Where Dolphins spend their cap room

The Miami Dolphins have unsuccessfully tried to build a playoff-caliber roster for the past five seasons.

Not since 2008, in former head coach Tony Sparano’s first year, have the Dolphins won double-digit games, the AFC East and qualified for the playoffs. It’s been mostly mediocre play ever since. The Dolphins are 35-45 (.438 win percentage) since their last playoff berth.

A majority of those down years have been under former Miami general manager Jeff Ireland. Now, first-year Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey is trying to improve the roster he inherited and end Miami’s playoff drought.

As of Monday, here is where the Dolphins are allocating their resources:

The Dolphins are currently spending 48.32 percent of their cap room on offense, 47.91 percent on defense and 3.77 percent on special teams. That is a very good balance, although some positions (receiver, defensive line) are clearly more expensive than others (tight ends, running backs).

As we wrote in this space a few times this offseason, Miami is fortunate that it doesn’t have to spend $15-$20 million for a franchise quarterback. Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill is entering the third year of his rookie contract and has a $3.45 million cap charge in 2014. He’s 15-17 as a starter and still has a lot to prove.

But at some point Miami will have to spend a large chunk of its cap on a quality quarterback. For the next year or two, Hickey still has the flexibility to spend the Dolphins’ resources on other positions.