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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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It isn't unprovoked. Me and you have a long history. We haven't called a truce. And last time we called a truce you broke it the next day. Yes, from time to time, me and you talk. But don't confuse that with me and you Being friends.

And a gay comment is a gay comment. It wasn't an attack. I was just stating my opinion on your comment about other peoples man tool.

The series is tonnes better
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 21, 2014 at 02:08 PM

Freedom 35!!!

The Oline rebuild is the most interesting personel topic this offseason by far. Also if we go in with a piecemeal line hopefully we start running two TE sets more often.

Dashi just wants to talk football to my knowledge.

Posted by: Darkoak | February 21, 2014 at 02:45 PM


Except when he's talking about the Dominican Republic, gay themes, Cuba, gay themes, other posters, gay themes, number of airports in the Dominican Republic, gay themes, public transportation, gay themes. And gay themes.


I never notice Dashi ever go there unless someone starts cyber stalk trolling him like you guys do every day. If anyone looks bad it's you for doing it.

Move on.

Hey sam, at least my parents didn't have a basketball team full of inbred retards like yours.

How does it go again? Your sister is also your cousin and your Aunt. You inbred f"kkk.

also agree with others here that we should sign a solid FA RB, as opposed to relying on drafting one--I'd draft one too for depth/competition, but we need a vetern that has proven he can start and carry the load, and block--and Miller and Thomas can be compliments, and hopfully Gillislee pushes too....Thomas is likely gone next year anyway. proven/good LT and RB should be FA priorities.

I really hope the dolphins learned a lesson that the core of your team needs to come from the draft. sprinkle in with a free agent here or there.

Look at the seahawks. Solid drafting year to year from rounds 1-7. Starters like sherman, Chancellor, Wilson, Irvin, Thomas and others all taken in the draft and some taken in the 4th round and beyond.

Teams let free agents walk for a reason. Most times that reason is the player is a head case. Lets not take on other teams problems. Get it done in the draft

hahaa, Darkoak, do you know the significance of that Freedom 35 comment?

In Canada, The Insurance COmpany formerly known as London Life used to run commericals at naseum up here advertising it's products and getting you think that they can retire you 10 years early and called their campaign Freedom 55. It got so popular that the company actually changed it's name to Freedom 55.

That series had so many OMG moments. I've always pictured YG looking like Mr. Lahey.

Posted by: dolfan29 | February 21, 2014 at 02:59 PM

The Seahawks know what they are looking for in the draft. The Fins have not really been there in quite some time. Do you see the Seahawks drafting a player that doesn't fit with their systems? Nope.

Hey sam, at least my parents didn't have a basketball team full of inbred retards like yours.

How does it go again? Your sister is also your cousin and your Aunt. You inbred f"kkk.

Posted by: Dashi


Yes, I see how Dashi just wants to talk football.

I am the liquor


Let him. He is going to start stalking you. He honestly thinks that he is not the problem.

I have made it a point. And every real poster knows, Dashi talks football, if you talk football with respect.

I also told the troll, to stop bothering other posters. If he was going to troll, to only troll Dashi. My skin is thick enough and my tongue sharp enough that I can handle whatever they throw at me. And I don't mind taking the bullet if that means he won't bother other bloggers.

Also, Sam don't be a Hypocrite. You said you were leaving about an hour ago. NOW LEAVE!!


History my ass. Get real with yourself before you'll ever be real with anything else. My post had nothing tracking in it. You turned into a ranting gay diatribe.

How you went there, even the world's brightest minds couldn't figure.

Dashi everything was ok with you and I, then suddenly "YOU" took it to place it was never4 intended nor threatened to go.

Furthermore, the post wasn't even "PERSONALLY DIRECTED TO DASH". It was a "GENERAL POST" no one took offense to but Dashi. Why? Please explain, because I surely must be one dumb mofo.

Please go back to my post and explain to all of us how it was a personal attack on Dashi. I'm sure you cant. But Im sure you'll attempt to baffle us with your bullsht.

Yes canada did win but I'm not excited about it. We are supposed to beat everyone in hockey. Winning is fine, losing is embarassing.

It's like the US and basketball.


Well its time the dolphins start focusing on drafting more wisely and with better success. Im hoping with the success hickey had in Tampa and finding players like Martin and David. The draft has to be the focus to build this team moving forward

Bill Polian would have been great to accomplish this task

agree 29....but that means we're relying on drafting well (has been hit or miss to say the least, although obviously that doesnt involve Hickey)--plus we have too many major needs to expect to fill them all in the draft--we need 4 starting caliber Olineman, and a few more for depth--starting tackles are not easy to find and often take a few years to develop....several of those drafted high last year (considered studs) struggled and/or were moved to RT--and we need a legit/proven RB who can block, not one we draft or sign and cross our fingers--dont think we have enough pick to get all that done.....and it would be risky to say the least.

d29,, irvin is a shining example of what good coaches do to get your best players on the field. Irvin was drafted as a DE - team is stacked there. Instead of letting him get a tn on the sideline, they move him to OLB full time and he contributes.

We have a guy in Jordan with way more experience in coverage than Irvin did and what do we get? Line him up at LDE every time Vernon needs a breather - and that's it.

Mark I know guys from Cape Breton that say they love Trailer Park Boys because it's actually like that out there in places lol.

The forever unknown remains forever unknown. A main character(Dashi) proclaiming he only seeks peace. Is the main proponent that promotes "UNREST". Dashi, you are a "walking contradiction" even to yourself.

That or you haven't the slightest clue of what "promotion of peace" directly entails. God Bless you Dashi, it's far out of man's hand.

rdubs, the shithawks are looming!

d29, another reason to draft BPA and not simply for need, don't you think?


My bad for pressing your button. Forgot how you Home-o's get when someone is telling you to come out the closet and you are not ready. You guys are some prissy individuals.


I never took offense to your comment. I just found it Gay. And made a comment about it.

Hey, we all make gay comments every once in a while. You are the only be who loses it when someone tells you.

Why is that?

What are you afraid of?

We already know the truth. You big fruit cake.

Oh no, Randy took his pants off!!

I see I'm diving in a bit late today, but the banter is flying

Darkoak, Canada has it's shining world class cities but there's a lot of small towns and our version of rednecks here too - LOTS of them. TPB was a huge hit because everyone knew people like these guys.

I apoligize to the rest of the blog for participating in the childish, senseless, escapades with Dashi.

Back to football, and departure from depredations.


Yes i agree we have many needs and too many to fill in one draft. To expect a rebuilt oline all taken care of in free agency will be very expensive and running the risk of inhiriting other teams problems.

I dont think the dolphins have a team that will in one offseason contend for a superbowl. Use the draft the next couple of years to build up the core, then augment in free agnecy. Teams have shown in the past that free agency doesnt work as a main tool to build a team.


Here is what you missed

1. Most people want Grimes over Verner

2,Alot off beer discussion

3.Weed discussion

4.Sam and Dashi going at it

5. Trailer Park Boys discussion

When Randy takes his pants off, you better look the fukk out!!


Agreed on the Irvin example. But you look at the later rounds in a typical draft. Teams like the seahawks get a Richard Sherman. We get a Nolan Carroll. When was the last time we draft a true superstar or difference maker?.


I know you love the Green Bastard episode

Ah I see......I'll take Grimes over Verner. Beer is beer, I'll drink whatever......but honestly I'm a Jack Daniels man. Weed? I grew up in the 80s so Nancy Reagan taught me to say no. Sam and Dashi......here we go again. Trailer Park Boys?


The problem is you expect Dashi to be like Jesus. Turn the other Cheek, So you can slap that one to, and Dashi has to sit there and take it.

Not going to happen.

Dashi is more like God from the Bible. You will be struck by lightning for speaking Blasphemy towards Dashi. Those lies and insults might work with those incompetent heretic fools that you call a family. But Dashi knows the truth. You got sugar in your tank.

Sam the gay bully. Ohh, I'm scared. Someone call my Momma, the booty catcher is chasing me.

dolfan29@ 3:17

We drafted a diference maker last season: Dion Jordan


I make the phins franchise me


trailer Park Boys is a canadian TV show. Its basically about 3 guys who are idiots and are always finding ways to break the law and they really suck at it. The weed discussion kind of led to the TPB talk, since the do it all the time on the show

D29, free agency in effect replaces the drafting misses of years passed. Agree that you should work on retaining your internal free agents first besides Grimes, Soliai, and possibly Clemons is there anybody you would cry over losing?

It was a big mistake letting jake get away last year though. Those are exactly the type of guys we should keep - injuries or not.

Conky is the best by far.

d29, another reason to draft BPA and not simply for need, don't you think?

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 21, 2014 at 03:12 PM


Yes there is a case to draft the BPA as thats what they did i guess with Jordan last year, but if the coaching staff doesnt know how to use that player then its a waste. System dictates alot of a players success. What system do we run. Are we a passing team or power running. On defense are we better in a 4-3 or 3-4. If the coaching staff cant figure that out then how can you draft properly


Later rd gems are pure luck. How often are Shermans and Brady's found late rd?

I believe it happens so often because there's no way to measure "power of desire". Even though it's the main component of great success or great failure.

Great desire can be equal to great talent if that great talent does not have great desire.

Conkie is indeed a joy to watch!!!

Dashi let it go please.

Well d29, we do have some productive late round players in Clay, Clemons, Jones, hartline.

But I do agree in the lack of difference makers - that 's why i keep banging the drum on BPA and not being married to an OT in round 1. The easiest way to get difference makers is in round one of the draft.

Ah so Canada is actually know for something besides maple syrup.......ah just kidding......couldn't resist. Got a question........Starks or Big Paul.......who do we keep?

Good news is that D Hickey favors strong fronts.

Posted by: billcale | February 21, 2014 at 07:49 AM

Bill, in that case, Hickey needs to dial up Kate Upton's agent.


No one here expects you to be like Jesus. Are you kidding me?

Just treat others as you wish to be treated. Even that is enough to suffice.


Soliai over Starks. Earlier I brought up the possibility of looking at BJ Raji and Linval Joseph. Both are big,young and free agents

Cant win without a QB.

and d29 at 3:22 there is the exact reason to be questioning Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle - not over this Bullygate nonsense.

dolfan29@ 3:17

We drafted a diference maker last season: Dion Jordan

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | February 21, 2014 at 03:20 PM


How is Dion Jordan a difference maker. He hardly seen the field in his rookie season. He may be great but if he rides the pine then all we know is hes a great bench guy. I will say he had some flashes when he got in the games but again if he doesnt play then how does that make him a difference maker

Starks is a great player and running a 4-3 he should be the one we keep (he can get to the passer). But Soilai is younger and can play nose tackle or DT so I would keep him and supplement the line with another huge tackle. I liked our 4-3 when we had Bowens and Chester in the middle, something like that.

Anyway, beer's no good for anything but pissing your bladder out, and "beach ball belly". I mean, that's ok if you're into building a tool shed over your man tool, but its hardly attractive.

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 21, 2014 at 01:17 PM


Well, "NO FOOTBALL" talk today. So, I'll leave you guys with this:


Have a great day, guys! :)

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 21, 2014 at 01:23 PM



1- We were talking Football, and Beer, and Weed. Guy stuff. Til you left that Gay Comment.

2- You insulted everyone by calling everyone here an addict. WHEN WE ALL KNOW THE ONLY METH HEAD IN HERE IS YOU!!



At the right price, keep both Starks and Big Paul. Realistically, I do not believe Starks gets more than a two year offer from anyone. If by miracle, he gets a 3yr offer, guaranteed the 3rd year has "zero guaranteed money".

So, that makes the 3rd yr of the contract no more than a "paper tiger". Pure façade.

SilverBack, my preference is Big Paul. He loves Miami and I'm not so sure Starks wants to come back. Getting both would be ideal.


To answeryour question on retaining players. I would keep Grimes and thats it. The rest arnt difference makers IMO. If Soliai was so great then why does our run defense suck so bad. I get it that hes one guy and cant do it all, but for the money hes going to want. Let him walk.

On your other point about Clay, Hartline, Jones and Clemons. I will give you Clay and Hartline, but im still not sold on jones and clemons can walk.

Im still upset the team didnt draft Earl Thomas when they had the chance. Instead they trade down to take a lineman. I believe that was Odrick. Clemons is ok but not a difference maker

Hopefully Hickey can find the Earl Thomas of the world and not the Nolan Carrols of the world

Dooshy, tell us again how Lamar Miller is Barry Sanders lol

yeah starks is gone for sure, no desire to return here. no biggie

We should have let Starks test the market last year.

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