Don’t worry about it.
That’s our take. Don’t worry, It will all work out.
If there’s a player we really really want/need, we’ll find the money to make it work. If there’s a player who is expendable, he’ll be gone. The money has less to do with it than you think.
I remember really really wanting to keep Paul Solai a few years back. The Dolphins let him walk, ostensibly because of salary cap demands. But in retrospect, the Dolphins let him walk because his best days were behind him. This has been proven over the past two years, as Solai has remained a very stable and average player, nothing more.
The Dolphins knew they could jettison an average player. The move had little to do with money. And that happens more than you think.
A “salary cap casualty” is just a made-up term for the team saying, “We don’t want this fella on our team no more.” Pretending you can’t afford him is a nicer way of saying he’s unwanted.
Last year, the Dolphins hired a guy named Suh. The contract was worth $115 million. The NFL salary cap last year was only about $145 million. That means Miami had only $30 million to pay 52 other players, right? An average of only $540,000 per player, right?
Nope, not at all. $115 million was Suh’s deferred salary over several years, not one year. Accountants are geniuses at burying this stuff, to defer money here and there, back-ending money until well in the future. The bottom line: If the Dolphins want a player that they cannot afford, the accountants can make it happen.
For all my critiques of the team, the one thing I don’t criticize them for is losing guys over money. It doesn’t happen. I lambaste the organization for getting rid of All Pros like Vontae Davis and Reggie Bush, for example, but those guys were let go for Joe Philbin’s stupid control issues, not for money.
No, luckily, we rarely lose a guy over money.
Not many people remember Deion Sanders as a 49er, but he was. The year the 49ers signed him, they were millions and millions of dollars OVER the cap. They were higher over the cap than any other team before they signed him. But they still signed him.
Sure, there were probably shenanigans involved, but they made the deal. The most expensive free agent ever (at that point) went to the team that was the most broke. It’s all due to the magic of creative financing.
So when other reporters and websites tell you that there is NO WAY the the Dolphins can afford to keep Wake AND Vernon AND Shelby, I want you to cry foul!
The Dolphins probably won’t keep all three; that part is true. But the reason is that Vernon became somewhat of a liability with his stupid penalties and inconsistent play. Wake may not be ready for the season (remember, a torn achilles takes a full year to heal), and if the Dolphins don’t think he’ll be ready for 2016, they may cut him due to lack of 2016 productivity, not lack of 2016 money.
Another reason not to worry about money–and this reason is snide but true–is that player quality is far more important than player salary. What I mean is that say there were no salary cap at all…a team could sign whoever they wanted at any salary they wanted…the Dolphins would still find a way to muck it up.
We don’t miss out on good players because of money. We miss out on good players because our executives have poor judgment.
Would you rather have Jeff Ireland and Mike Tannebaum spend $500 million for you? Or have Bill Polian and Ron Wolf spend $5 million for you? We’ll take the latter, please.
Money isn’t everything.