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Ireland, Dolphins deserve praise for cap situation

Some of you guys are going to hate this post.

As the new league year and free agency nears -- it begins on March 12 at 4 p.m. -- teams must be prepared to be under the salary cap that is estimated to be around $121-$123 million, depending on what source you believe. The NFL will divulge the actual cap ceiling number in the coming days.

[Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports the number will be $123.9 million.]

[Update: The actual figure is $123 million. Mort's math isn't great, apparently, but what's $900k among friends?]

And with that number and March 12 looming, multiple teams have been scrambling either cutting players or restructuring contracts to get under the cap.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, and New Orleans Saints all either cut players or restructured contracts to help create cap room for themselves in the coming weeks.

Other teams, such as the New York Giants, might be ble to do little by way of re-signing their own players because they expect to be knocking their helmets on the cap's ceiling.

Meanwhile, all is well with the Miami Dolphins. All is quiet. Nothing to see here.

Why?

Well, because Jeff Ireland has done an excellent job saving his (or owner Stephen Ross's) pennies the past couple of years and the savings have added up to a boon in cap space this year.

Obviously, the idea that Miami will have major cap space this offseason is not new. I've been telling you about it for months.

But the idea that it truly is not happenstance -- that is took work, foresight and planning by Ireland and executive VP for football administration Dawn Aponte and their staff -- seems to have gone unappreciated. That isn't fair.

Look, when the Dolphins spent wildly after the 2008 and 2009 seasons and at one point had the most expensive offensive line in football and got minimal return on that investment, I pointed it out. Often.

Well, fairness dictates that Miami amassing approximately $48 million in cap space for this offseason -- the third highest total behind Cincinnati and Cleveland -- get equal attention.

It creates a grand opportunity to remake a mediocre team into a winner. And that opportunity didn't just mosey into the picture. It was every bit as planned as a group Harlem Shake.

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, the reason the Dolphins have so much cap space is because they're just a mediocre team that didn't make the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. If you're not in the playoffs, you should have cap space the next offseason.)

Wrong.

Let us refer back to the list of teams above that had to do invasive surgery on their contract structure to get out from under their salary cap ailments. The Bills didn't make the playoffs. Neither did the Jets. Neither did Dallas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Detroit or New Orleans.

Indeed, several had records comparable to Miami. So their rosters last year led them to basically the same results as what the Dolphins got on the field, but then took them to a much rockier path this offseason.

That's not getting optimal bang for the buck. Or quid. Or peso. Or yen. Or euro, which I predict will collapse within five years.

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, having no cap space is not a big deal. All those teams did restructures and they are fine now.)

Wrong again, gallery of nuts.

Restructuring a contract typically treats the symptom but doesn't cure the disease. It alleviates the pain short-term but because the cap burden is piled upon future years that are already burdened, it often creates a dire situation in the future. Some teams that continually delay the inevitable reach a point of saturation that leads to a cap dump.

The Dolphins of the mid 1990s had to do this when Don Shula added lots of players in 1994 and 1995 for what was billed as a final run at a Super Bowl. The franchise found itself in cap heck in 1996 and '97.

The San Francisco 49'ers did the same thing later in the decade and when the bill came due it led the franchise down the losing road from which it only recently detoured.

The point is there is no way to cheat the salary cap. It must be managed wisely to keep a team in position to enjoy its benefits.

Jeff Ireland and his team have done that for 2013. I recognize many of you don't like the idea of giving Ireland credit for much of anything. Those folks understand why I started saying you might not like reading this post.  

Comments

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Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | March 02, 2013 at 03:44 PM

In your "2 Things" you missed "2 Even More Important things".

1. Jeff Ireland isnt Bill Parcells. He'll leave his own mark and legacy.

2. Ted Thompsom was gm in GB, not Philbin. Philbin wasnt even hc. So theres nothing written in stone that Philbin has the exact same view on wr's as Ted Thomson.

We'll have to let this book write itself. This could be far from "sequel" in either cases.

I think we are in good hands with our gm and the powers that be I feel quite at ease

Also, in part of the deal of retaining Treland, he may have had to prove to Ross that he wasnt merely just another Parcells clone.

If thats what Ross was looking for, Parcells completes his contract, and Sparano's probably still in the building. Ireland's the only one still left standing of the infamous trilogy.

We have a lot of cash and a lot of picks , so lets get it done

So Dave K,

Were you in the negotiations with Ireland and Smith's and Hartline's agents. How do YOU know what they would have agreed to and not agreed to? What did Brian Hartline do before this season? So would you have negotiated?

Your post has ZERO basis. It's all speculation and based on hindsight. The reality is that Smith's agent wants $8-10 million on the open market. We've heard that over and over again. So do you think he had such a great year that it drove up the price? Of course not. Sean Smith at $8-10 million is a mistake for somebody else to make. It's been fun...move on. and Brian Hartline, much as I like him, is by no means an automatic 'must have'.

Also, I dont think Parcells ever hires a hc of the Philbin style. Even that in itself proves Ireland is pursuing a totally different path over Parcellian tradition.

Its also possible Brandon Marshall was brought abord because he fit the Parcellian mode for wr. Parcells was still calling final shots when Marshall was brought aboard.

Does any of these idiot know Ireland's background ? His pedigree speaks for itself, the dude is a supreme scout , his grandfather built the 1985 Chicago bears , he has been around nfl football his whole life . Now maybe all you sun stroked red necks should know who you make fun of all the time. Cause if Jeff gets canned hell have another job in about 2 seconds

The jury is still out on Ireland until after the 2013 season when we see the following:

1) how well all the young players currently on the roster develop. Lamar Miller, DT, Javorski Lane, Clemons, Clay, Jimmy Wilson, Nolan Caroll, J. Martin, Olivier Vernon, Derrick Shelby, Kheeston Randall, Rishard Matthews, John Jerry. And yes, Egnew.

2) how well the rooks and FA's aquired play in 2013.

3) How Tannehill develops.

Fins going 7-9 with 3 very close end of game losses is amazing to me when considering a rookie QB and zero playmaking WR's or TE's.

Fins could go 11-5 and in the playoffs if Ireland gets those playmakers and Tannehill develops.

Assuming we get 2 or 3 starters out of this draft and the young guys mentioned above improve / develop.

Posted by: YG Is Now Barbara Gordn | March 02, 2013 at 03:58 PM

If you were going to take the time to write this garbage. At least you could have taken the time to make it funny.

Im just so sure youre the life of the party amongst your friends. Oh, Im sorry, Im sure you have no friends after that boring ass post. Lame to new depth of sinkabiliy. LOL...

sinkability

Also, I dont think Parcells ever hires a hc of the Philbin style. Even that in itself proves Ireland is pursuing a totally different path over Parcellian tradition.

Its also possible Brandon Marshall was brought abord because he fit the Parcellian mode for wr. Parcells was still calling final shots when Marshall was brought aboard.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 02, 2013 at 04:00

I agree with your statement. I've tried to point something else out that lends merit to my conclusion but it doesn't want to post. I'll get back to the board with this in a few.

Posted by: Snoozefest | March 02, 2013 at 04:07 PM

WOW, and youre here? Says a lot for your extremely exciting and adventurous life.

I'll bet you can also fall asleep while standing on two feet. LOL...

Because the Sun-Sentinel is where you go to get actual Dolphins news, here's a link to a story that Miami will likely receive an extra 4th round pick as comensation for losing Kendall Langford last year:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/dolphins-blog/sfl-dolphins-could-receive-an-early-compensatory-pick-in-2013-20130302,0,6598650.story

Posted by: Snoozefest | March 02, 2013 at 04:07 PM

Im also sure this idiot completed this post while skydiving to earth from the dark side of the moon.

Geesh, where do you idiots come from? LOL...

Bill Parcells is arguably the best football coach ever. He's right there with Lombardi, Shula, and Bellechik. To say the Dolphins are better off without the Hofer is spewing nonsense.

Posted by: mr. ham | March 02, 2013 at 04:14 PM

I guess we all should please that you would lower yourself just to come here and lure us to the Sun Dump.

All praises be to you holy one. LOL...

I recall the exact same posters claiming that Henne was "developing" for 4 years. LOL

Obviously, I hit a nerve.

Please pardon the interruption and continue posting your mentally flaccid pablum hour after hour, day after day, week after week, ad nauseum. Your is truly a life of adventure and accomplishment.

Posted by: Tony Nathan | March 02, 2013 at 04:16 PM

Uhhhh......................... Tony, we know youve been out of football for a long while now.

But....pssssssssssssssssss............. So that no one hears us..........

BILL PARCELLS WASNT A HC IN MIAMI, YOU BLOOMING F U C KING IDIOT!!!!! LOL...

YG,

The third reason why I think a 1st Rd WR seems unlikely and multiple 2-3rders is more plausible:

Philbin doesn't want an Alpha receiver because it doesn't fit his scheme. This (and cap savings) were the reasons we got rid of Marshall. Philbin's plan is to spread the ball out amongst a number of WR/TE's that can win a 1 on 1 matchup in different ways, not just speed or outmuscling for the jump ball. Rather a guy that wins on speed on some and out fights others.

Ireland's statement before the Combine follows Philbin's statements from last year. He stated catching was the top thin he looked for in his WR's. in per draft GM talk, I think he wants well rounded guys.

To me, that sounds like DeAndre Hopkins, Quinton Patton, Robert Woods or Da Rick Rogers. All guys that fall in the late 1st- mid 3rd range of picks.

Posted by: Snoozefest | March 02, 2013 at 04:21 PM

WOW! SEEMS WE'RE YOUR GREATEST DAILY ENTERTAINMENT.

SEEING AS HOW YOU KNOW EXCATLY HOW OFTEN EVERYONE POST HERE. SEEMS YOU HAVENT MISSED A MINUTE! LOL....

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | March 02, 2013 at 04:23 PM

Philbin never said this. Its all been based on assumption of dolfans this is how Philbin thinks, then again based on what Ted TYhomson and Mike McCarthy has done in GB.

We dont see Bill Bellichick living exclussively in the Parcellian mode, do we? Of course not. Many times Bellichick has made moves totally outside of the Parcellian box, and has been very successful while doing it too.

With all due respect YG is as dumb as they come. And I'm not here to argue so I'm out.

"We?"

No, just you. You're the only one whose entire existence seems to revolve around a football message board.

Also, I hear this diva wr thing to no ends here. How the hell do you know that youre drafting a diva wr before you actually draft him?

Im sure that during the predraft interview, that guys sits down with the gm and says: "Im a diva wr".

If you dont want a diva wr, you dont sign him in fa. By that time you already know exactly what he is.

Would the Lions have drafted Titus Young had they previously known that he was a diva nutcase? LOL...


With all due respect YG is as dumb as they come. And I'm not here to argue so I'm out.

Posted by: Tony Nathan | March 02, 2013 at 04:28 PM

--------------------------------------

True, but of course dumb people are never AWARE of the fact.

Posted by: Snoozefest | March 02, 2013 at 04:31 PM

I guess this place could be a "snoozefest" when your football IQ is at retard level and you cant contribute an intellible football post.

But dont take it out on us, it isnt our fault that your mother should have kept the afterbirth and thrown you away. LOL...

Bill Parcells is arguably the best football coach ever. He's right there with Lombardi, Shula, and Bellechik. To say the Dolphins are better off without the Hofer is spewing nonsense. posted by Tony Nathan
=====================================================
How does being a good coach relate to being a good personnel executive?

That's like indicating that Michael Jordan who was a great basketball player is therefore a great coach, personnel executive or owner. NONSENSE!

Woodshed Gang,

TO was drafted 3rd rd by the Niners. So no matter where you draft a wr, there's potential he could become a "DIVA".

Posted by: promichael | March 02, 2013 at 04:38 PM

I already "quietly" mentioned this to this idiot a few posts up. LOL...

Can someone please explain to me why Jake long still think he's worth 15 million a year , he got us once already it ain't happening twice ( the worst pick we ever made ) just think what if we had taken Matt Ryan in that instance Jake should just take his 8 million and be a team player

Guy the tuna ran the whole show period

Tuna picked the players hired all the coaches ( his ex coaches ) decided what our offense and defense would be so tell me what the hell is the difference it was all him

I think Parcell's system worked as long as he was on the field to coach it.

Perhaps it would have worked here had he chose a coach other than Sparano to run it.

Now we are fresh and new just like a virgin.

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | March 02, 2013 at 04:48 PM

No one else was available. If so tell me who?

Tuna was the puppet master

Only hc available at the time to coach the Parcells mode players, was Parcells himself.

We know that this option was totallyoff the board.

Hey, I'm not a big Parcells fan but ANYONE is better then Ireland. haha

Didn't say there was YG. It is what is. I'm just saying Parcells didn't get the jonb done here as a GM. He was a great coach snd thats why he's in the HOF.

It was Huizenga's desperation that led to signing Parcells after he adamantly refused to coach again.

So Huizenga threw a boat load of money and ridiculous terms at Parcells just to come here and run the football operations. Hell, Parcells would have been a fool not to accept. LOL...

Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! = Village Idiot

Woodshed Gang,

TO was drafted 3rd rd by the Niners. So no matter where you draft a wr, there's potential he could become a "DIVA".

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 02, 2013 at 04:40 PM

I never said "Diva". That was your words, not mine. The term I used is "Alpha receiver". My definition of an "alpha" is a guy that I has superior size and attributes for a WR. A guy the team places heavy emphasis on getting the ball to. I would put Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall in that category. The only diva of those listed is Marshall.
Of course we don't want a diva. I also think we aren't looking of an Alpha either .

Doesnt seem Parcells heart was into rebuilding the Dolphins, but his bank account surely was. LOL....

Dudes our team is gonna rock this year notice how quiet things are right now . The quiet wont last trust me , we will be very aggressive

Tannehill to Wallace anyone !!

Tannehill to the WR position anyone?

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | March 02, 2013 at 05:01 PM

Still this has zero bearing on what Philbin actually feels. You guys are basing this on what GB gm Ted Thompson did and his philosophy towards drafting th wr position.

Sometimes its just better to be plain lucky than good. Im sure SF didnt know that they were getting one of the greatest wr's to play the game(talentwise) when drafting T.O. 1st rd.

If knowing some of these players would definitely turnout as good as some of these gm's imagined. They would never risk losing them by drafting them outside of the 1st rd.

Yesterday's Gone:

Can you find out when was the last time Cameron Wake took a dump and then post about bit for 19 hours straight?

Thanks!

The GB staff as basically from the SF way of doing things.

SF made a wr from tiny Missippi Valley St a 1st rd wr.

We all know who this player is. The legendary Jerry Rice. I believe wr wise, that things turned out the way they did in GB, was based entirely upon need and availabilty.

Has anyone considered they didnt draft wr's 1st rd because a 1st rd wr grade wr wasnt available when they drafted in the 1st rd?

Do you actually believe GB would have passed on a Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald if they were high enough up to get them? If so, youre nuts. LOL...

Armando, so if Ireland dumps more of his players he'll have more cap room and get more praise?

YesterGiggle,

Do you see Sparano being the most sought after head coach next year?

40 minutes to the Canes game and the jockeying for MARCH MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YeasterDunce,

What would you think about a straight up trade, Tannehill for Stanzi? Stanzi has that awesome footwork and pocket presence that only the best QB's have.

YesterGiggle was a big T'eo guy after he found out he was gay.

Yestershytmouth,

GET A LIFE LOSER!

YesterGiggle was a big T'eo guy after he found out he was gay.

Posted by: True | March 02, 2013 at 05:22 PM

Not true. YesterGiggle was a big Teo fan for a full 3 weeks of belly aching giggles. 3 weeks is the maximum length of time Mr. Giggles sticks with any idea. He actually gave up on Teo right before that story broke. That is right when he began ridiculing everyone who suggested a defensive player with the first pick, saying it was time to draft offense now.

FlippityFloppityFlopDoDop.

Since then YesterGiggle has assured us many times how Teo will still be picked in the first round. This was to save face. This wss before Teo ran the 40 at the combine slower than a nose tackle.

It is quite amazing that someone as wrong as often as YGiggle still thinks so highly of his opinion.

Nobody else does.

Has anyone considered they didnt draft wr's 1st rd because a 1st rd wr grade wr wasnt available when they drafted in the 1st rd?

Do you actually believe GB would have passed on a Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald if they were high enough up to get them? If so, youre nuts. LOL...

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 02, 2013

So you are saying there is a Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson in this draft then?

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