins keep Patterson without a redo of his current deal he'll cost as much as S.Smith would've to resign..... so what you folks are saying is Patterson is worth 7million a year and S.Smith isn't?!?!?

This blog needs an enema to flush out some of the dolts who post here. If dumb people read some of this junk, they'd leave here dumber!

Dashi, you might be the only human on earth who thinks Long should be franchised.

What GM in their right mind would pay 12 mil for a broken down player who hasn't finished either of the last 2 seasons?

Pay him 5-7 mil & let him play RT. Not good enough? Let some other team make the mistake of overpaying for past performance. He's never going to be the player he was his first 3 years. His fall has been dramatic in how quick he's deteriorated.

I don't care where he was drafted or how much he sacraficed his body. He's been the highest paid lineman to play a game. He has our respect but, my heart does not bleed for Jake Long. He's made his fortune.

Just cause he's been a warrior & a former #1 overall pick does not mean fans should lose all of their common sense & expect the team to do the impractical thing.

Also, even though officially we have $46 million to spend in fa. Actually only 35-40 million max will actually get spent.

Ireland will keep about 6-10 million "in reserve" in preparation for injury issues that may developed during the season, or possible trades to be made, or extra players that we may need to pickup.

S h i t happens during the season too. So you have to keep emergency cash in reserve. Its like "rainy day savings.

Don't sign smith , go after aqib talib( if all is well with his criminal case) also go after pacman (cheap and can play slot also knows our defence) at wr Dwayne bowe big target in red zone goes over middle. And cheap sleeper if healthy domonik Hixon stretches the field catches everything. And at Te Jared cook or delanie walker great run blocker and can stretch the field.

One other thing...... the Fins ran Zone coverage the majority of the time the D was on the field this past season. S.Smith is not a zone CB. He's big and physical needs to be in a man or press coverage to be effective.

Overpay 1-2 mil a year for Hartline? Hartline is the perfect "philbin player," and perfect in WCO. You pay the hardworking kids who pay their dues to make a dynasty you blithering fool. Not the head cases like Marshall. From what I have seen you are a head case so no wonder you like FA "Dream Teams." Take you're multiple delusional personalities elsewhere and stop ruining this blog. Before I take you to the "woodshed" son.

Shell out the cash for Finley, Wallace & CB. 3 MEGA areas of need filled.

Try to get Hartline & Bush back modestly. Help bolster a poor offense. If they leave, it won't hurt.

Move Odrick inside & let Starks walk even though I think he's a better player than Soliai. His body does have more wear & tear as he's been in the NFL since he was 19.

Let Jake walk, move martin to LT & either sign a modest RT in FA or draft one. Potential also exists to move Jerry to RT & find a guard.

Bring back Patterson & Marshall & team them up with a FA signing. Draft another young CB & you have decent DB's.

Use the backend of the draft to find young LB'ers to eventually take over for Burnett & Dansby.

Use those first 5 picks on DE, WR, CB, FS & RT/RG.

Sean Smith is an average cornerback at best. That is crazy. We have no elites in the secondary.

When looking at 35-40 million spent in fa, here's what I see:

About 5 players taken care of in fa, beit ours or others. That's saying $8 million per player on average. For dummies out there, it doesnt mean every player gets $8 million dollars. Its what signing 5 players most likely averages out too.

So, IMO, if Sean Smith is resigned either Patterson or Marshall could be gone to create more cap room. There's no guarantee he comes back 100% from his back injury.

Back injuries are one of the worst things that can happen when you play contact sports. Once the back gets bad, it seems youre never 100% again, even years later.

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