Dolphins Salary Cap Analysis: Bottom Five 'Bang For The Buck'

Two weeks ago, you'll remember that I did a look at the top eight 'bang for the buck" players on Miami's roster in 2008 - which was basically a look at which players had the best production to price ratio.  Today I'm going to do the opposite.

What I did hear was look at the Dolphins' 2008 cap situation in its entirety and then select the 5 players from which the Dolphins received the least value - in terms of their cap cost comparative to their production on the field.  So let's get to it.

#5: S Chris Crocker - $1.09 million
Crocker cost the Dolphins over $1 million in cap space in 2008.  So what did they get for that price tag?  They got 2 starts at safety that saw the Dolphins surrender 285 passing yards per game and 5 touchdowns through the air while allowing the opposing quarterback to complete 73% of their passes.  Crocker was then replaced as the starting free safety by Renaldo Hill in week 3.  He'd remain in Miami for 6 games in total - tallying 10 tackles and a pass deflection before being given his pink slip.

#4: LB Charlie Anderson - $1.83 million
Coming over from Houston last offseason, it was expected that Anderson would provide another pass-rushing force and would battle Matt Roth to start at outside linebacker.  But Anderson just wasn't the player that Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland thought he'd be.  But even so, Anderson did come up with a few big plays in 2008 - picking up 2.5 sacks and forcing two fumbles.  He was also credited with a safety, though all the credit for that play goes to Joey Porter for sacking Trent Edwards in the endzone and forcing that fumble.  However, those numbers don't add up to nearly $2 million in cap space being chewed up.

#3: CB Michael Lehan - $1.72 million
If only Lehan could have gotten over the injury bug, he might have been a valuable cornerback for the Dolphins.  But he just couldn't do it.  Lehan battled back from a badly sprained ankle in the preseason only to suffer a hamstring injury in practice in October.  The next day, Lehan was placed on Injured Reserve.  Less than two months later, Lehan was given his pink slip and released.  And so injuries ate up the career of a possibly solid cornerback.  In 2008, Lehan's $1.7 million price tag supplied the Dolphins with 5 games, 11 tackles, and a pass deflection.

#2: LB Reggie Torbor - $2.1 million
When the Dolphins signed Torbor last offseason, I thought it was a terrific move because he seemed like a solid linebacker to have on your roster.  He spent most of '07 as a backup but, due to injuries, started for the Giants' during their improbable playoff run that led to a Super Bowl victory over New England.  And Torbor wasn't a "non-factor" during that run.  So I thought he'd be a solid guy to add to Miami.

But I was disappointed when he finally got his chance.  Filling in for the injured Channing Crowder in that key week 16 game at Arrowhead against the Chiefs, Torbor was non-existant, picking up just 1 tackle.  He just didn't seem like he was comfortable working a an inside linebacker in Miami's 3-4.  Perhaps he's more suited to play outside in a 4-3.  Either way, he didn't earn his cap hit of over $2 million in '08 - that's for sure.

#1: WR Ernest Wilford - $2.5 million
Surprise, surprise.  The player the Dolphins got the least bang for the buck from in '08 was Ernest Wilford.

Count me as one of those who was very disappointed in this.  When Wilford signed his 4 year, $13 million deal last offseason, I was very excited and thought he'd thrive as a starter here.  I loved his height and thought he had very reliable hands.  I was so wrong.  A player who averaged 40 catches and 574 yards in his 3 previous seasons in Jacksonville - a run-first offense - tallied a whopping 3 catches for 25 yards in Miami in '08.  And he couldn't even beat out undrafted free agent Davone Bess in training camp.  Saying Wilford was a huge disappointment is an understatement.  He's just lucky he'd cost more to cut this offseason than he would on the roster - hence the reason he still has a job.

Did you notice that 4 of these 5 players were free agent acquisitions made by this regime last offseason?  Let's hope for better free agency moves in 2008!

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