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Fins nuggets: Ireland's cap management; Tannehill studying Wallace, visits Pennington; Heat, Marlins


Dolphins chatter, three weeks from the July 20 start of camp:

#### Whether Jeff Ireland has constructed a playoff-caliber team won’t be clear until the games begin. But give him credit for this: He hasn’t left the Dolphins in future salary cap hell, though his spending money will be far more limited next spring.

Despite the fact that cap numbers will jump dramatically for several players in 2014, the Dolphins are on pace to have more than $20 million in cap space next spring. It would be less if – in the coming months - they give multiyear deals to 2014 unrestricted free agents Reshad Jones (talks haven’t started), Brent Grimes, Chris Clemons, Koa Misi, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Richie Incognito or Dustin Keller.

But there could be significantly more space if the Dolphins part ways with a few players such as Dimitri Patterson, who has cap hits of $4.6 million in 2013 and $5.4 million in 2014, but no cap hit if he’s cut.

Once Dion Jordan is signed, the Dolphins will have $108.8 million in cap commitments for 2014. Keep in mind that the top 51 count against a team’s cap during the offseason.

Factor in $3.57 million in dead money for Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, and that would leave Miami nearly $11 million below the cap if it remains $123 million. The cap rose $2.5 million this season but is expected to remain flat in the next couple of years.

But the Dolphins also can carry over unused space from this year, which stands at $13 million (factoring in Jordan's already determined cap hit). That number will shrink by $2 million to add players No. 52 and 53 and a practice squad and will decrease a bit more if fullback Vonta Leach is signed. His agent told us last week that Miami remains the front-runner for Leach and that this is the best place for him.

Next spring, the Dolphins figure to commit to either Soliai or Starks and move Jared Odrick to tackle permanently, creating a starting job for Jordan at defensive end. If Ireland chooses, he should have enough money -- if contracts are structured astutely -- to keep his safeties, Grimes, Keller (or another free agent tight end) and Misi. Interest in retaining Incognito would hinge on his performance and the development of rookie Dallas Thomas.

There won’t be enough to make a big splash in free agency next year, but that’s expected, because cap numbers are rising for Mike Wallace ($3.2 million to $17 million), Dannell Ellerbe ($2.4 million to $7.4 million), Philip Wheeler ($2.4 million to $6.4 million), Matt Moore ($2.5 million to $5.5 million) and Brian Hartline ($2.15 million to $6.2 million), among others.

Credit Ireland and executive vice president/football administration Dawn Aponte for keeping the Dolphins out of the awful cap predicament that has plagued the Jets and some others. Of course, it helps having a young quarterback who doesn't count a lot against the cap; Ryan Tannehill's cap number will be just $3.455 million in 2014.

### The enduring image of Wallace is beating cornerbacks deep. But something else stood out when Moore walked into the room recently while Tannehill was studying Wallace’s Steelers tape.

“What was impressive to see was what he can do with the ball [on short patterns],” Moore said. “Everyone talks about the deep routes, but Ben Roethlisberger would sometimes get him the ball quickly and just let him go.”

In fact, Wallace led the league two years ago in average yards, per attempt, on throws of 10 yards or fewer, ESPN’s KC Joyner tells us. “Pittsburgh used him on a lot of quick screens,” CBS’ Bill Cowher said.

Former Jets coach Herman Edwards insisted on ESPN that Wallace “was a [deep] guy. He needs to learn to run patterns.” ESPN’s Ron Jaworski shot back: “He can run patterns!”

So what do the Dolphins' cornerbacks think? Richard Marshall said: “He runs better routes than some might think.” And Brent Grimes added: “It’s not, ‘If I can’t get the deep ball, I can’t do anything else.’ He has good hands, can run other routes. He’s not a one-trick pony.”   

### Nobody on offense helped his stock more this offseason than receiver Armon Binns, who dropped two passes in the season finale. “That left a bad taste in my mouth,” he said. “I want to show Ryan I can be consistent, show them who the real Armon Binns is.”

Joe Philbin likes having bigger receivers in the slot: 6-0 Brandon Gibson or 6-3 Binns. “Sometimes, it’s easier when you have a bigger body at times cruising through the middle,” Philbin said. “I don’t want to jinx him – I’m usually the kiss of death – but [Binns] is playing faster.”

### Chad Pennington, who worked as a quarterback consultant at some offseason Dolphins practices, said Tannehill visited him in Kentucky and “I gave him a few handouts that I found in my notes concerning leadership, favorite quotes, etc. that I thought may be useful.”

They talked for awhile about “teamwork, media interaction” and more, then “went to the horse races at Keeneland.” Pennington said he doesn’t expect to attend training camp.


### Though Heat president Pat Riley has a trademark on the term three-peat, which he and a business partner secured before the Lakers fell short of doing it in 1989, he said “it might be a little bit presumptuous to put it out there” next season.

“I’m not sure the Heat wants to use that as a trademark. We haven’t talked about it. I’m not using this as a platform to become a brand and make money off it.”

Riley has made a “considerable amount of money” off royalties from merchandise – largely from three-peats by the Bulls, Yankees and Lakers – “and a good portion of it goes to charity.” The idea was hatched when Lakers guard Byron Scott talked about trying to “twee-peat.”

### Erik Spoelstra and Riley – who are close - offered insight into their relationship last week, with Riley admitting to 790 The Ticket's Dan Le Batard that they didn’t talk for two months in Spoelstra’s first season as head coach, 2008-09, and “I don’t even know what it was over.” Riley added: “I didn’t break away from [coaching] gracefully.”

Spoelstra spoke of once telling Riley, when he was still coaching: "If you suggest [a particular idea] one more time, we're going to have major problems." Spoelstra said he and Riley have had "epic" confrontations after losses.

These days, Spoelstra still goes to Riley for advice. Every now and then, Spoelstra will ask him simply: “Do you have a pearl?”

Meanwhile, Riley will draw up some late-game plays “and slide them under his door. I don’t know if he’s ever used one of them.”

Riley loved how Spoelstra came up with a new play -– “it wasn’t part of the offense; it’s one he saved” -– to free up Dwyane Wade for a dunk, off a Shane Battier pass, with 2:56 left in Game 7. “I’m so proud of Erik and how he’s grown as a coach and a man.”

Incidentally, the plan to start Mike Miller in Game 4 was hatched in Spoelstra’s suite after the Game 3 loss, as Spoelstra, Riley and David Fizdale drank wine while brainstorming and reviewing tape. Riley said they finally left Spoelstra's suite close to dawn.

### One other interesting story from last week: Heat vice president/player personnel Chet Kammerer recalled going to trainer Tim Grover’s gym in Chicago to interview Chris Kaman before the 2003 draft.

"There was this guy shooting, and he was pretty impressive.... down at the other end of the court," Kammerer said. "I remember Pat saying, ‘Who is that guy down there?’ We were quite a ways away." Kammerer told Riley it was Wade.

"Maybe that was the start of ‘We should be watching this guy a little closer,’" Kammerer said. "I can remember several scouts telling me when we picked him at five: ‘Chet, I like your guy’s athleticism, but you know he can’t shoot. That’s pretty high where you took him.’”

### Thanks to Nielsen and WPLG researcher Marci Crawford for uncovering this: Game 7 of Heat-Spurs was viewed in 44.2 percent of Dade/Broward homes with TV sets –- the highest local rating since a 50.8 for the MASH finale in 1983. Heat-Spurs easily topped the 38.7 for the Marlins’ clinching Game 6 World Series win against the Yankees in 2003.

### Encouraging: Even with Ricky Nolasco assuredly in his final month here, the Marlins have built up pitching depth to the point that they eventually should have at least 10 young arms competing for four spots behind Jose Fernandez: Jacob Turner (who continued his excellent recent work Saturday), Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, and prospects Andrew Heaney (batters hitting .198 against him in Single A), Justin Nicolino (4-1, 2.38 at Single A), Anthony DeScalfini (6-2, 1.75 at Single and Double A), Adam Conley (7-2 at Double A), Brad Hand (2-3, 3.19 at Triple A) and perhaps current No.5 starter Tom Koehler and Jose Urena (7-3 at Single A). 


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Octavio de Armas

We are in sports purgatory right now. Let Football begin pleaseeee !!!


Good article,I constantly read the bashing of Ireland here and with all the changes Miami has had in the last 18 years its no wonder! No one is perfect in choices I mean look what it took to get Tom Brady on the field! Go Jeff,Joe and Go Dolphins!



If you've missed hints from UMiami, the 9/7 final game with the Gators (since UF has no interest in continuing series) will sell out soon.
-- Tim Reynolds ‏@ByTimReynolds




Developing...... apparently its.. @RajonRondo for @matrix31 , @mrvincecarter15 & 1st rd pick @ShaneLarkin
-- Chris Arnold ‏@MrChrisArnold

Lots of smoke right now in NBA land. Just remember this: The Celtics loved Shane Larkin and their next coach could be Jay Larranaga.
-- Tim Reynolds ‏@ByTimReynolds




Gut feeling here

Does the media start snooping around Coach Urban Meyers time at Florida and his lack of discipline.

I guess it has begun

He had at least 31 players arrested, 10 felonies and lots of unreported incidents and the players got what? something along the lines of 66 suspended minutes.

Aaron Hernandez failed numerous drug tests and he gets a one game suspension.

Then you have the Brandon Spikes eye gouging incident and he gets a half game suspension against lowly rated VANDERBILT at that time.

All this from a guy who claimed he was named after a pope
-- retro44




MD's suit vs. ACC -- alleging $52M exit fee is anti-competitive -- has been stayed pending NC case.
-- Jeff Barker @sunjeffbarker

Carolina refs? Advantage: #ACC RT @sunjeffbarker: Bottom line is that MD will get its day in court, but a NC court.
-- david teel

MD president Loh & the MD BOT would be wise to have attys throw up a $35MM trial balloon
-- John Xavier Diehl ‏@JXD23



Hey Green - The Gainesville Sun won't report what they know about Meyer's reign at Fla. because small town newspapers are bullied by universities as large as UF. UM gets no special treatment because the Herald is in a large metropolis. There's nothing the Herald is afraid to report about UM. There are so many things and incidents that happened at UF under Meyer that were not reported by the local media. Who ever heard of a player physically abusing an assistant coach and being allowed to remain on the team. That is just one of the unsavory incidents that took place. Tim Tebow was the face of the Program and he was put out front all the time to cover and distract all the shenanigans going on. If it wasn't for Tebow's presence and his stature, the really ugly side of the Program would have come out more. UF has more to thank Tebow for than National Championships. Meyer deserves to be exposed for his win at any cost coaching.


Exellent ay of explaining, an pleaant pice fwting to get dat bout my pentation subjctmattr, which am going to cοnvy in universty.


"Thanks to Nielsen and WPLG researcher Marci Crawford for uncovering this: Game 7 of Heat-Spurs was viewed in 44.2 percent of Dade/Broward homes with TV sets"


This reminds me of the "new deal" that almost-but-never-happened btw the Heat and FSN. Last year at this time, Forbes reported the Heat were "on the verge" of a new deal worth up to $100m/year -- about 4 x what the Heat make on their current deal http://onforb.es/NaHLP0 .

Had the new deal gone through, the Lakers deal with Time Warner (TWC) would still be worth twice as much ($200m/year), but that's because the TWC reaches twice the number of households (258,000 vs. SunSports 103,000) http://bit.ly/yaVJjw .

Still, according to the same Forbes article, the Heat only trailed San Antonio in midseason ratings last season, which suggests the Heat are REALLY getting shortchanged on their currrent TV deal w/Fox AND, most importantly, deprives Miami of additional revenue that Arison could use to absorb more luxury tax.

But since then, no new deal, no new revenue, meaning the Heat are STUCK for the next 2 yrs under the current deal while Fox REAPS gold from 2 successive championships which may NOT ever become a 3rd or 4th if Micky is forced to gradually, inevitably break up the team.

So my question is: How locked in are the Heat from negotiating separate deals w/other Florida cable providers that *don't* carry Sun Sports?

Florida has 7 million TV households, yet SunSports (FSN) can only reach 103,000. The Heat should become a statewide brand ASAP. Under the new CBA & its onerous LT, more rev would = more championships where the Heat are concerned. Lets GO HEAT!


"The Heat should become a statewide brand ASAP."


Oops, sorry. Apologies to the Magic Kingdom, not that Magic fans wouldn't mind watching a team built to win now, win NOW.



Today is an exciting and historic day for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

We are proud to officially welcome Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC. Our conference has long enjoyed a rich tradition of balancing academics and athletics, and the addition of these outstanding member institutions further strengthens our league.

Please join us today as we celebrate this grand occasion by ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ in New York City. We hope you will make plans to watch the press conference this afternoon at 2 p.m., followed by the closing ceremony beginning at 3:45 p.m. Both events will be carried live on ESPN3 and The ACC Digital Network on theACC.com.

We are moving forward as a true Atlantic Coast Conference, with membership spanning from New England to South Florida. But with the addition of Notre Dame – and Louisville in 2014 – the ACC’s reach will extend far beyond the Eastern Seaboard.

When one looks at the geographic area that composes the ACC, we have the most television households and highest population of any conference nationally. In addition, it is projected that by 2030, 55 percent of the U.S. population will lie within the ACC footprint. Our marketplace opportunities, along with the population numbers, both current and projected, give the ACC enormous potential as a conference over the next 15 years and beyond.

It is fair to say this is the strongest collection of basketball programs that has ever been assembled in one conference, and our potential from a football standpoint is unlimited. The addition of our newest member schools greatly enhances our Olympic sports, which already have consistently ranked second to none.

The ACC has led FBS conferences in overall average ranking the last six years, and our new members only bolsters our league’s academic credentials. The ACC’s 15 member institutions rank first among BCS automatic qualifying conferences in the latest US News & World Report’s "Best Colleges" list by any measure.

I want to again express my thanks to the administrators of our member institutions for their leadership and tireless efforts in bringing us to this point. This is a milestone date for our league, our schools and our entire alumni and fan bases. I know that you share in our excitement as we take this giant step together.

Please join me in extending the warmest of welcomes to Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse as they officially join the Atlantic Coast Conference.


John Swofford, ACC Commissioner



Hey Green - The Gainesville Sun won't report what they know about Meyer's reign at Fla. because small town newspapers are bullied by universities as large as UF.

Posted by: rboud | 06/30/2013 at 03:03 PM

tampa tribune, orlando sentinel, jacksonville times-union, pbpost & miami herald also cover the flagship beat ...
what's their excuse ...


Reality Bites

Lil green pea I agree the ACC will get stronger in both BB and football with these new additions. UL in BB is very strong and ND in football seems to be coming back. About time the weak link added some decent teams though it will still be kinda soft in football, but overall a good move. Maybe now they won't be the worst major conference but the second worst. Congrats!

The Gainesville Sun won't report what they know about Meyer's reign at Fla. because small town newspapers are bullied by universities as large as UF.

Posted by: rboud | 06/30/2013 at 03:03 PM

tampa tribune, orlando sentinel, jacksonville times-union, pbpost & miami herald also cover the flagship beat ...
what's their excuse ...

So the Gville Sun is afraid of the "evil" Meyer and his "terrible" reign at Florida.
And all the other big time Florida papers are also hiding the "terrible" evidence against Meyer and UF.
Not a cop out, more like wishful thinking by jealous cane retards like rboud.
They won't report what is not there.
What about reporting on how evil the Pats and Belicheck are? What did they know? Where is the Boston Globe? Surely they must have something on Kraft?
Amazing what an envious retard will try and imply.


Posted by: Reality Bites | 07/01/2013 at 04:04 PM

Why aren't you posting on the Gainesville Sun?

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