The Miami Dolphins siged Greg Jennings this week, adding a veteran presence to a vey young wide receiving corps. The Dolphins have met with multiple veteran wide outs, to include Jennings, Wes Welker, and Michael Crabtree, throughout the offseason, but did not sign any of them during their initial visit. They circled back now to add Jennings, who, according to the initial reports, had signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the team. That immediately appears to be more for a veteran receiver than it had been indicated Miami wanted to spend, but, with a look at the exact contract details, it is actually right in line with where Miami wanted to be.
Fox Sports' Alex Marvez broke out the official numbers last night, showing Jennings is only a $2.5 million salary cap hit this season. Jennings receives a $3 million signing bonus, which splits between the two years on the contract, accounging for a $1.5 million cap hit in both seasons. He then adds a $900,000 base salary for this year, plus a $100,000 workout bonus. Add those together and you get the $2.5 million the Dolphins will be charged this year for Jennings.
Next year, Jennings would see a jump in his base salary, up to $3.9 million, which, with the other half of the signing bonus and the workout bonus, would mean a $5.5 million salary cap number. If the Dolphins were to cut Jennings, they would see $1.5 million of the $5.5 million transition into dead money they would have to continue to carry for the 2016 season, but would get $4 million back in cap savings.
Miami wanted to pay between $2.5 and $3 million for a veteran receiver. That is exactly what they did in signing Jennings. If he has a great 2015 season, the team can choose to keep him at the $5.5 million salary cap number, or, they have the flexibility to cut him for the salary cap space. In the end, Jenning's contract is essentially a one-year deal with a team option for a second season. Miami gets the wide receiver they need to add a veteran presence at the price they wanted, and there is no long-term damage done to the salary cap. It works out to a very nice deal for the Dolphins.