Thought I should take the time to look into next years salary cap now, just get an idea now and see how we look at the end of the year in comparison. The Dolphins will have nearly 60 million in cap room. I will use that number now for easy math purposes. We do however have a number of players whom will need to be resigned.
This post will explore the potential salaries for these players with a high and low range. And an attempt to see into the future. Not really. But I will give a best and worst cast scenario.
Jake Long-10-13 mil. The guy has been elite. But is his body wearing down already? The course of the season will tell. So far he has been good. But not great. As the season goes on we will get a clearer picture of where he is and how he is playing in this new system. If he has a down year and injures himself again, he could resign a 9-10 mil a year contract. If he however breaks into beast mode, he could be looking for 13 mil. But that brings about the question is a LT worth that money? My opinion is only sign him through Tannehill's rookie contract. If RT17 is a franchise QB we will have to pay him then. In the mean time, keep Long.
Reggie Bush- 6-8 mil. He is already the 8th highest paid RB at 4.5 million. Hat tip to PotM's fanshot. Even with the rushing title this year he can't expect more than the top rated salary of 8 mil. If he doesn't bring home the title, we should expect to pay in the 6-7 range. Again, don't sign him longer than Tannehill.
Randy Starks-4-5 mil. He is 28 and at the end of a 5year/20mil contract. My opinion is if he has a stellar season we could have him on a 3 year/ 15mil. But if we keep McDaniels and Odrick ,could be moved inside in favor of Olivier Vernon or Derek Shelby, I don't know if we need to resign Starks. He seems to be playing like it is a contract year. But with so much depth he could be signed to a 3 year/12 mil deal.
Anthony Fasano- 2-3 mill. Another 28 year old. He shouldn't be resigned for more than he makes now. With Egnew and Clay being so raw and still developing we kinda need him. But I haven't seen anything from him warranting more than he already got. He is not elite but he is steady. Let one of the others turn into the top flight TE and have Fasano around as a leader and a safety valve. As well as a tremendous blocker.
Brian Hartline- 2-3 mil. Hartline has been a 1/2 a mil a year guy for 4 years. He shouldn't expect more than 3 million even with a break out season. And we have only seen one game where he flash #1 potential. But that was against a secondary as bad as ours. 53 yards against Houston is a number that is more recognizable fore Hartline. Time will tell but I don't think he could possibly demand any more than 3 million.
Matt Moore-cut-1mill. Still want to see us trade him before the deadline and resign Garrard, he is just sitting at home. I think we let him walk. He already called the preseason his audition for his next team. So there you have it. I don't think he is a Dolphin after this year. If he is a Dolphin, it will be for backup money.
Sean Smith- 3-5 mil. He will have to have a suppurb year to get 5mil in my opinion. Again, this is a guy looking to cash in after making 750 thousand. He certainly hasn't warranted top CB money. If he has a stellar year then I think he could get his 5 mil/year contract.
Tony McDaniels- 1.5 mil. I think his contract was a bit inflated and if he stays it will be on a situation/rotational basis. And his contract will express that. Especially with 7th round pick Kheeston Randall coming on strong so far. McDaniels has also been injured and out of games so far this year. That does not bode well for him. We even had to sign and unsign Ryan Baker for the 800th time. Finally we had to go get someone who can actually see game time. A Detroit back up DT Fluellen whom fell off the chart due to TOO much depth. I don't know if McDaniels future in Miami is so bright.
As I pointed out there are a few here that I would probably not resign based on the situation. But for now, as a kind of capsule to look at again at the end of the season I will take the average in price ranges to be fair.
Total-34.5 million (With a worst case scenario being 38 million)
Cap Space- 60 million
Total average resigning- 34.5 million
Tatol capspace after average resign- 25.5 million
25.5 Million if we resign all of those guys. (22 in the worst case scenario). That is more than enough money for free agent moves and signing the rookies. Remember with the new rookie wage scale first and second round players don't cost nearly as much as they used to. 7-8 million to sign all of the rookies. On average that would leave us with 18 million in cap space for FA. With those numbers we could go out an get Dwayne Bowe or I hear Ronde Barber is a FA next year. So maybe this helps answer the question of what we can and can not afford to do next season. But there are a lot of ifs in there too.