The Miami Dolphins open their 2013 training camp on Saturday, with the first practice scheduled for Sunday morning. However, unlike the tropical weather patterns so common in South Florida, there's no time for a calm before the storm for the Dolphins this year. Instead, the team still has work to do to get the roster ready for camp.
General Manager Jeff Ireland returned to work this week after completing his offseason vacation. On his plate are two contracts that the team would like to see completed before Sunday's practice. The first of those is the team's third overall draft pick from back in April. Trading up to get him, the team would like to figure out how to get defensive end Dion Jordan into camp on time.
Of course, everyone is speculating that the hold up on the contract will be "offset" language. The Dolphins insisted on the stipulation last year with first round pick Ryan Tannehill, leading to the quarterback missing the first couple days of camp. Now, there is a common belief that the team will again demand the offset again with Jordan.
Offset language essentially helps a team if they release a player prior to the completion of his contract. It allows the team to offset any guaranteed money they still owe the player by the amount of a contract with a new team. For example, if the Dolphins were to release a player with $1 million still owed to him, then he signs a contract for $500,000 with a new team, the Dolphins would only owe him $500,000, giving Miami some relief against the salary cap.
Of course, the odds of the language ever coming into play for Tannehill or, potentially, Jordan are slim at best. The Dolphins are not likely to release either player prior to their four year rookie contract expiring. However, it's a principle for the Dolphins that they want to ensure they get the language, just like it's a principle for Jordan to not agree to it.
We'll see how it works out.
While that negotiation is happening, the team, will also be talking to free agent fullback Vonta Leach. Miami was the first, and only, team to visit with the three time Pro Bowl player after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens. However, they are not the only team to be interested in Leach, with the Ravens, the Houston Texans, New York Giants, and Kansas City Chiefs all thought to at least have inquired in a possible
Leach is said to be asking teams for a two- or three-year contract, while it appears the Dolphins are only looking to give him a one-year deal, similar to what they gave several veterans this offseason. Leach's agent has said on multiple occasions that Miami makes the most sense for Leach, but that they are waiting for the contract to be right. However, the fact that Leach has not signed anywhere else, it does not seem many teams are jumping to give him the multi-year contract either.
Now, we all wait for the work on both of these deals to get done. Hopefully, both players have signed contracts before Sunday, and we can start to focus our attention on the field, rather than in the front office.