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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?

Comments

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Dashi, agreed, last year was the year for a lineman. Personally, with teh trade up, I thought Lane Johnson should've been the pick. he was my favourite player in the draft. However Jordan is still a great pick.

I would've gone Johnson in the first and Terron Armstead in the second and Brian Schwenke with the early third. We wouldn't even be talking linemen right now if we went that way. Oh well, what can you do?

MIT,

Hmmm that does sound familiar, cant put my finger on it though LOL

I have have a feeling, none of us are gonna guess the proper pick in Round 1. Ebron,Mosley,Evans will be gone, no doubt. I have a feeling Zack Martin will be gone as well. Well a least we still have TRE MASON!!

Actually Statler, no it won't. Signing four very good players wuld only mean about 20 and at most 25 m of the cap would be gone. We have loads.

Slow day on the blog today.....

Mark...

Caught your comments before I shut it down yesterday....SH@T happens......even between two respected bloggers....sometimes things get lost in translation on a keyboard....and the way it was written....its not hard for that to happen...

Its good...and i'm glad we have the balls to admit it as much on a computer screen...

Kris, for the true fans and the people that provide a constructive contribution to this space (in both cricism and support), I have no problems ever manning up.

Now Kris and MIT please touch balls to seal the deal!

Ireland was know for pulling the SURPRISE pick out of his hat on day one of the draft....

and I still haven't forgiven him for not picking up Mallett in the 3rd rd...

Let's see if Mr. Hickey is a bit more predictable...

Some of you guys seem to study this stuff pretty hard....would love to hear a name called that was written on this board a few times....

If Zack MArtin is there i think you have to take him. Maybe slide him over to guard but see how he comptes at LT.

solid 10 years of a guy you could plug in almost anywhere on the line. Build the line to be solid for a while.

Rdubs...

you are one silly dude...

I'd drink a beer with you any time...

Touch balls? How about a moon landing?

Dolphins need to resign Grimes,Clemmons,either Soleai or Starks and maybe Carroll. Then in free agency get a starting LT. then go Ol, Ol, and either LB or RB in the first three picks of the draft.

I want to know what is Hickey's prototype for players at each position? You have to have a specific type of player to work certain schemes. The Seahawks have fast, smart and physical as their prototype on defense. Because they pick players that for the prototype their schemes work very well.

Ireland's drafting and free agent signings don't really seem to fit any sort of prototype. That's why we always seem to have some players that don't play well in our schemes. I'm hoping Hickey can do better.

Kris,

Thats a deal, go ahead and get me a plane ticket to Germany(good place for beer) then we can a few and enjoy some brats and disagree and Dolphin issues. I am down!

Posted by: Jeremy in the Canadian Cowtown | February 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

We had Oline bulldozers trying to play a ballarina Oline scheme. Round pegs, square hole and when Long left it made things very apparent our line was not suited to that scheme.

RDubs,

I vote sign Grimes. He's a helluva a competitor.

Darkoak,


I think Ireland and Philbin had different ideas on their prototypical players, I think that lead to alot of their problems. I think i read Hickey likes em big, but size requirements dont keep him from drafting a player he thinks is good. I think that's where Ireland failed, "Well he's really good but doesnt meet my size criteria"

My only concern with Grimes is he has missed 2 full seasons because of injury and he is over 30. Man it sounds like I am dissing Grimes. i swear I am not

here an OL, there an OL, everywhere an OL...GET THEM ALL...kiss all the frogs Hickey!! its our missing link(s).

lets diversify the OL hunt.

lets sign up Grimes to a deal, not Tag him please. lets rebuild our "culture" with wanting to be here, not "taking hostages".

That cheap SOB Ross wont pay for good coaches, GM's, or players. Thats just part of the reason the team stinks every year. He wont get another dime of my money.

Germany is a fun place - although my experiences are limited to downtown Munich and the Rhine Valley. The gas stations on the side of the Autobahn have some great food. But if you don't like your pork products ...

Fun fact for you rdubs - the German word for exit is fahrt. Since English is a Germanic language, it makes a lot of sense.

Kris, as far as last years picks, I had the first three in sights the whole time, talked about them a few times. Didn't ahve them at the top of my list but theyr were in the vicinity. Last year's draft wasn't too surprising to me.

Odrick of all the first round picks is still the most puzzling to me. Solid player but considering they held the 12th pick that year and if stood pat had a chance to pick from Earl Thomas, JPP, Derrick Morgan, or Dez Bryant ....

so after we cut Patterson who should be cut, we will have over 40 million....nice.

Dashi I have hope for Lamar Miller but he was not great last year by any means. He can't block for sh-t. He earned THILL at least 5-7 sacks and 8-12 QB hits. He also can't get the tough two yards.

I am good with Tate. I am good with Moreno. I am good with Drew. I am good with Blount (but I don't see Philbin taking him).

I'd also be happy with Carlos Hyde in Round #2 if he is still there for the taking.

But we can't go with Thomas and Miller. Both provide poor pass blocking and Thomas gets injured too often. Not sure if Gillislee can do much either but I'd keep him over Thomas.

Hickey's draft record is about as bad as Ireland's.

Every 'daft guru' is calling for the Fins to take an OT in the first round. Either from Notre Dame or Michigan. I don't follow college ball so I don't know much about them. Their stats and physical and experience looks good to me. I'd take either one if available at #19.

I also conitnue to think its a good safe pick for Hickey in his first draft. He knows the OLINE is priority #1 NEED. He knows everyone expects him to take an OT. I think he shops for a OT in Free Agency but also jumps if either of these two are there at #19.

I'd be totally fine with a Richmond Webb / Keith Simms type of draft. OT in round #1 and G in round #2 (or maybe #3 as this year is supposed to be 'deep' in Oline). Lets set the entire left side of the line and protect THILL and help him become the elite QB we need and would be happy to pay accordingly.

Rdubs...

you got to get the ticket....but after you get here...i'm buying....

I do love this German beer....but yesterday I was intriduced to Belgium beer called DELIRIOUS....cost 10 bucks a liter (many 1.5 liter)...

but it is the BEST BEER I have ever tasted...and its like 10 or 11% by volume....

Amazing...

I don't think I will drink any other type of beer while i'm here unless i'm @ Octoberfest...

fins WILL take OL in round-1...or else they will get "roasted"...this time for real. how many is the question...

who thinks Pouncey will move from Center?

Mark...

I have NO issues with pork....and have been tearing some Bratwurst up....and they are cheap...about one Euro depending on where you go....Brat and mustard on Brotchen (hard roll)....cheap lunch...or dinner.

DC would hate it over here....

maybe O'Neil got canned cuz he couldn't keep Patterson on the field. what a frustrating mess. he was so good when he played. that damn groin injury was contagious...didn't the 2 new guys have it too..i know had the hernia though...

maybe o'neil was scared to work it out...fear of Richie gay jokes maybe?

sounds silly, but maybe?

I'm on board with ALL who say sign GRIMEY.....

I'd even take it a step further and say sigh him @ ALL COST...regardless of the cost....franchise him if you must....but try not to....I want the a fully motivated dude playing for us....

Not a guy wating for the season to end...so he can get out of town...

CB COST...PAY THE MAN....

With Revis gone....we could have the BEST CB in the AFC on our team for the next 3-5 seasons....


who thinks Pouncey will move from Center?

Posted by: DJ Baracus | February 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Pouncey is trade bait. He's gone.

Not sure if there is room but I'd be open to seeing a WR picked up in FA. Liked Gibson and Wallace pick ups last year. Maybe one of these guys for the right price?

Name Team Prior APY
Jeremy Maclin Eagles $2,875,000
Kenny Britt Titans $1,830,002
Brandon LaFell Panthers $869,600
Golden Tate Seahawks $852,875
Josh Cribbs Jets $840,000
Eric Decker Broncos $828,788
Julian Edelman Patriots $765,000
Kevin Ogletree Lions $715,000
Robert Meachem Saints $715,000

Kris,

The Dolphins getting my favorite player on the board has happened twice in my lifetime. Generally it is due to draft position but a lot of times it hasn't been the case. The 2 players are Richmond Webb and last years pick Dion Jordan. Jordan was my favorite going into the draft but I never even thought we'd look at him since we had needs in other areas plus I knew he'd go a lot higher and cost too much in picks to move up. Or at least that is what I thought going in.

Mt favorite this year is Sammy Watkins but he'd be very hard to get.

Dolphins NEED to invest in Veterans who will LEAD our locker rooms...you cannot get this thru free agency. you can get players, but no one to step up & lead the team, it must come from someone who went thru the last year (or two).

I nominate Grimes for this. Sign Him UP!

Once beer gets to and passes the 10-11% mark it's is not really a beer anymore, more like a barley wine. But even a barley wine is not a wine it is more of a beer. Confused yet?

Correction....

The beer is called DELRIUM.....

I call it DELICIOUS....

Was it 'Delirious Tremens?' Suberb beer, but as you said it is very potent.

If you're getting into Belgians (the finest beers on the planet) there are of course endless varieties an styles but hard to go wrong with any of the Chimays, St. Bernardus, Orvas, etc. Saison Dupont is amazing as well but they only do that one style (saison).

Of course, Belgian-style beer is no longer the sole provenance of Belgium itself. On this side of the Atlantic I would recommend Ommegang brewery located in Cooperstown, NY) and the outstanding Quebec brewery Unibroue, whose 'Fin du Monde' is ethereal...and will knocj you on your butt.

Cheers!

unless we get a different pouncey, theres no way hes traded. getting 4 guys is hard enough, 5 is impossible, unless you are suggesting we get 2 (projects) in return...we've got plenty of projects.

So who else see's Dee Ford becoming a perennial 10+ sack guy a year?

I think O'neill was fired for not co-operating with Ted Wells. And because he got canned once he landed in Indy, I don't think it was an easy decision.

I mistyped..it is 'Delirium Tremens' of course!

MIT,


I agree and I dont think they really wanted to fire him at all

Beer Snob....

That could vry well be the name of it....I may have forgotten the name...but I rember what the bottle looks like....an off white color....with an elephant (I think on the bottle)....

I have a Chimay in my car....bought it yesterday as well....but now I don't want to drink it for fear of dissapointment....

Deity...yes somewhat confused,,,but I apperciate the info....

Texas...

Thats cool....and you got to watch Webb grow up as a FIN....and I imagine that Jordan will do the same....barring some type of catastophic bust...which I don't believe he will be...I liked that pick as well.....

I don't watch enough college ball to know who to draft....So I have to wait to see if I get that "IT" felling when watching highlights of players....So far...nothing...

High alcohol content in beer makes it difficult to cabonate. Luckily for us, forced cabonation is a beautiful thing. Beer can be made from anything that ferments. YG used to make beer in the toilet while he was in lock up. Crazy the thing folks can come up with sitting in a box.

Ross wants Martin to rejoin the team without the harrassment. That means Pouncey is leaving. He's a bad apple also and was nothing special last year performance wise. If they get any decent offer he's gone.

Texas, i do remember discussin Dion jordan with you on more than one occasion last year. This year you say Sammy Watkins? Good pick, although I would prefer Evans.

But my preliminary favourite player is Greg Robinson - going OT two years running. This is subject to change after they all test out though.

Yes, that would be Deliurium Tremens in the bottle you described. Great choice!

Some German beers that should be fairly easy to find would be from Ayinger and Schneider Aventinus. Both are great breweries that do a variety of styles very well.

The BEST German beers appear in Summer and early Fall when seasonal weisse beers and Oktoberfest styles appear--sometimes for only a few weeks and often just in small an very localized batches.

1809 Berliner Weisse is an outstanding sour wheat (if you like sours, and I do) that is usually available year round.

I love hops. The hopier, the better. Maybe because hops is closely related to another excellent plant. Either way, yum. Lagered beer (german perfected) is great too though. I just love beer in general. Malty, hoppy, lagered, it doesnt matter. As long as Anheuser Busch doesn't make it. That stuff is garbage.

DJ, agreed 100% - Grimes and I would even throw Soliai would be two candidates to dictate the Dolphins way.

Oh, and don't fear being disappointed by the Chimay! They are one of the finest breweries on Earth. Do you know which one? They do three styles (and occasional one off seasonals that can be hard to find but worth the effort).

Something on my bucket list is to get to Belgium and visit some of the VERY small Trappist Monk breweries that only sell their product on site. Some of them are said to be unreal, and virtually impossible to find anywhere but the source.

Deity,


What other plant is that?

Beer Snob....

I am writing this down...and I appercaite the education....

I always thought beer was just drunk/drank to pass the time...and bully some friends (just joking)...but after my experince with Deliurium....my whole view on how a beer should taste has changed....

and I got a buzz off of it....instead of bloated....thats a bonus....

I don't normally pick WR's as my favorites but this year Watkins, Beckam and Martavis Bryant are 3 I like a whole lot. For RB, I really like the power that Andre Williams runs with. Barring shoulder issues from that guy he's going to be something special.

On the Oline I really like Robinson, Mathews, Moses, Henderson, J. James and a bunch more. There are 2 that are not even invited to the combine that I feel will eventually be very solid starters. They are K. Gates OT Georgia but I think he'll move inside. The other is Mason Walters OG for Texas. This guy gives it his all in practice and the game plus he's a natural leader type that could fill a huge void on the oline.

Kris,

feel free to comment on College players even if you dont watch them. Do what 90% of other people online do, looks at stats and read draft experts and make some sh!t up and tell everyone who the Dolphins should draft LMAO

I hate beer and I still find this beer discussion extremely entertaining.


I love hops. The hopier, the better. Maybe because hops is closely related to another excellent plant. Either way, yum. Lagered beer (german perfected) is great too though. I just love beer in general. Malty, hoppy, lagered, it doesnt matter. As long as Anheuser Busch doesn't make it. That stuff is garbage.

Posted by: deity | February 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

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

Yes it is. It's simply an inferior, weak product like most mass market beers. Sits around in warehouses far too long, too. Beer is made to be consumed when it is still fresh and lively---aside from a VERY few niche styles that are made to age as a wine does.

Besides, it's funny how people think drinking a Bud or whatever is somehow more 'American' when the truth is Budweiser isn't even American owned anymore!

For someone just getting into craft beer I would say start as local as possible--sample what s being done in your own backyard and then start to branch out.

Cheers!

MMMMM,,BEER!!

Kris,

feel free to comment on College players even if you dont watch them. Do what 90% of other people online do, looks at stats and read draft experts and make some crap up and tell everyone who the Dolphins should draft LMAO

I will say this about Watkins. My older brother has a second house in the Fort Myers area and the buzz surrounding Watkins goes back years to his high school days. Always destined for greatness it seemed. I think the team that picks him will be glad they did.

I was a little disappointed to see that he is only about 6'2 because the man plays much bigger than that.

I'm on a big Wr kick this year - part of the reason I'd love to see Ebron (yeah I know he's a TE) or Kelvin Benjamin as the pick.

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