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The cap ramifications of trading Tannehill and picks for Brees and Sean Payton

So my column in Sunday's Miami Herald is a proposal for raising the Miami Dolphins out of their perpetual mediocrity.

And some of you will like it. Some of you will hate it. Some of you will be totally confused like a couple of people on twitter Saturday night and still want to explain why I'm wrong even if they don't understand what I wrote or what they're talking about.

And some of you will ask whether in proposing the Dolphins go get New Orleans coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees in 2016 the Dolphins and Saints can make it work from a salary cap perspective. Yes, they can if Ryan Tannehill is included in the trade, as I propose.


Yes, they can.

Drew Brees in 2016 will be in the final year of a deal that must pay him $19.75 million and cost $30 million against the cap. So to trade Brees for Tannehill, the Saints would have to swallow $10 million in dead money to do this trade. But they would save $20 million against the cap.

In adding Tannehill, they would take on a contract that has the current Miami QB signed through 2020. And that means they would take on Tannehill's $11.640 million  cap hit in 2016. So, for the Saints, this trade saves them about $9 million in cap space. It works for their cap.

As to the Dolphins:

The Dolphins would save $2.4 million by dealing Tannehill although they would have to carry $9.2 million in dead money. And then they would have to initially add that $30 million hit from the Brees deal.

But here's the thing: The Dolphins would not be doing this as a one-year rental of Brees. Brees would have to agree to come and he'd have to agree to do an extension beyond his one year. And that extension would be perhaps three years. So Miami could craft that extension in such a fashion as to lower the Brees cap hit for 2016 by at least half to $15 million.

You know what that means? It would mean that exchanging Tannehill for Brees would cost the Dolphins approximately $3.4 million in cap space for 2016 when all is said and done. That's not even considering the fact the Dolphins aren't spending cap room on their first round pick because, obviously, that pick and the cap hit to pay that player goes to New Orleans.

Those are the cap ramifications of trading Tannehill and first-round considerations for coach Sean Payton and Drew Brees.

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