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Dolphins rolling in salary cap space for '14

The Dolphins were expecting to have a large bank roll to sign any of their 21 unsigned players (15 unrestricted free agents) players before Thursday dawned. And then several media outlets, led by ESPN, reported the projected salary cap for 2014 is going to be larger than expected.

The figure now commonly believed to be available to clubs when the league year opens March 11?

A tidy $129-$130 million.

And that means barring re-signing some of their own free agents before then, the Dolphins will have approximately $36 million in cap space. That includes over $18 million in carryover from 2013. And that figure ranks the Dolphins in the top 5 among teams with the most cap space.

The Dolphins will lead the AFC East in cap space but Buffalo (approximately $22 million) and the New York Jets (approximately $23.7 million) will also have plenty of cap space. The Jets could actually add another $16 million in space if they cut quarterback Mark Sanchez and receiver Santonio Holmes.

But the Dolphins can create space of their own with roster moves and might do just that.

The Dolphins can gain an extra $5.4 million of cap space by cutting cornerback Dimitri Patterson.

Why, you may ask, would the Dolphins dump a solid cornerback when healthy? Well, because durability is a big deal in the NFL. It is a critical factor in judging players. You can't contribute if you can't play.

And of the 18 possible games Patterson could have played with the Dolphins since being acquired in late December 2012, he has started and finished only four of those games.

So new GM Dennis Hickey and Co. will have a decision to make on Patterson.

All this seems like good news for the Dolphins. Because they don't have a big mortgage on the quarterback spot (like New England, New Orleans, Baltimore and other teams with QBs with big contracts) the Dolphins have tons of maneuverability.

Obviously, they probably should not employ all that maneuverability because if things go as hoped by the organization, Ryan Tannehill will eventually want to join that club of high-priced QBs and, poof, there goes the cap space. So saving up for that possibility might be wise given that teams can carry over space.

But with the new TV contract on the horizon and the bump expected this year from a Thursday night TV deal, Miami suddenly has more room than expected.

And that leads us to this ...

Suddenly the franchise tag for cornerback Brent Grimes is more palatable if the team cannot get him signed to a smart two- or three-year deal that pays him but also insulates the team from him dropping off the performance table based on the fact he's going to be 31 years old at the start of the 2014 season. Most clubs don't want to commit to cornerbacks through their 34th or 35th birthdays.

(It should be noted there may be younger cornerbacks on the market, too.)

Suddenly, re-signing Nolan Carroll, who is a solid third cornerback and good spot starter, to a deal is not out of the question.

Suddenly the radical idea of keeping both Paul Soliai and Randy Starks isn't complete folly. No, it probably won't happen. Both players are shopping their services at the Combine through their representation. Both will have offers whenever free agency begins.

And suddenly the idea of adding an offensive tackle through free agency isn't out of the question. If I were the general manager, I'd weigh chasing an elite and young left tackle -- perhaps Eugene Monroe -- and then handle the rest of my offensive line business in the draft. I would not chase free agent guards until the secondary market because the guard free agent class is ... is ... not stocked. Richie Incognito is among the better ones available so there's that.

Also, please remember, this is a great year for tackles in the draft. There will be starters taken in the third round, that's how good it could be. So no more than one tackle in free agency, please. No high-priced guard in free agency, please.

And if you're going to chase a tackle, chase the combination of the best and youngest -- Monroe, who will be 27 in April.

(Peanut Gallery: But Mando, what about Branden Albert? He was good last year. He's really good. Plus, we've heard of him because of last year's flirtation with trading for him.)

He's 29 years old now and will be 30 in November. He had a fine year but how much of that was contract year excellence? And you remember the issues with the back and so forth, right? So he would not be my top choice. He wouldn't even be my second choice. I think I'd like Anthony Collins of Cincinnati more than Albert.

By the way, it's not possible to know if these players will even be available. Their own clubs can still re-sign them.

I should note here that the Chiefs have the least amount of cap space to re-sign their left tackle of the others we've discussed -- Baltimore and Cincinnati. So maybe Albert will be the only tackle on the market because KC drafted a tackle No. 1 last year.

I suppose there's a chance the Dolphins might throw everyone a curveball and opt to draft their left tackle and sign a free agent right tackle instead. The name you'll hear continually is Michael Oher.

Buyer beware. He hasn't lived up to his "Blindside" reputation the past two years. So one must not overpay based simply on name recognition.

Did I tell you I really like the tackles in the draft?


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Dashi, your expertise at judging talent and projecting the future careers of NFL prospects is just awe inspiring.

It is truly a wonder that NFL teams are not ringing your phone off the hook with job offers.

It's the intangibles, man, the intangibles.

I'm interested to see some of the running back 40 times coming up today. Dolphins will most likely be in the market for a RB this offseason.

I'm officially on the Brandon Cooks bandwagon.

Dolphins will most likely be in the market for a QB this offseason.

A. Williams, 4.83, amazing.

Jimmy Cefalo said we need a new QB, 2 new RB's, and 4 new OL.

Commas entertain your mind,

It's the QB STUPID eH?

Man, somehow we have to get our hands on one of those 3 big LTs up there. How? I don't know, but we can try.

cafalo dumb as they come

Luck > Wilson > Tannehill > RG3 > Dalton > Sanchez > Gabbert > Ponder > Locker > Henne.

Of all the QB's drafted in the last 5 years, only two at this point in time are better than Tannehill. Luck and Wilson.

Shanahan wanted Tannehill at 6 instead of selling the farm for RGFragility.

Sam I AM....same darn drivel day after day. All day long. Don't you get sick of hearing yourself? Get a friggin dog or cat or something so you have something more to do than be on here 24/7!!
Ross doesn't make day to day decisions. The GM does. He listens to his adviser, Carl Peterson, on football decisions.
Before the Bills and Jets games you were on here 24/7 bragging about how GREAT the Dolphins were. You even argued we were Super Bowl contenders. Get a life.....PLEASE!!

Guys John Jerry is not a Dolphin he is a free agent. Same as Incognito..

You people make me laugh. You come on this blog ALL day, EVERYDAY and pontificate, complain and demean the PROFESSIONALS involved in the operation of the Miami Dolphins. You sit in your dirty drawers behind a filthy computer screen and with you Cheetos stained fingers you type your vitriol. Well here are some facts for you:

When have you EVER played organized sports above HS level?
When have you EVER broken down tape of a NFL game or any other football game?
When have you EVER coached at any level above HS?
Have you devised and written a playbook for football?
Have you EVER even seen a football playbook?
Do you KNOW the blocking schemes?
Do you know the WR routes?

Y'all watch the game as fans and don't even understand the intricacies of the game yet you think your opinions and how to fix the Dolphins diatribes mean anything to the pros?

THATS WHAT I THOUGHT! GET A LIFE!! EDUCATE YOURSELVES and read a book by Pat Kirwan called Take Your Eye Off The Ball. maybe then you can begin to get it.

A. Williams, 4.83, amazing.

Posted by: oscar canosa | February 23, 2014 at 02:28 PM

he is as fast as the Offensive tackles yesterday...HMMM

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 23, 2014 at 04:08 PM

Unlike you there was no personal attack in my post. You pulled the same crap with MIT 2 weeks ago and then pined like a lost lil puppy cuz MIT ignored you. You are quick to accuse all of being other bloggers and use childish name calling. I will say it again change the friggin record. Your schtick is getting old!!

Bill Arnsparger

You really seem to enjoy attacking other posters. Is that why you do after inserting your "CRUSTING VIBRATOR" up your "DINGLE-BERRIED ASS"?

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 23, 2014 at 04:15 PM

Very ADULT?? Bloggers can decide.

Any minute now your Marco character will show up as well as all the other handles you use. They will defend you and attack any that dare question you. GUARANTEED!!

Bill Arnsparger,

To your credit, I would be agitated if I had enough dingle-berries blocking my poop path to start my own money making citrus grove too.

Guess for you its far too late to wipe, shower, and dry. I suggest jackhammer rental. Lots of noise, but, it just may work!

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 23, 2014 at 04:20 PM

Again what are you 12???? Everybody knows you are unstable. Look back at previous posts.

Ryan TannePuke = Another Irescum bust

Any person that has the time, up to 20 hours per day, everyday to be on here has no life. They are either in:

Mental ward
Old person

Because no SANE, NORMAL person would spend the amount of time on a football blog as you do. Please get help. Get a hobby. Read a book. Get a pet. We will pray for you.

Again what are you 12???? Everybody knows you are unstable. Look back at previous posts.

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | February 23, 2014 at 04:23 PM

Ryan TannePuke = Another Irescum bust

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | February 23, 2014 at 04:23 PM

Well now everybody knows that I am being trolled again....just like I suggested a few minutes ago....leads us all to think that Sam I AM is really DAYTONA???? HUH??? nobody else here but me and you PAL??

Hello DolpFans

So much talk about offensive Line?

Either way, Miami has to use resources on that line, for there should be at least two fresh faces there (although four would be preferable, I don't think all four should be rookies).

Don't YOU! STUPID Homers ever get sick and tired of ALWAYS ! being WRONG ! eH? jajajajajaja eH?

I also KNOW that a internet tough guy like you would NEVER say that to any Black mans face. People like you are so sad. No life. Scared. Racist. What a waste.

It’s time for the dolphins to draft IMPACT PLAYERS ENOUGH ALREADY!
I believe the Dolphins first pick should be!

Even though he isn’t the most consistent player around, he’s an extremely talented, disruptive DT with plenty of upside and should merit first round consideration.

1. Florida State Seminoles star defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan number 8 (IMPACT PLAYER)

Any minute now your Marco character will show up as well as all the other handles you use. They will defend you and attack any that dare question you. GUARANTEED!!

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | February 23, 2014 at 04:21 PM

Sucks being right all the time!!

She continues to show her level of insanity with each and every post. Keep going Samantha. I save post to show your lil buddies the next day. Im sure Rdubs, DC and Darryl Dunphy all of whom are black as well as MIT will love the gifts I have for them. I will also forward them to Armando as a favor to you. This blog has no place for your blatant racism. Your sick. We pray for the sick.

still need a qb


Hello DolpFans Listed are 1st round picks from Dolphins over a decade worth. No offense to the player. Who was the impact player???????? Please tell me!

2000 — No pick — —
2001 26 Jamar Fletcher Defensive back Wisconsin
2002 — No pick —
2003 — No pick —
2004 19 Vernon Carey Offensive tackle Miami (FL)
2005 2 Ronnie Brown Running back Auburn
2006 16 Jason Allen Defensive back Tennessee
2007 9 Ted Ginn, Jr. Wide receiver Ohio State
2008 1 Jake Long *Offensive tackle Michigan
2009 25 Vontae Davis Cornerback Illinois
2010 28 Jared Odrick Defensive tackle Penn State
2011 15 Mike Pouncey Center Florida
2012 8 Ryan Tannehill Quarterback Texas A&M
2013 3 Dion Jordan Defensive End Oregon

Yeah Monkey Boy you need a new schtick also...this Tannepuke and Homer crap is old. It has no merit. No facts supporting it. Pretty much it tells us you have no brain. Also Im not a Cannuck so you can lose the EH??

Ok folks I gotta go now. Miami Dade PD wants to speak with me and I have to forward more entries to them. Have a great night. I will NOT be back on tonight. Any post in my name are not me!!

Lots of silly drama on here today. Never can you let the lowly trolls here get to you. They have nothing better to with their time than crap all over everything about the team and fans. Somehow this provides them satisfaction. The blog is still in need of moderator.

SO it is confirmed the 9'rs were looking to trade Harbaugh to where??? Fkg Cleveland. Yet we couldn't land him.

That's ok. I think he is an immature jerk that will never win it.

What is disturbing is how many GM's turned us down because they didn't like the internal structure. It appears Ross has too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many supervisors of the supervisors. If anything that is a sign of a lack of leadership.

We will know real quick if hickey knows what's up.How?By signing Grimes and fixing the O-line at all cost!Personaly i would love to have Bradly Cooks to drive them crazy with!

We will know real quick if hickey knows what's up.How?By signing Grimes and fixing the O-line at all cost!

Posted by: Dolfan | February 23, 2014 at 08:10 PM

I see, so the new GM needs to fix 6 years of mistakes in one offseason.

Ok. Sure.

Who was the impact player???????? Please tell me!

Posted by: SDOT | February 23, 2014 at 04:47 PM

these guys....

2008 1 Jake Long *Offensive tackle Michigan
2009 25 Vontae Davis Cornerback Illinois
2010 28 Jared Odrick Defensive tackle Penn State
2011 15 Mike Pouncey Center Florida
2012 8 Ryan Tannehill Quarterback Texas A&M
2013 3 Dion Jordan Defensive End Oregon

Ok. Sure.

Posted by: Tazman | February 23, 2014 at 08:21 PM

the o-line will be no problem with Free agency and this draft class......

grimes will sign, he loves it here...

Zapped out of existence in cyberspace. Like the tree that falls in the woods...did he ever exist? Comments gone and there goes spam I am. Buh Bye.

Can the same happen to Ape Tamer?

February 23, 2014
Here lies Sam I Am

Wow Boom really let the blog get under his skin.

I can't imagine how weak a person needs to be to let an anonymous blogger, who may be nothing more than a teenager eating cereal in his under ware, get under his skin.

Boom? Did your mother not breast feed you?

I don't see how it will be remotely possible to have a winning record in 2014. It appears Philbin will have to step down. Then does Ross keep Hickey?

It's a mess.

It will be a mess until Ross, Mr. Always Makes The Wrong Decision, sells the team.

Some very good WRs in this Draft, some big ones also. Perhaps one of them might finds us.

We don't need WR's. We need a whole oline. Two LB's, Two RB's, a FS, a CB...no room for WR's.

Hickey has said he will not draft for need but for BPA. There.

Whatever they say is exactly what they will not do. Haven't you learned?

BPA is for teams that are already loaded. When you have so many needs as we do, you must fill them. That is fundamental.

If Sammy Watkins was available, you would still pick Zach Martin, I know, I know. Just to be right.(Then you criticize Ireland, hehehe)(crazy fukkkk).

Hey, Armando, is Daytona a relative of yours?

It is not my fault so few of you pay attention. BPA is a hoax. The top 3 teams in the league can go BPA, the rest have needs to fill. Now if BPA fills a need, cool, you lucked out.

I'm only repeating the consensus opinion of current and former GM's. BPA talk is for dumb bloggers.

Perhaps one of those Big WRs Ones will find Daytona.

BPA isn't even definable. Proof is in the many draft busts in the top ten picks.

BPA is media fodder to keep the foolish bloggers around. The very people you think you admire routinely make fools out of you.

And if not, you make fools out of yourselves.

Most crazy fukkks are highly paranoid. Easy prey.

Oscar for example, likes to think he is refined. Anyone refined though can see that Oscar is merely an ignorant person with a falsely inflated ego. He is desperate to think he is high society, when in fact he is nothing but cornmeal.

Oscar, tell the blog how many years you've been practicing celibacy.

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