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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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29, I think Hickey will be fine.......I mean anything is better than what we had. What was Ireland thinking sometimes? I mean I liked some of his picks (some) but was he consulting anyone when he was drafting.........Philbin didn't like Martin, but let's draft him anyways

Texas, anything over 25 is good enough. You get into the 30s and we are talking beast mode...

Silverback

I respect your view on carroll. As a third and 4th guy, you could do worse than carroll, but we needed him to be a solid starter when patterson went down. He just isnt talented enough to get the job done. However a great debate when discussing value. Huge reason i love the draft and attend them as a fan

29, I love the draft.......the different strategies fascinate me......I think Kiper has been slipping lately

Cyrus, 21, another martin. yankey 22 ... pff

Taylor Lewan 29, now that's a man.

Zach martin 29, very good too

Anotnio Richardson 36!!!!!

Greg Robinson 32... my favourite is off to an amazing start

AT THE END OF THE SEASON, IN ANY SPORT, IF YOU CAN

Blame the lack of playoffs on 1 person than you have a shhtty team.
Any sport.

Mark, don't feel bad, I can't jump 40" either.

Silverback - What does the B-in-law say about Yankey? Another Stanford lineman.

Oscar, It all depends on who is there @ 19 and if he's even there.

Silverback

I think the issue with Ireland was he felt he was the smartest man in the room. He wouldnt listen to anyone but himself, and whether the coaches or scouts had concerns with picks, Ireland would have the final say. Ireland was out to prove points and it eventually got him fired

Mark, then you'd like Brandon Thomas. He lifted 35 times.

Texas, I was in San Antonio last summer to see the nephew graduate from Air Force boot camp.......great food over there. You guys turn out some nice ball players, It will be nice if they can turn the University of Texas around ...... better for college football

MIT,

Squats and lots of running and jumping. I never had a 40 inch vertical. But I know I could jump in the mid 30s. I could no longer Dunk like I use to, but I can still take two steps and grab the rim.

An easy bet to win, whenever I play basketball with someone I have never played with. People don't expect a person as stocky as me to get up that high.

I'M WILLING TO GIVE HICKEY A FAIR CHANCE

He came up with some good players in Tampa let's see what he does here.

Texas, the bro in law thinks he's a mauler with limited mobility. I saw him play a few times and I would agree.......he fires off well and plays with good leverage and hand position, but you're going to have to work on his feet for him to fit into these NFL offenses

sure dashi remember when u climbed everest

IMO they hired a good coach in Coach Strong so we'll see what he can do. I also like A&M head coach Sumlin.

stupid PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE smart Eh?
SMART people know they are not STUPID eH?

The San Diego zoo is interested in acquiring Incognito. Hah

Dashi, there's my achilles' heel. Plenty strong up top and even in the quads, but creaky and cranky knee joints. If Kiper were to scout me - he'd say poor knee bend.

No I didn't do windmills and 360s. But I could clear enough of the rim that I can dunk.

I know someone isn't going to believe it, I could care less. Because they can't or never did. Dashi can't.

This is annoying though. Making Preemptive comments cause the clown is just going to open his mouth to talk bad about Dashi.

dashi what human couldnt touch rim in high school. and anyone over 5;11 could dunk

San Antonio is known for good food. I met Willie Nelson on the River Walk and bummed a smoke from him after I ate dinner. I left my smokes in the truck and din't feel like walking.

Dashi,

I was in the low 30"s for jump and could barely dunk and I had to have the wind behind me and planets aligned but I could dunk.

those werent smokes texas river walk was fun, but lack of good mexican food on the walk annoyed me

Hahahahahaha.....Willie Nelson was on the River Walk? Crazy. I can see out there too

Dusty come to L.A. I'll hook you up with some good Mexican

I can't believe Kouandijo only lifted 21 times. The kid looks so much more powerful on film.

Thanx Armando eH?

21 times is bad for an NFL lineman.......that's DB reps

Rdubs where you at my brother?

Oh yeah, no good Mexican food on the RW. It was just a funny story. The best Mexican food I had was in my home town. Corpus Christi. It was a small hole in the wall we went into one day. Back when I lived there I went at least once a week after that and still go there when I go to visit family. I couldn't even tell you the name of the place but sure know how to get there.

So, who lifted the most, Richardson? Nab him. hehehe

Wow Mark , on this blog for 7.5 hours straight. Guess welfare pays the way for you my friend ?

Russell Bodine North Carolina lifted 42 times.

MIT,

25 is OK. But 300lb linemen should be lifting over 30 times. I will accept 29, or even 27 as my bottom number. But ideally. I expect my linemen to lift over 30 times.

Yeah, I feel you on your knees. When I come down now I feel it more. More weight going up and down.

I grew up playing basketball everyday. And my dad was a former Volleyball player and Catcher. No he didn't play professionally. But he taught me a bunch of jumping exercises. Even the proper way to jump. MF'er even taught me how to hurdle. Better said High jump.

He would have this broom stick and he would put it at waist level and tell me to jump over it. Then every few weeks he would raise the bar up. By the time I was 16 I was high jumping chest high.

Til this day, Anytime me and my dad talk he says how I blew it, and so does everyone else in my family. Doesn't matter how much money I make. His first response is always, you could've made more money playing baseball. Even if you don't love the game, the money would make up for it.

I quit baseball in college. Just didn't love the game anymore. Try telling that to a Dominican parent. You get a better response if you tell them you are gay.

I do like La Margaritas well enough but it isn't right off the RiverWalk.

You can have 90 O-linemen on the roster and it is NOT going to help the barbies post season bids because,
IT'S THE QB STUPID eH?

My Uncle was the Coach for the National Basketball Team in Cuba during the late 50's. I never played for him, he didn't like me.

Oscar,My Uncles love me,they give me anything I want,Why did you disappoint your Tios' Oscar eH?

Oscar,My Uncles love me,they give me anything I want,Why did you disappoint your Tios' Oscar eH?

Posted by: Ape Tamer | February 21, 2014 at 05:08 PM

Most Dolphin fans love the Ape. Thill fans hate the Ape. Ape knows this eh ?

Texas,

That is why I wanted to clarify what I said. Just because you say you can dunk people think you are automatically talking LeBron James dunking. No, I'm just talking about clearing your hand over the rim and dunking.

I only dunked for a short period of time. From 17 to like 25. I can still jump and touch the rim. But I haven't gotten that high in a minute. I don't run and jump everyday like I use to. Or workout on the regular. I have other priorities now.

My Nephews and Nieces LOVE ME Oscar and they tell the world that my TIO! Sr.APE TAMER from the Great WHITE NORTH Is the best eH?
jaja!

MARCO! I love You Too because We LOVE our DOLPHINS and have ALWAYS known what is best for them while never WEARING STUPID HOMER BLINDERS on eH?
oh ARMANDO LOVES US TOO BTW eH?
jajaj

Well, everybody has their likes and dislikes, and their prejudices. Very few People are like me, who has the empathy to understand somebody else although not necessarily like him/her=I'm not prejudiced.

Yeah, anyone over 6' can dunk.

I knew plenty of guys who were 6'4" and up and couldn't dunk.

And I also know guys that are 5'9" and can jump thru the roof.

Not everyone can jump high. Else you wouldn't find what I said ridiculous.

And to dunk you need to know more than just how to jump high. You need to know how to properly jump so you can dunk. At least if you want to dunk in game.

Well, every body has their likes and dislikes, and their prejudices. Not everybody is like I am, that through my sense of empathy, I can understand others although not necessarily like them. Therefore, I'm not prejudiced.

Of course, also, prejudice clouds understanding.

Dashi SMOOOCCH!!

Here is some players the Fins have met with so far. Reported on Walter Football site.

Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona (COM)
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa (SR)
Caraun Reid, DL, Princeton (SR)
Will Sutton, DL, Arizona State (SR)
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech (COM)

Cuban Basketball Team.

Oscar,that is Familia~, SORRY TO HEAR THAT Eh?I WILL kill for MY FAMILY AND THE TOP FIVE FRIENDS IN MY WORLD Eh?

James Wilder, Jr. has pedigree.

Expect Hickey to pick him since his dad was a good reliable RB with the Bucs for many years.

Combine bench press numbers are undoubtedly a great place to start when identifying which players are "strong enough" to play in the NFL.

However, at the end of the day, this player had better also have NFL level "TECHNIQUE AND LEVERAGE" skills to boot. Great strength alone does not make a great NFL player.

Bench press is a great place to start, but its not the "read all" holy grail in overall evaluation of a NFL player. There are many great bench press champions sitting at home on their "COUCH" on NFL football Sundays, Bench pressing their "chips and dip".

Texas,

C.Reid and L.Thomas are in my mock draft. I know it doesn't mean that they are going to draft those players. But at least it looks like I understand what Hickey might be looking for in a prospect.

Maybe they are as high on A.Williams as I am. Keeping my fingers crossed.

You lucky, Gorilla.

The combine is meaningless. My eyes watching them play is the deciding factor.

Oh, but he was, Raul Canosa, first Cuban Basketball Coach to introduce zone play in Cuba. Look him up.

I mean, I have a pedigree, I am somebody.

Bench press gives you a measure of how strong he is.

Same thing as a 40 measures speed.

Yes, those test don't mean that the player would be any good because they are just measuring the physical ability. But it gives you a baseline on what the player can accomplish with proper polish and coaching.

Just cause a guy runs a 4.3-40 doesn't make him a top shelf WR. What the 4.3 does is tell you that the guy has natural speed. Higher potential than a guy that runs a 4.5.

Same thing with the bench. Just cause a linemen can Bench 30+ times doesn't mean he will be an all pro. It just means he has a higher ceiling than the guy who can only lift the bar 20 times.

Rarely is a truly great player less athletically gifted than someone else at his position.

Reason, I told you last year. Stop riding Gillislee. He isn't Athletically Superior to anyone. Yet, you kept insisting.

John Elway is from Stanford.

eyes are useless...EARS are what its all about. talk to these guys. surely you can tell where their heads are at.

call them a p***y, she how they take it...do they cry? do they murder someone?

are they smart? can they talk? can they talk football? I think the meetings are way useful.

oh right...don't forget to ask if anyone in their family has ever participated in the older profession on earth!

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