Phinsider Mailbag: Dolphins' 2014 Salary Cap Projection

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Phinsider Mailbag opens up today with a question about the Miami Dolphins' salary cap. Specifically, how do the recent re-signings by the team impact the 2014 salary cap for Miami?

Our Phinsider Mailbag received a great question this week from MiamiFins0324, who wants to know about the state of the Miami Dolphins' 2014 salary cap following the re-signing of Reshad Jones and Koa Misi.  Obviously, the majority of the attention right now is on the 2-0 start for the Dolphins, but Tyson's question is one that we have not looked at since the announcement of those contract extensions.  We fix that today.

With the 2013 regular season under way, the Top 51 rule is no longer in effect, meaning every dollar the team spends on players is calculated into the salary cap. The Dolphins currently have 53 players under contract on the roster, two players on injured reserve, eight players on the practice squad, and 26 players with dead money on the rolls.

Before we get into specifics, let me say one more thing.  These numbers are a best guess at the actual salary cap number for each player.  Bonuses that aren't known could end up being in the contract, which makes it hard to calculate an exact salary cap number.  According to the current report from the NFL Players Association, the Dolphins are $19,231,815 under the salary cap right now.  As you will see, my number if slightly above that.  I would, of course, trust the NFLPA's number over mine, but I cannot calculate why the difference.  So, when you use these numbers, understand they may not be exact, and there are some assumptions included in these (like the 2014 salary cap remaining $123M).

2013 53 Man Roster:

Player

Salary Cap Number

Randy Starks

$8,450,000

Paul Soliai

$7,375,000

Richie Incognito

$5,383,334

Brent Grimes

$5,031,250

Cameron Wake

$5,015,000

Dimitri Patterson

$4,600,000

Dion Jordan

$3,740,420

Tyson Clabo

$3,500,000

Mike Wallace

$3,250,000

Ryan Tannehill

$2,879,205

Chris Clemons

$2,750,000

Mike Pouncey

$2,525,371

Matt Moore

$2,500,000

Dannell Ellerbe

$2,425,000

Philip Wheeler

$2,400,000

Brian Hartline

$2,115,000

Jared Odrick

$1,939,868

Brandon Gibson

$1,785,000

Koa Misi

$1,764,905

Vaughn Martin

$1,675,000

Reshad Jones

$1,670,075

Brandon Fields

$1,645,000

John Jerry

$1,537,625

Nate Garner

$1,266,666

John Denney

$1,093,750

Jonathan Martin

$1,087,333

Jason Trusnik

$931,666

Daniel Thomas

$882,652

Nolan Carroll

$677,939

Olivier Vernon

$669,520

Jamar Taylor

$659,300

Michael Egnew

$652,239

R.J. Stanford

$630,000

Lamar Miller

$601,500

Charles Clay

$583,000

Jimmy Wilson

$566,475

Dallas Thomas

$556,594

Danny Watkins

$555,000

Will Yeatman

$555,000

Tyler Clutts

$555,000

Will Davis

$535,300

Jelani Jenkins

$523,172

Dion Sims

$521,888

Rishard Matthews

$493,402

Derrick Shelby

$483,333

Marcus Thigpen

$482,500

Jonathan Freeny

$480,000

Pat Devlin

$480,000

Josh Kaddu

$480,000

Mike Gillislee

$445,700

Caleb Sturgis

$441,140

Don Jones

$416,474

Kelcie McCray

$408,333

53 Man Roster Total:

$94,671,929

2013 Injured Reserve:

Player

Salary Cap Number

Dustin Keller

$4,250,000

Armon Binns

$480,000

Injured Reserve Total:

$4,730,000

2013 Practice Squad:

Player

Salary Cap Number

Sam Brenner

$102,000

Jordan Kovacs

$102,000

Marvin McNutt

$102,000

Kyle Miller

$102,000

Brian Tyms

$102,000

Jason Weaver

$102,000

Devin Smith

$96,000

Austin Davis

$96,000

Practice Squad Total:

$804,000

2013 Dead Money:

Player

Salary Cap Number

Karlos Dansby

$2,325,000

Jake Long

$1,600,000

Kevin Burnett

$1,250,000

Richard Marshall

$1,216,666

Vontae Davis

$1,111,250

Davone Bess

$750,000

Dan Carpenter

$337,500

Clyde Gates

$226,575

Josh Kaddu

$140,055

Lance Louis

$125,000

BJ Cunningham

$79,650

Kheeston Randall

$15,612

Kevyn Scott

$6,000

Jeff Fuller

$5,000

Chas Alecxih

$5,000

Jarrell Root

$3,334

Jacquies Smith

$3,334

Dustin Waldron

$3,334

Derek Moye

$3,334

Terrell Sinkfield

$2,500

Taylor Stockemer

$2,000

Shelly Lyons

$2,000

Les Brown

$1,667

Robert McCabe

$1,000

Clay Belton

$1,000

Andrew McDonald

$334

Dead Money Total:

$9,217,145

That brings us to the actual calculation of the Dolphins' current salary cap number.

2013 NFL Salary Cap:

$123,000,000

2012 Salary Rollover:

$5,380,246

2013 Salary Cap Adjustment:

$347,081

2013 Dolphins Salary Cap:

$128,727,327

Salary Cap Number:

$109,423,074

Remaining Cap Space:

$19,304,253

Of course, none of this answers MiamiFins0324's original question, which was how the recently announced contract extensions impact the 2014 salary cap.  But, we have to figure out the 2013 salary camp space in order to have an accurate projection of the 2014 cap space, because we have to be able to account for rolled over salary cap space.

Right now, the Dolphins are able to roll over a little over $19M into next year's salary cap.

To start breaking down the salary cap space for the Dolphins next year, Miami has 38 players under contract for next year, along with four players still carrying dead money in the salary cap.

2014 53 man roster:

Player

Salary Cap Number

Mike Wallace

$17,250,000

Dannell Ellerbe

$7,425,000

Cameron Wake

$7,285,000

Philip Wheeler

$6,400,000

Brian Hartline

$6,210,000

Matt Moore

$5,500,000

Dimitri Patterson

$5,400,000

Dion Jordan

$4,675,524

Brandon Gibson

$3,735,000

Reshad Jones

$3,610,000

Brandon Fields

$3,586,116

Ryan Tannehill

$3,454,182

Mike Pouncey

$2,946,266

Koa Misi

$2,328,000

Vaughn Martin

$2,325,000

Jared Odrick

$2,004,868

Nate Garner

$1,791,666

Jonathan Martin

$1,304,800

Jason Trusnik

$1,071,667

Daniel Thomas

$1,029,821

John Denney

$975,087

Jamar Taylor

$826,168

Olivier Vernon

$759,520

Michael Egnew

$742,239

Dallas Thomas

$708,188

Lamar Miller

$691,500

Charles Clay

$673,000

Jimmy Wilson

$656,475

Will Davis

$625,300

Jelani Jenkins

$613,172

Dion Sims

$611,888

Rishard Matthews

$583,403

Derrick Shelby

$573,334

Kelcie McCray

$573,334

Marcus Thigpen

$572,500

Mike Gillislee

$535,700

Caleb Sturgis

$531,140

Don Jones

$506,474

53 Man Roster Total (38 players):

$101,091,332

2014 Dead Money:

Player

Salary Cap Number

Karlos Dansby

$2,325,000

Kevin Burnett

$1,250,000

Richard Marshall

$1,216,666

Kheeston Randall

$15,612

Dead Money Total:

$4,807,278

Again, assuming the NFL's 2014 salary cap remains the same, and bringing the 2013 remaining $19,304,253 calculated above, we can estimate the Dolphins' salary cap space for 2014:

2014 NFL Salary Cap:

$123,000,000

2013 Salary Rollover:

$19,304,253

2014 Dolphins Salary Cap:

$142,304,253

Salary Cap Number:

$105,898,610

Remaining Cap Space:

$36,405,643

If you followed all of that, you see, the Dolphins have around $36.4 million in cap space for 2014.  Of course, any more contract extensions or free agent signings this year will impact that number.  The team does have a long list of free agents to consider re-signing before the free agent market opens in March:

2014 Free Agents:

Randy Starks

Paul Soliai

Richie Incognito

Brent Grimes

Tyson Clabo

Chris Clemons

John Jerry

Nolan Carroll

R.J. Stanford

Danny Watkins

Will Yeatman

Tyler Clutts

Jonathan Freeny

Pat Devlin

Josh Kaddu

If you assume the Dolphins will need about the same amount of cap space to sign their 2014 Draft class, which adjusts for increased salary for each of the players, while acknowledging the Dolphins have fewer draft picks at this point, the Dolphins will need around $7.84 million for the rookies.  That will leave $28,555,643 for free agency/re-signings.

To break down the 38 players by the positions they play, which could give an idea of where the Dolphins could be targeting in free agency or the draft in 2014, we have:

QB

RB

FB

WR

TE

OT

G

C

DE

DT

LB

CB

S

P

K

LS

2013

3

4

1

4

3

4

4

1

5

3

7

6

5

1

1

1

2014

2

4

0

4

3

2

1

1

5

1

5

3

4

1

1

1

Difference:

-1

0

-1

0

0

-2

-3

0

0

-2

-2

-3

-1

0

0

0

Hopefully, that gives MiamiFins0324, and everyone, a good look at about how much money the Dolphins will have to spend next March.

If you have a question for the Phinsider Mailbag, feel free to send it in to our mailbag email address: mail.thephinsider@gmail.com.  We will be happy to answer your questions.

All salary cap data from NLFPlayers.com, Spotrac.com, and OvertheCap.com.

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