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Miami Dolphins roster, free agents, and salary cap for 2018

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NFL: DEC 31 Bills at Dolphins Photo by Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have to make several decisions this offseason if they want to fix the team that finished 6-10 this past season. Some of those decisions are already being made, with head coach Adam Gase shaking up the coaching staff, including hiring a new offensive coordinator. Some of those decisions, however, will involve the players themselves. Will the team re-sign a soon-to-be free agent? Will they release someone to get some salary cap room?

Today, we take a look at the current state of the Dolphins’ roster, the players who are slated to become free agents, and the players who could provide some salary cap relief for the team, either through cuts or with a restructured contract.

Dolphins current roster

Dolphins roster as of Jan. 4, 2018

NAME POS. AGE EXP. COLLEGE IR
NAME POS. AGE EXP. COLLEGE IR
Brendel, Jake C 25 1 UCLA
Pouncey, Mike C 28 7 Florida
Larsen, Ted C/G 30 8 North Carolina State
Steen, Anthony C/G 27 2 Alabama IR
Asiata, Isaac G 25 R Utah
Bushrod, Jermon G/T 33 11 Towson IR
Davis, Jesse G/T 26 1 Idaho
James, Ja'Wuan T 25 4 Tennessee IR
Smith, Eric T 22 R Virginia
Sterup, Zach T 25 1 Nebraska
Tunsil, Laremy T 23 2 Mississippi
Young, Sam T 30 8 Notre Dame
Cutler, Jay QB 34 12 Vanderbilt
Fales, David QB 27 3 San Jose State
Moore, Matt QB 33 10 Oregon State
Tannehill, Ryan QB 29 6 Texas A&M IR
Drake, Kenyan RB 23 2 Alabama
Perry, Senorise RB 26 3 Louisville
Smith, De'Veon RB 23 R Michigan
Williams, Damien RB 25 4 Oklahoma
Carroo, Leonte WR 23 2 Rutgers NFI
Ford, Isaiah WR 21 R Virginia Tech IR
Grant, Jakeem WR 25 2 Texas Tech
Landry, Jarvis WR 25 4 Louisiana State
Parker, DeVante WR 24 3 Louisville
Scott, Rashawn WR 25 2 Miami (Fla.)
Stills, Kenny WR 25 5 Oklahoma
Derby, A.J. TE 26 3 Arkansas
Duarte, Thomas TE 22 2 UCLA
Fasano, Anthony TE 33 12 Notre Dame
Gray, MarQueis TE 28 5 Minnesota
Thomas, Julius TE 29 7 Portland State IR
Branch, Andre DE 28 6 Clemson
Fede, Terrence DE 26 4 Marist
Harris, Charles DE 22 R Missouri
Hayes, William DE 32 10 Winston-Salem State IR
Malveaux, Cameron DE 23 R Houston
Wake, Cameron DE 35 9 Penn State
Godchaux, Davon DT 23 R LSU
Phillips, Jordan DT 25 3 Oklahoma
Suh, Ndamukong DT 30 8 Nebraska
Taylor, Vincent DT 23 R Oklahoma State IR
Wright, Gabe DT 25 3 Auburn
Allen, Chase LB 24 R Southern Illinois
Alonso, Kiko LB 27 5 Oregon
Anthony, Stephone LB 25 3 Clemson
Barrow, Lamin LB 27 4 LSU IR
Hewitt, Neville LB 24 3 Marshall
Hull, Mike LB 26 2 Penn State
McMillan, Raekwon LB 22 R Ohio St. IR
Misi, Koa LB 30 8 Utah IR
Timmons, Lawrence LB 31 11 Florida State
Howard, Xavien CB 24 2 Baylor
Lippett, Tony CB 25 3 Michigan St. IR
Lucas, Jordan CB 24 2 Penn State
McCain, Bobby CB 24 3 Memphis
McTyer, Torry CB 22 R UNLV
Tankersley, Cordrea CB 24 R Clemson
Verner, Alterraun CB 29 8 UCLA
Aikens, Walt CB/S 26 4 Liberty
Allen, Nate S 30 8 South Florida IR
Elston, Trae S 23 1 Mississippi
Jones, Reshad S 29 8 Georgia
McDonald, T.J. S 26 5 USC
Smith, Maurice S 22 R Georgia NFI
Thomas, Michael S 27 5 Stanford
Denney, John LS 39 13 Brigham Young
Haack, Matt P 23 R Arizona State
Parkey, Cody K 25 3 Auburn

Dolphins Reserve/Futures Contracts

The Dolphins have signed nine players to Reserve/Futures contracts, with wide receiver Francis Owusu re-joining the team on Thursday, a day after the team signed the first eight players. These contracts do not become official until the start of the new league year, but the players are considered under contract and unable to be signed by a different team. Players can be signed to Reserve/Futures contracts if they were not on a team’s roster when the season ended (i.e., unsigned free agents or practice squad players).

Dolphins Reserve/Futures Contracts (as of Jan. 4, 2018)

NAME POS. AGE EXP. COLLEGE
NAME POS. AGE EXP. COLLEGE
Calhoun, Taveze CB 25 1 Mississippi State
Doughty, Brandon QB 26 1 Western Kentucky
Hickey, Sean T 26 1 Syracuse
Howard, Tracy CB 23 2 Miami
Lewis, Malcolm WR 24 R Miami
Morgan, Drew WR 23 R Arkansas
Owusu, Francis WR 23 R Stanford
Radcliff, Brandon RB 24 R Louisville
Woodard, Jonathan DE 24 1 Central Arkansas

Pending Free Agents

Re-Sign Possibilities:

  • Walt Aikens, cornerback
  • Nate Allen, quarterback
  • Lamin Barrow, linebacker
  • John Denney, long snapper
  • Terrence Fede, defensive end
  • Williams Hayes, defensive end
  • Jarvis Landry, wide receiver
  • Cody Parkey, kicker
  • Michael Thomas, safety
  • Alterraun Verner, cornerback
  • Damien Williams, running back
  • Sam Young, tackle

Restricted Free Agents

  • David Fales, quarterback
  • Neville Hewitt, linebacker
  • Gabe Wright, defensive tackle

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

  • Jake Brendel, center
  • Mike Hull, linebacker
  • Jordan Lucas, cornerback
  • Rashawn Scott, wide receiver
  • De’Veon Smith, running back
  • Anthony Steen, center/guard

Could Retire

  • Jermon Bushrod, guard
  • Jay Cutler, quarterback
  • Anthony Fasano, tight end
  • Koa Misi, linebacker

Likely To Not Be Re-Signed

  • Matt Moore, quarterback

On a side note, Fasano should be re-signed if he decides he wants to play. He provides leadership for the position group, is still a good blocking tight end and provides a sure-handed, possession type of role if and when needed.

Dolphins Salary Cap

Currently, the 2018 NFL salary cap is expected to be as high as $178 million. The team has 44 players on the roster right now for 2018, no counting the nine reserve/futures contracts. The roster current has eight offensive linemen, one quarterback, two running backs, six wide receivers, four tight ends, four defensive ends, four defensive tackles, five linebackers, five cornerbacks, four safeties, and a punter.

With those salaries on the books right now, plus a little rollover from 2017 into the 2018 cap, the Dolphins are projected to have $14,227,046 in cap space. (Note: All cap numbers are via OverTheCap.com)

The team will very quickly add to that with anticipated roster moves, including rescinding the fifth-year option on right tackle Ja’Wuan James, cutting tight end Julius Thomas, and (likely) cutting linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Those three moves alone would create nearly $21.5 million in additional space.

Where else can the Dolphins create salary space? Here is the full roster, with the 44 signed players, their salary cap number, their dead money if released, and the projected salary cap savings they could create.

Before we go any further, however, we should probably acknowledge that Ryan Tannehill is not going to be cut, and Ndamukong Suh is probably not likely to be cut either. Yes, they could create a lot of space, but they would also create giant holes on the roster that would still need to be filled, and they are both seen as critical parts of the team. They could absolutely ask both players to restructure their contracts in order to create space, but there is little likelihood of them being cut.

Dolphins salary cap savings numbers (as of Jan. 4, 2018)

NAME POS. Cap Number Dead Money Pre-June 1 Savings
NAME POS. Cap Number Dead Money Pre-June 1 Savings
Tannehill, Ryan QB $19,800,000 $4,600,000 $15,200,000
James, Ja'Wuan T $9,341,000 $0 $9,341,000
Wake, Cameron DE $8,625,000 $500,000 $8,125,000
Pouncey, Mike C $9,000,000 $2,000,000 $7,000,000
Thomas, Julius TE $6,600,000 $0 $6,600,000
Timmons, Lawrence LB $8,225,000 $2,750,000 $5,475,000
Suh, Ndamukong DT $26,100,000 $22,200,000 $3,900,000
McDonald, T.J. S $2,502,000 $5,308,000 $2,806,000
Anthony, Stephone LB $1,489,326 $0 $1,489,326
Larsen, Ted C/G $1,941,666 $833,334 $1,108,332
Phillips, Jordan DT $1,388,198 $358,256 $1,029,942
Gray, MarQueis TE $1,075,000 $100,000 $975,000
McCain, Bobby CB $762,072 $57,072 $705,000
Lippett, Tony CB $758,691 $53,691 $705,000
Derby, A.J. TE $705,000 $0 $705,000
Perry, Senorise RB $630,000 $0 $630,000
Grant, Jakeem WR $665,095 $70,190 $594,905
Sterup, Zach T $555,000 $0 $555,000
Malveaux, Cameron DE $555,000 $0 $555,000
Elston, Trae S $555,000 $0 $555,000
Duarte, Thomas TE $555,000 $0 $555,000
Davis, Jesse G/T $555,000 $0 $555,000
Mathews, Mitch WR $555,000 $0 $555,000
Haack, Matt P $556,333 $2,667 $553,666
McTyer, Torry CB $557,500 $5,000 $552,500
Smith, Maurice S $557,833 $5,667 $552,166
Smith, Eric T $558,333 $6,667 $551,666
Allen, Chase LB $558,333 $6,667 $551,666
Ford, Isaiah WR $574,578 $58,734 $515,844
Drake, Kenyan RB $910,315 $410,630 $499,685
Taylor, Vincent DT $593,607 $115,821 $477,786
Carroo, Leonte WR $825,097 $350,194 $474,903
Godchaux, Davon DT $605,487 $151,461 $454,026
Asiata, Isaac G $620,200 $195,600 $424,600
Howard, Xavien CB $1,671,283 $1,328,378 $342,905
Tankersley, Cordrea CB $759,572 $529,716 $229,856
Parker, DeVante WR $3,460,717 $3,460,717 $0
McMillan, Raekwon LB $1,067,621 $1,845,815 -$778,194
Branch, Andre DE $10,000,000 $11,900,000 -$1,900,000
Stills, Kenny WR $9,750,000 $13,225,000 -$3,475,000
Alonso, Kiko LB $9,637,500 $13,187,500 -$3,550,000
Tunsil, Laremy T $3,397,541 $7,361,339 -$3,963,798
Jones, Reshad S $11,575,000 $17,095,000 -$5,520,000
Harris, Charles DE $2,464,540 $8,580,785 -$6,116,245
.

There are lots of ways the Dolphins can find salary cap money if they want to create more space for next year. This year should not see huge spending in free agency, so they may not need to do much more than the three expected moves, but there are options available.