Ireland is Guiding the Dolphins into the Ground

There has been a lot of speculation about Jeff Ireland among Dolphin fans, due to the lack of playmakers acquired in the five years of his tenure. A closer look at the salary cap lends credence to the negative comments constantly following the embattled GM.

The slots in this chart may not be out of line with where players rank on the team, but the problem is few of these players can be called playmakers. The Dolphins have the third highest payroll in the NFL and yet, they will be lucky to win 50% of their games. It means the money does not equate to the talent on the field.

On the chart above, the right hand number is the one that is important, because that is what it will cost the Dolphins against the cap this year. To total this up right now would be wrong because some of these players will be gone by 9:00PM tomorrow. The chart gives insight why some may stay and some may go.

The NFL formulates its salary cap from the top 51 players on the roster prior to the cuts from 90 to 53.  The chart below shows where the Dolphins are in the eyes of the NFL.


Except there's a piece missing…

All of the players Ireland has brought in 
and let go, start to add up in the form of dead cap money. We can see how Brandon Marshall may be getting the last laugh now that the data is exposed. Trading Vontae Davis cost more than giving up a first round pick for a second round pick; it cost the Dolphins $1.1Million dollars in cap space as well. This demonstrates the type of management that has the Dolphins near the top of the cap but at the bottom of the standings. They acquire players for well over their market value or simply draft players that do not live up to their contracts. All of this adds up to a product on the field that is like buying a Yugo for the price of a Mercedes. When Joe Philbin professes that coaching is only 10% of what makes NFL teams good and that 90% is the talent on the field, reading between those huge wide-open lines, he has inherited a team that has no talent. Trading Marshall and Davis also says he has inherited a team that had poor leadership. None of this bodes well for Ireland. Somehow he is in the owner's favor, and allowed to fix the poor cap management to the tune of…

All of that leads to the Dolphins salary cap woes, which adds up to...

There are a lot of numbers here to digest, but logic dictates cutting or trading a player like Carlos Dansby would be a mistake because...

As shown in the chart above cutting or trading Dansby would cost the Dolphins $11.35 Million dollars in dead cap space and they would have to give up $50,000 in cap! Now it makes sense why Carlos is not afraid to shoot off his mouth! The numbers in red in the right column are actually what the Dolphins would lose in cap space if they were to trade or cut the players listed.

Jeff Ireland somehow still has a job. The good news for him (and the Dolphins) is these numbers become much better next season... To the tune of about $50 million in cap space. They cannot bring in any free agents with prorated bonuses that will hit the cap next season.

There is a lot here, Dolphin fans, and the intention is not to inundate with numbers but to educate on the inner workings of the salary cap. Please use these numbers to see which player contracts might make a player more viable to be gone, if this season already seems like a bust.

Have fun with the numbers!