The first time I did my rambling, I stayed focused on how I feel the NFL could balance the passing game and give defenses some leverage by increasing the 5-yard illegal contact cushion to 10 yards. This week, partly thanks to the lovely pill as Percocet, I will have a bunch of different thoughts here in bullet format. You'll know the meds kicked in during this post if you see the repetitive use of any keys. Here goes!
I know everyone is worried about Matt Flynn because he's unproven. I am too. Just don't be overly concerned about his contract. People look at Kevin Kolb's contract and all they see is $63 million with $20 million guaranteed. What they don't see is that half of that guaranteed money comes in roster bonuses. Kolb has a $7 million roster bonus due on March 18th of this year and a $2 million roster bonus in 2013. If Arizona were to release or trade Kolb, the roster bonus would not count as dead money against the salary cap. Kolb is scheduled to earn $1 million in base salary on top of his $7 million roster bonus in 2012. If Arizona were to release him now he would cost $8 million against the cap because of his $10 million signing bonus. He would count $6 million against the cap if he was released prior to the 2013 league year. While Kolb would count $8 million against the cap because of signing bonus this year, they would also save $8 million because of his $1 million base salary and his $7 million roster bonus. In the end, Arizona walks away with no dead money. Similar deals could be worked with Matt Flynn. Please stop freaking out and thinking that such a deal would cripple a franchise. Teams almost always take precautions against that. Genius. If you were able to follow me through all this, even more genius. Geniuser!
Miami currently sits between $5 to $8 million under the cap in 2012. They have various ways to create more space by signing Jake Long and Randy Starks to extensions. Yeremiah Bell could be extended or cut in an extreme case to save money. Tony McDaniel can also be released. The Dolphins can also use an exception on up to 3 players worth $1.5 million to save additional money if needed. All of these moves could give Miami a lot more room. Miami can also carry forward unused cap from 2011 into 2012. I don't have the final numbers for how much Miami was under the cap for 2011, but as of August 2011 they had approximately $4.9 million in cap space. I'd estimate that based on moves made, Miami may be able to carry $2.5-$4 million of unused cap space into 2012. All of these moves could give Miami a lot more room. The Dolphins could free up around another $11 million or so with the exception, resigning, and rollover of the previous cap. The savings would jump close to $17 million if they released Bell and McDaniel.
All of the above doesn't mean Miami can go and sign Peyton Manning for $15 million and then also add Jermichael Finley and LaRon Landry. Those moves would eat up all the space Miami created and would leave no room for other UFAs and draft picks. It'd be great if it could happen, but it won't. Under the scenario above where Miami frees up $17 million and ends up close to $25 million under the cap (that is an absolute best case scenario), if Manning signed with Miami for a fairly generous $15 million for 2012, it would put us back to $10 million under with approximately $5 million required for draft picks. With $5 million left, that doesn't leave us much room. That won't get us players like Jake Scot, Carl Nicks, Michael Griffin, or even Cliff Avril. That gets us Wayne Hunter or Marc Colombo. It's not just about adding the best players, but it is also about trying to get bang for the buck. Carl Nicks at $8 million isn't bad, but some would prefer to have Jake Scott and Landry for $9 million combined instead.
Much like everyone dubbed the Dolphins as the Cowboys of the East, the Jets are quickly becoming the Dolphins of the North. Suckers... Here's to hoping Marc Colombo is a Jet in 2012.
Stephen Ross enters his third season as majority owner and just made his first personnel move in hiring Joe Philbin. Though most seem to like the move, many still think Ross is inept because of team failures prior to his arrival. Give Ross a chance. I especially don't get why there are fans that saying an owner that is also a fan makes a poor owner because fans often make poor decision. Those fans then go on and give their advice for how the franchise should be run. Hello Pot (not our Phinsider member Pot), this is Kettle.
Robert Griffin III is my top choice above all else in the NFL Draft. In case we can't land him, I'd love to have Justin Blackmon, even if we have to trade up for him if he falls to #6 or so. It just sucks that neither of them will likely fall to us. Is giving up a first and second round draft pick for Blackmon worth it? If we can't get Griffin, I'm leaning towards yes. Consider that with Matt Moore as QB, Brandon Marshall averaged 15.0 YPC, his highest since his rookie year, and caught 4 of his 6 TDs in the final six weeks of the season with Moore. Add in another playmaker at WR and suddenly I feel both Moore and Flynn have a chance with Miami's WRs.
Speaking of the draft, people shouldn't lock in the Rams for trading the #2 pick just yet. A lot can change. If Miami signs Matt Flynn and the Redskins pursue Peyton Manning or Kyle Orton, that could change the price on Griffin and suddenly the Rams don't have as much leverage.
If we projected John Jerry's stats while at LT over the course of an entire season and compared them to the same amount of snaps Marc Colombo had at RT, the stats would look very similar. I'd love to have Jerry be our future, but he played well at RG. He didn't play as well as some thought at LT. I'm all for Jerry competing for a spot at RG or RT, but having only Jerry and Lydon Murtha competing for the RT position in 2012 concerns me.
Jim Irsay, the Colts owner, is quickly tumbling downhill in the list of top NFL owners. Reports indicate that Ryan Grigson, new Colts GM, told Peyton Manning that it is not his decision whether or not Manning will be a Colt in 2012. Irsay will sit down with Manning and make that decision. So the GM has final say over all personnel decisions except Manning? You should never elevate one player over the status of your front office. Bad move, Irsay. Also remember that Irsay previously said if Manning is healthy enough to play in 2012, he will remain a Colt. I'm starting to seriously think Manning won't be available in 2012.
Mike Sherman may the leading candidate for Miami's Offensive Coordinator. He's also a candidate for the Head Coach position in Tampa Bay and Offensive Coordinator in Cleveland. I still think I prefer Clements, but I don't think Sherman is a bad option. It brings Miami a Coordinator with play-calling experience. Now, does it help the chance of Ryan Tannehill landing in Miami? Sherman was Tannehill's Head Coach at Texas A&M.
Going back to Philbin, I am curious to see what he can do with a RB like Reggie Bush. I am confident that Philbin can use Bush in many more ways than the previous regime did in 2012. I am getting excited to see how the team will be structured and perform in 2012.
I'm rather surprised Hue Jackson is still available. Being that Cam Cameron is not expected to return as Baltimore's Offensive Coordinator in 2012, I think Baltimore would be a great fit for him. It gives the Ravens their best shot to win before they have to replace a bunch of defensive stallwarts like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
I think I am up to 10 followers on Twitter, 3 of which are probably legitimate followers. Yay! Go me! That is all for this week. Back to the meds...
- I don't see why people think the 49ers would've been a better matchup for the Patriots. I believe the Giants have many favorable matchups against New England. Both teams feature a very good pass rush, but the Giants have capable safeties with Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, and Deon Grant who can all help cover New England's TEs. The Giants could wreak havoc on New England's defense with Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham. I don't think Julian Edelman is capable enough at CB to slow down NYG. Beyond all that, a NYG/NE matchup features two of the three most hated teams by the New York Jets. It's fun to see their frustration.