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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.


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.)


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.  


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But, the homers won't acknowledge the reality of Miami's situation. All they look at is the amount of cap space & think it's been great work.

Expired contracts that don't count against the cap does not mean they have done well. It means they have more holes to fill than your average team.


What's this BS about Abrahma missing games? He's missed TWO games in the last 6 years. TEN sacks last year.

Maybe some of you guys need to actually do some research before spouting your angry BS all the time.

Common Lacks Sense, I agree with Shula 100%, but I'm not him.

What is with you weenies & your obsession with trolls? Do you have any idea how weak you look when you blog like a weenie?

Ask Armando if I'm shula. Go ahead, lemme know what he says! Fool!

Irescum couldnt find talent if it sat in his lap.

John Abraham : 122 sacks in his career.

Nah, no room for that on this team, in a rotation with guys like Vernon and Odrick. Nah.

Dip shytes....

Wasn't talking to you LOL, but if the shoe fits defend it...

What is with you weenies & your obsession with trolls? Do you have any idea how weak you look when you blog like a weenie?
^^You are a hilarious individual....

Bud, if we wanted to talk to an as*hole, we'd fart.

Please explain how someone looks weak in a blog? I'm guess you are the token Internet tough guy?

Don't really care what you think. You guys will whine no matter who gets signed or released. There won't be any logic to any argument either, just (unfortunately) not so quiet whinning.

you weren't huh, I wonder who you were referring to then.

Regardless, bloggin about trolls makes you a weenie.

Yes, if the shoe fits, wear it. And you wear it quite well.

Having lots of your own free agents means NOTHING when you have lots of picks AND cap space money. Except for Hartline and maybe Clemmons, the rest are replaceable through draft or FA.



F8cking hilarious some of this idiots who complain about Ireland constantly and their argument is 'expiring contracts and cap space'.

$48 mil and 5 picks in in the first 90....and that's still not good enough for them. show me a team that doesn't have holes. Think the Pats have holes? The Ravens? Expiring contracts? Yeah, would be so much better if we were the Jets paying our QB the money he's getting and a cancer like Holmes $9 mil a year, while having your top CB count so much against the cap.

AGAIN....I ask if some of these 'weenies' are even fans of this team or if they are just here to spout their Jeff Ireland hatred. I think most of us know the answer to that.

The crap Dullfins breed trolls.

you onbviously do care cause you keep responding.

Use your brain, nonsense.

I don't have the enough knowledge, and I hope some of you could help me, thanks in advance.
I figure out that if we have all cap space is because the contract expiration of many of our star players (Long, Starks) and we have to fill the holes.
Or in other words, if we have all of the players under contract and an increase salary for Hartline, Clemmons, how much cap do we have? I suppose not much, may be 7 - 9 mil.
Dansby and in the past seasons Marshall, consume much of the cap space and don't play as well. And because of the guaranteed money MLB will be another hole to fill.

Shula... smarty pants

Ok tough guy. Don't want any trouble!!! you might break my keyboard... douche

When it comes to the garbage Dolphins...."troll" is a COMPLIMENT!!!

Careful CommonSense,

He's going to talk about 'owning you' and 'crushing you' with his comments on a football blog. He's an angry dude who's only outlet is to take his life's frustrations out on others behind his keyboard. Be thankful he's doing this and not taking out on helpless puppies or going postal at work. THAT's who this dude is.....

CommonSense & Craig M on another blog


Totally agree with you on the SB comments (by Marshall). No class, poor taste, bad teammate, etc. 100% right on that. Matt Moore was the best thing that happened to Marshall in Miami, so not sure why he was hating. Not saying Moore is all-World, but he had a pretty good stretch.

Like I said in my earlier post, I'm not as sad as Kris Marshall is gone.

I just would like a WR with his talent (and Zach Thomas' heart) on the team at some point.

Tards, his gross numbers (Marshall) may seem productive but he's extremely inefficient. One of the most inefficient WRs in the league actually.

I just RILES some of these guys up to see Ireland get ANY praise. LOVE it!! So easy to push the buttons on some of these guys.

That's why I question where their loyalty REALLY lies. It's not about seeing the Dolphins succeed....it's about seeing Jeff Ireland fail. Sad but so very true....for ALL to see.

Steve Ross, move your garbage team to L.A and stop embarrassig S Florida!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Craig M, yeah I know. It is pretty hilarious and kinda sad.

Anyway football blog, I shouldn't have addressed them. My mistake.

I wonder if this offseason turns out well if the blind Ireland hate will continue, or turn to "I always knew that guy was good."

Craig, actually Holmes counts $12.5 v the cap but who's counting, haha

Lets praise Ireland for dumping all the players he drafted.


MAGICALLY, a whole bunch of trolls are about to show up, taking about ice fishing and bowling and Canadien Bacon....just watch. And yet these guys claim they don't troll.....funny stuff!

3, 2, 1.....

Craig Momo,

Got something to say to me? Wanna tell me how my kids deserves to be speech delayed again?

And yea, I do own you. you keep mentioning it!

How about resorting to the who cares bit you copied from me?

You say it don't bother you but, it does.

Why? Because I own you & ridicule you when you blog. it's too easy.

Go ahead, recruit nonsense. You two on th ebottom of the ocean would be a rgeat start for humanity.

I'm not angry, I pity idiots like you.

See....as if by magic....

What a surprise!

Abraham will be 35 next year. Let the young DE talent play and see hwo they do imo.

That's their argument EVERY time....CLASSIC! Can't argue the points, so let's get into trolling and name-calling. We're dealing with 5 year olds here.

Here comes all the name-calling and insults now. Two words.....ANGER MANAGEMENT....

In 3, 2, 1.....

Your a low life, classless individual. Go stare at your watch collection you yuppy.

Football blogs are for men. Not your kind.

Come on Craig! Angry?

Is it NOT you who said my kid deserves to be disabled because I'm his father?

Who's angry exactly? You are 1 hypocrit!


Craig M, not sure what you ever did, but they sure do seem to love going at you. Probably because you respond, it is what they live for.

See....there it is....

Right on cue....can't argue the points, so let's get into name-calling. CLASSIC!!....ONE ANGRY DUDE!

Canadiens talking Miami football? Hilarious!!

Craig, what did you say about my kid again?

Who's angry?

You are a COWARD. I'm not name calling you, I'm calling you for what you are.

On my way out for the day now I'd like to thank your wife got being able to stomach the site of you for as long as she has!

Go ahead, call me angry yet don't admit that you said my son deserves to have problems because I'm his dad.

yet, I'm angry LMAO

You are a hypocrit. Have your blog funny man. The floor is yours!


Why don't you tell us about your sad life and your unfortunate circumstances. This is an article about Jeff Ireland. I know you can't STAND it when there's something positive said about him. So you've ripped into him....now tells us about your life and take the focus off of Jeff.

Hey LOL.....'who cares'.....IGNORAMUS!

See ya man....you'll be SO missed!

Funny how no Dolphin player has ever said Marshall was a bad teammate.
If we would have kept him, we probably would have made the playoffs.
He was a beast in the run game that was greatly missed.
Hartline and Bess cannot hold their blocks.

Yo Jeffy,

Is your momma a hooka?

Marshall for Egnew was MORONIC!!!


It's not how much money you have it's what you do with it.

Track record has shown they will shoot for one good player to keep fans from going crazy and that's it. We need more then one good player. We need to be more aggressive. And running back is not a luxury and Green Bay is a testament to that.

So the team has lots of money... hmmm. Lets see - Long - 10 to 12 mill per year, Hartline - 5 to 6, Smith - 6 - 7 (we hope), Franchise tag on the DL at 7 Mil, Draft Picks at 2.5 to 3 M, thats 30 - 35 mil respectively... that leaves 5 to 7 Mil to get a reciever. Now they will restructure, back end load some contracts and that will give them say another 7 - 8 mil to play with by game day... 2 - 3 mill they will carry into the year for backfill. They get another good player for that, and thats about it. This team was 50 gut check yards shy of 10 and 6 last year... they need to focus on their own while getting better - which if you look at the 49ers... is how you grow a team. I think they get 30 yards better this year... and if we are lucky - make the playoffs at 9 and 7.

Da Beast couldnt stand RoboHenne at QB and he was RIGHT. The coaches and FO should have listened to him instead of trading an all pro for NOTHING.

Ireland will never be able to replace Marshall let alone acquire an elite QB. Ross, wake up from your coma!

I do think Ireland should've been fired over the Dez Bryant incident. Keeping him has really destroyed the team and its reputation. Ireland has aliented fans, media and a lot of FA's. There have been accusations of mistreatment from a number of players. I see no redeeming qualities but evidently Ross does see something. Or he just doesnt want to pay an extra GM.

Can we all agree that Jeff Ireland is a salary cap genius?

Armando, how can you praise anything Ireland does when it never transfers to the win -loss column? Bottom line is this is still not a winning team.

Tagnar, that's ridiculous. It's a little over 6 million to sign the draft picks. More then likely those draft picks are going to replace DT, CB, Safety, TE and probably OT. That leaves 40 million. No way we should we be resigning Starks, Smith , Long or Fasano for any reason when all those positions can be draft filled.

Can we all agree that Jeff Ireland is a salary cap genius?
Posted by: Ireland's Republican Army | March 01, 2013 at 11:44 AM

. Yeah, just dump everyone he drafted and WE HAVE CAP SPACE!! ITS MAGIC!!

Trade Brandon Marshall for Michael Egnew, then cut Egnew, and we opened up cap space!! ITS MAGIC.

Trade 3 picks for D Thomas, cut Thomas, and poof....MORE CAP SPACE! HOW GREAT??

I agree - Ireland has been very efficient ($-wise) in producing mediocre teams. What he has not shown yet, but now he must, is that he can properly evaluate and acquire talent. If he isn't successful at that this year, we will be next year's Bills, Raiders, etc.

Chris, I WISH we were mediocre. 4 consecutive losing seasons is HARDLY mediocre.

As soon as we get a real QB well be better you bozos dont know crap about the game

Chris, I WISH we were mediocre. 4 consecutive losing seasons is HARDLY mediocre.

^^^This statement I love.... the team was 7-9!!!! 8-8 is dead on middle of the pack. Really? think people.

Heck, if the Dolfins were ever mediocre they'd throw a parade.

7-9 is NOT mediocre.

...Ok. Ireland gets some credit for the picks we have, and some cap space. It isn't an accident that we have a new coach, new system, and in concert a bunch of picks, and money to spend. (I know Philibin is in year 2, still new IMO)..If you want to say the cap space issue is by default. The argument is hard to beat. I don't care how it happened, it has, at the right time. And noe it is time to capitilize.

It isn't time to jerk each other off yet. Look at our rotster today. Right now. It is pathetic. Now we have the opportunity to improve, but does this GM,have the capacity to make the neccesary moves to fill the voids? What I mean is that is Ireland the right guy to make the calls under this perfect storm of off season riches? We will see.

These situations that the team finds itself in will not be the norm in this new CBA..Every team is going to have lean years when bigger contracts match up, when players making big contracts age and have to be cut. We have an opportunity to do some damage. Is the architect the right guy drawing up the prints?

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