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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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It's a business people would you work for 5 bucks an hour while everyone else is getting 20

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 02, 2013 at 04:05 PM

You really are clueless and don't seem to get that your SNOOZER response on the funniest post about your retarded self in sometime is what's really LAME ! What an A SS WIPE you are !

Posted by: Disciple of the FAITH | March 02, 2013 at 09:04 PM
=============

Talk about being "Quick Witted"-LOL.

It took Einstein here, EXACTLY 4 hours and 59 minutes to come up with this **SUPPOSED** Zinger- LMAO!

Way To Go.........Yeah.........WaaHoo(Sheesh-lol).....

I would pay Wallace 15 million a year for 5 years

fin4life


Sorry bro...you can't compare Marino and Emmit to Wallace! No way! No how! They were the cream of the crop, the best of their day.

Wallace for all his speed and bad hands IS NOT A #1 ALPHA RECEIVER. No way. no how! And he is selfish. And he is not a good locker room guy.

Maybe he makes the team better. but you don't grossly over pay! No matter what you give him he will hold out again!

Fk him.

Carl bologna is not Carl Lewis. Bumbs like you wish you had the speed of a Mike Wallace.

I don't want no receiver with bad hands AT ANY PRICE!!! Not for freakin FREE!

odin,

Have you read the deal that the Steelers offered Wallace and he turned down?? It won't really pay till 2016 and the average before that is at around 5.5 Mil. a Yr, when some on here have reasoned giving this money to Hartline by comparison!!

What say you on the Wallace debate Brudda?

Ok so what would you do Carl at wide out ?

Bess , Mathews , Moore , Binns , Tymms , Fuller , that's what we have at WR right now

Carl are you there

Marc

I already said it. Why overpay ego hold out bad hands Wallace when their are just as speedy guys in the draft? Why??? This is what I don't understand. At the very worst their hands and route running will be no worse than Wallace, but...the chances are high you get one with better hands and better routes. We are loaded with picks! Take advantage of it!

Sorry bro...you can't compare Marino and Emmit to Wallace! No way! No how! They were the cream of the crop, the best of their day.

Wallace for all his speed and bad hands IS NOT A #1 ALPHA RECEIVER. No way. no how! And he is selfish. And he is not a good locker room guy.

Publicado por: Carl | March 02, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Here you make your best point given we won't know about him as the #1 given he's never been in the Pos.

I will disagree on Emmitt though as the Cream of his day given he ran behind the best OL in NFL history and IMO couldn't carry Barry Sanders jock but that's just my opinion. Alot of heart on that slow little RB but Cream of his day?? Really??

Carl give us a sample of what you would do as gm who do you draft and when and who do you resign or sign

fin4 you are clutching at straws!

Creme of the day doesn't have to mean absolutely hands down the best, just one of the best. Sanders was a freak that comes around once every 30 years! There are easily 8 to 10 WR's playing in todays game far more versatile than Wallace, so why pay him like he is in the top 3? And he is always going to be a hold out threat! Late to camp! FUUCCCCKKKK YOOOOOOOOOO AND YOUR EGO! Go play somewhere else?

Like I say, there are speedsters ready and waiting in the draf t and WE HAVE PICKS!

Marc,

I am not a GM. I don't have 80 hours a week to devote to football and scouting. I don't have my own personal scout team either. I just don't see the logic in overpaying stone hands late to camp ego head Wallace when the draft is loaded with speed freaks and we have plenty of picks. It is not logical.

Carl,

You make it sound as if Pro Sports was anything but a business which of course it is and sometimes your in the right place at the right time and other times you need to be shrewd.

Look at the deal Flacco got making him the highest paid NFL player ever at 120 Mil/6 Yrs. Then look at the best young prospect in all of MLB in Mike Trout who is the best Centerfielder to come around in ages with a solid bat. He tried to renegotiate and the Angels said NO given he's not eligible for arbitration till 2014 and FA till 2017 while his team just gave reformed Crack head Hamilton 125 Mil guaranteed.

You wnt to talk about unfair but one guy was in the right place at the right time and the other wasn't while I compare what Wallace did to being shrewd insuring his pay day 2013.

Carl

Im just trying to explain to you that you can't field a team of 1st year players you need a mixture of veterans and rookies ,right now we have no receivers nada nothing we need at least one proven guy

http://phinphanatic.com/2013/02/25/should-dolphins-skip-mike-wallace/

Mike Wallace has game winning potential. He is big, fast, and can stretch the field. He also drops passes. He led the league in that department last year. He is also not exactly known for being a locker room leader. Or for that matter a team player. At least not 1oo% of the time.

He is a one trick pony. A deep threat with blazing speed. He isn’t going to be your go-to guy on 3rd and short any more than he is going to be your go-to guy on 3rd and long. He is going to be your 2nd option.

Marc if Wallace was a veteran #1 alpha type I'd agree with you. But he AIN'T! Only a sucker GM will pay him like one.

The following week in the game that broke the Steelers Season it was a late pick on a pass to Wallace that wins the game for the Bengals as well.

Anyone who feels Wallace doesn't make our O much better by simply being in our huddle is clueless from my perspective.

Posted by: fin4life | March 02, 2013 at 09:38 PM
================================================

Whats Up Fin4?

I believe Wallace makes our TEAM better as a WHOLE!

But I have Two Main concerns with signing Wallace and I suspect **YOU** are just the Guy to ASK-LOL.

1. For the past two seasons we have been good(with Moore or Tannehill)between the 20's. Granted, Wallace will help back people out of the box. Where we had our BIGGEST Troubles were in the Red Zone.

So.......how good do you think Wallace is in the Red Zone?
==================

2. I've seen Ben throw them Rainbows to Wallace and having outran the secondary, he makes the catch UNCONTESTED.

My question, with Tannehill not being as........POLISHED as Big Ben, with Tannehill still working on his deep ball, how good is Wallace when he has to go up for the ball in traffic? Does he have the skills to go up and take the ball away from the CB's and DB's?
================

Teams will have to respect Wallaces speed and this will help out our Offense regardless. We'll also get those "Spots"(like right after a turnover)where we take our shots downfield. Wallace will be great here obviously and make us better.

But, the two things above is what concerns me a little. I value your opinion Bro......so lets HAVE IT! - LOL.

Carl he is a homerun hitter he will always draw double coverage opening hole for receivers and your tight end now do you get it and if you single him guess what touchdown

fin4 you are clutching at straws!

Creme of the day doesn't have to mean absolutely hands down the best, just one of the best.

Carl | March 02, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Sorry bro...you can't compare Marino and Emmit to Wallace! No way! No how! They were the cream of the crop, the best of their day.

Carl | March 02, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Huhh?????????????????

Carl I'm sorry but your words not mine and your contradicting yourself.

I'm by the way all for drafting not one but two WR's in the coming draft while still signing Wallace. Are you really Boss Ross's heir or something?? You seem to be taking what we pay a WR very personally! By the way if Hartline is worth 6 Mil. then I believe Wallace worth 10 hands down so I guess we'll see next Yr. when Wallace plays were ever who had it right!

Ok, so Sandars was better than Emmit. I got carried away. But Wallace is not nearly as high on the totem pole as either of them.

I'm just saying, Wallace pretty much has speed and not a whole lot more. We can get that at a bargain price in the draft and have that for years to come. In less than 2 years Wallace will be 30 and no way will he have that same 40 time.

With KC signing Alex Smith it is a cinch they will get Joeckel with their 1st pick. Mate OT Fisher will follow soon after.

Walter Football has Us taking Bjorn Werner sandwiched between Lane Johnson and Desmond Trufant. Makes sense.

Truly, some Players will go Top Ten that in other Drafts will not get near there. There are no Headturner Players this year. Even Luke Joeckel cannot compare to Matt Kalil last year.

Whats Up Fin4?

I believe Wallace makes our TEAM better as a WHOLE!

But I have Two Main concerns with signing Wallace and I suspect **YOU** are just the Guy to ASK-LOL.

1. For the past two seasons we have been good(with Moore or Tannehill)between the 20's. Granted, Wallace will help back people out of the box. Where we had our BIGGEST Troubles were in the Red Zone.

So.......how good do you think Wallace is in the Red Zone?

The answer here is scheme not Wallace or anybody else for that matter. In 08 in the redzone we went with alot of 2 T.E. formations when not in the Cat and succeeded backing the LB's off the line with D.Martin and 2nd option Fasano opening running lanes or simply went into the W.C.

In 09 when Henne took over we ran alot of fade or corner post with Bess running across the formation underneath which proved safe and scored some TD's until everybody figured out this was the extent of the innovation out of Henning if we couldn't run so play Miami's WR'S man coverage drop one safety into the middle of the endzone and stack the box with 8.

The problem persisted through the Marshall Yrs. and last Yr. we tried rolling Tannehill out (like against Seattle were he gets lucky on a pick he threw) but without the threat of a power run game and the WR's worse than the group under Henning there was little to do.

I expect with better talent more innovation and better scheme our redzone output will improve but that's on the scheme not one man look at the Pats and all the looks they give you in close.
==================

2. I've seen Ben throw them Rainbows to Wallace and having outran the secondary, he makes the catch UNCONTESTED.

My question, with Tannehill not being as........POLISHED as Big Ben, with Tannehill still working on his deep ball, how good is Wallace when he has to go up for the ball in traffic? Does he have the skills to go up and take the ball away from the CB's and DB's?

There were a few passes last Yr. Tannehill threw which Hartline couldn't run under, I suspect with Wallace it will be a different story when the opportunity arises and as you pointed out even when he takes the DB and Safety with him it will still make us better because it opens it up underneath for Bess and (If he returns at a reasonable price) Hartline a better intermediate route guy.

I would like to see us grab a WR in the draft as well maybe even 2 along with a T.E.
================

odinseye | March 02, 2013 at 10:34 PM

oscar, what is your opinion, should we pay Mike Wallace diva money?

Too tough to answer now, Carl. Later.

Truly, some Players will go Top Ten that in other Drafts will not get near there. There are no Headturner Players this year. Even Luke Joeckel cannot compare to Matt Kalil last year.

Posted by: oscar canosa | March 02, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Maybe not Joeckel, but both Johnson and Fisher will be better than Kalil. I feel like both guys will be very solid LTs.

Well, the Canes easily covered for a nice win today. Stick w/me and you'll all be wearing rubies.

We have 3 key Players that we might not be able to retain. Long, Starks and SS. Monday might clarify some of it if a Tag is used on any of them. Can they be replaced in FAgency? Doubtful. So, it will be the Draft that could help Us there.

None will be franchised.

We are ABLE to retain everyone. There is tons of cap space.

We have NO key Players among the WRs. So, the strategy will be to ADD one of those to the receiving core, be it Wallace or some other difference-maker.

That is saying the obvious, oscar.

Forget Wallace. Draft Patterson and one of the speedsters. No need to complicate things, keep it simple.

Many times Carl, the obvious doesn't become obvious until Somebody points it out to you. By your other posts above, you hadn't even thought of this, until I started taking.

DOES OSCAER SOUND LIKE HE KNOWS FOOTBALL ?

I THINK OSCAR CAN TELL US A STORY ABOUT HIS OLD DAYS IN CASTRO CUBA AND THE SUFFERING HE SUFFERED DURING THOSE DAYS ..

Nonsense Oscar, the entire football world knows we have no playmaker at WR and desperately need to add there. You been asleep?

oscar always says stupid stuff like "points will be the key to the game".........

I think a play will be made for both Jennings and Wallace. I don't see us breaking the bank for either one. I think we will most likely resign Hartline and hopefully pick up Martellus Bennett in FA.

I could also see us franchising Starks. I think we go LT (if one falls) or CB. I think Trufant will be the pick at 12. I also see us grabbing 2 WR's in this draft.

Maybe not Joeckel, but both Johnson and Fisher will be better than Kalil. I feel like both guys will be very solid LTs.

The Woodshed Gang | March 02, 2013 at 11:12 PM

From a purely athletic perspective they are the better athletes and the ceiling on Johnson in particular makes him the most intriguing guy maybe in a weak top tier group this Yr.

Oh, you were talking about the WRs, Carl? Sorry. THAT is obvious, to everybody.

fin4life do you watch the game ever or just repeat what is said on the few sports sites? we all read that too.

The Woodshed Gang | March 02, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Good post and probably closer to the truth!

I'm with you on this one Carl, Wallace is not the ten million dollar man.

We have NO key Players among the WRs. So, the strategy will be to ADD one of those to the receiving core, be it Wallace or some other difference-maker.

Posted by: oscar canosa | March 02, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Oh, you were talking about the WRs, Carl? Sorry. THAT is obvious, to everybody.

Posted by: oscar canosa | March 02, 2013 at 11:40 PM

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

So were you. Are you feeling ok?

Not so obvious to most might be which key Receiver we will add to our core. I can point out the obvious there also, if you like.

Oscar, do you eat a lot of canned food?

It dulls the mind.

Posted by: Carl | March 02, 2013 at 11:46 PM

LOL

miguel | March 02, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Don't know exactly what your referring to given I'm expressing my opinion and debating my points which aren't always agreed with but since you ask I probably watch to much.

No, Carl, I began talking abut our key FA players and which of those are we able or want to keep, and not so obvious, of course.

Patterson, Wallace, Bess, Hartline & Woods or Hunter. Playoff caliber offense...

Not so obvious to most might be which key Receiver we will add to our core. I can point out the obvious there also, if you like.

Posted by: oscar canosa | March 02, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Let's see now, every sports site in the nation has been saying Wallace or Jennings to Miami for months now.

Please enlighten us to an original thought.

Forget Wallace. Draft Patterson and one of the speedsters. No need to complicate things, keep it simple.

Carl | March 02, 2013 at 11:34 PM

In an O were trying to run were precise route runners are essential Patterson needs a ton of work a will take time although I wouldn't be upset given his size/speed combo and hand timed 4.34/40 are appealing.

CARL,


DO YOU EAT ALOT OF CHICKEN WINGS ?

Obviousness is always based on Probability. If you are going to try to cross a street that is full of Traffic at that moment, it becomes obvious you will be run down. Yes?

Yes fin4,those are my thoughts. Patterson may be a work in progress, depending on what scouting info they get, I could see him easily developing into a true #1.

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