The Miami Dolphins have spent money like they were Barack Obama handing out bailout allotments. 42 million to Vernon Carey, 20 million to Yeremiah Bell, 15 million to Channing Crowder, and of course 27.5 million to Gibril Wilson. Place all the guaranteed money and the first year amounts into the balance due column and what your left with is not much.
The Dolphins are still front runners to pursue center Jason Brown and others in a few hours when the bidding officially starts but with all the spending the Phins have done, they are now only 10 to 12 million under the salary cap which was increased by 4 million dollars on Wednesday. Figure in the rookie allotment and that number drops by 4 to 6 million. The Dolphins executives are going to need to be very creative.
What it all means is that unlike last year when the free agent period opened with a weekend flurry of activity, the majority of the Phins volley may be almost done. The Dolphins now must begin the task of narrowing their FA targets by price.
Names like Brown will still be a possibility but there will only be one top name if the Dolphins choose to chase them. Brown is seeking more than 6 million dollars a year which would basically end the spending for the Dolphins without beginning rampant restructures of their rostered players and possibly cuts as well to free up more spending room.
The clock is continuing to tick away to the NFL’s version of the mid-night meat market. Late nights and wheeling and dealing will be the norm over the next 48 hours as teams try and bag their next great player. Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Jason Brown, Kurt Warner, Laveranues Coles, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and a slew of other names will pop the corks on champagne bottles and celebrate their awaited windfall of riches in an otherwise dying economy. Such is life in the NFL.