Free agency is mostly complete and many NFL draft picks are signing contracts. Now is a good time to update the salary-cap situation for the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins came in well-equipped to spend big this offseason. They made major signings in free agency, such as Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert ($47 million) and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell ($16 million).
But Miami didn’t go heavy on big signings. Instead, the team mostly bargain hunted for one-year “show me” contracts with players such as cornerback Cortland Finnegan, safety Louis Delmas and tailback Knowshon Moreno.
Here is where the Dolphins currently stand with the salary camp compared to the rest of the AFC East, according to ESPN Stats & Information:
1. New York Jets: $23.498 million
2. Dolphins: $16.326 million
3. Buffalo Bills: $7.913 million
4. New England Patriots: $7.618 million
The Dolphins are set up well financially for the long term. Miami has flexibility to work out contract extensions later this summer if it chooses. Or the Dolphins can wait to use their money next year in free agency.
Miami is fortunate not to have a lot of money invested in a starting quarterback. Ryan Tannehill is entering the third year of his rookie contract at an affordable rate. If he proves to be the long-term solution, his salary would increase tremendously. Franchise quarterbacks are getting upwards of $15-$20 million per season.
The Dolphins must take advantage of that luxury now and allocate that money to strengthen other positions.