Dolphins Player Auditions for 2012

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Please note that the list is somewhat incomplete because some contracts are undisclosed.

1). Ikaika Alama-Francis — 2011: $640,000, 2012: Free Agent.
2). Will Allen — 2012: Free Agent.
3). Vernon Carey — 2011: $2.5 million contract, 2012: Free Agent.
4). Chad Henne — 2011: $555,000, 2012: Free Agent.
5). Lex Hilliard — 2011: $480,000, 2012: Restricted Free Agent.
6). Kendall Langford — 2011: $1.4 million, 2012: Free Agent.
7). Jeron Mastrud — 2011: $405,000, 2012: Exclusive Rights Free Agent.
8). Phillip Merling — 2011: $700,000, 2012: Free Agent.
9). Lyndon Murtha — 2011: $480,000, 2012: Restricted Free Agent.
10). Igor Olshansky — 2012: Restricted Free Agent.
11). Sage Rosenfels — 2012: Restricted Free Agent.
12). Steve Slaton — 2011: $1.2 million, 2012: Free Agent.
13). Paul Soliai — 2011: $12.381 million, 2012: Free Agent.
14). Austin Spitler — 2011: $405,000, 2012: Exclusive Rights Free Agent.
15). Jason Taylor — 2012: Restricted Free Agent.

I find it interesting that Ikaika Alma-Francis will make more than Chad Henne in 2011, Steve Slaton will make more than double, Vernon Carey will make almost five times more, and Paul Soliai will make almost 24 times more than Chadd Henne in 2011.  The NFL sure has a strange business model.  You have to kind of feel for Chad Henne because he does not even get a chance to perform for a contract after making so little (relative to others) over the last few years.  You kind of has to wonder what in heavens is Paul Soliai thinking by playing so poorly — I guess he must feel comfortable in receiving his large payday — a lot of income taxes though.

The following is a longer list of players in their next to last year of their contract.  They could be playing for contract renegotiation or could be finding themselves in a cost cutting position — there is large amount of monetary committment in 2012..

1). Yeremiah Bell — 2011: $3.7 million, 2012: $4.3 million, 2013: Free Agent.
2). Reggie Bush — 2011: $2.5 million, 2012: $4.5 million, 2013: Free Agent.
3). Chris Clemons — 2011: $480,000, 2012: $565,000, 2013: Free Agent.
4). Ryan Cook — 2011: $685,000, 2012: $1 million, 2013: Free Agent.
5). Tyrone Culver — 2011: $700,000, 2012: $800,000, 2013: Free Agent.
6). Anthony Fasano — 2011: $1.9 million, 2012: $3.6 million, 2013: Free Agent.
7). Brandon Fields — 2011: $986,000, 2012: $1.124 million, 2013: Free Agent.
8). Nate Garner — 2011: $800,000, 2012: $1.4 million, 2013: Free Agent.
9). Brian Harline — 2011: $480,000, 2012: $565,000, 2013: Free Agent.
10). Jake Long — 2011-2012: $11.2 million, 2013: Free Agent.
11). Tony McDaniel — 2011-2012: $6 million total, 2013: Free Agent.
12). Marlon Moore — 2011: $405,000, 2012: $490,000, 2013: Restricted Free Agent.
13). Matt Moore — 2013: Free Agent.
14). Mike Riveria — 2011: $330,000, 2012: $415,000, 2013: Exclusive Rights Free Agent.
15). Sean Smith — 2011: $480,000, 2012: $565,000, 2013: Free Agent.
16). Randy Starks — 2011: $3.625 million, 2012: $3.725 million, 2013: Free Agent.
17). Jason Trusnik — 2011-2012: $2 million total, 2013: Free Agent.
18). Cameron Wake — 2011: $480,000, 2012: $565,000, 2013: Free Agent.
19). Roberto Wallace — 2011: $405,000, 2012: $490,000, 2013: Restricted Free Agent.

The Dolphins will have a coaching change between now and the end of the NFL league year.  The question is not if, it is only when.  The Dolphins will also likely have a change in general manager too — Jeff Ireland will justifiably go along with Tony Sparano.  This is a list of some 34 players that will need to be evaluated for the 2012 roster.  Isn’t it logical to do it sooner allowing evaluation over a longer period of time, rather than later limiting evaluation to a shorter period?

I get it!  Mr. Ross is in a difficult situation.  If he wants to make a change now, there are some preferable coaching candidates that are not readily available.  For example, candidates like Bill Cowher and John Gruden are currently under television contracts — they are in mid-season too.  It may be possible to break these contracts.  But, there is a conundrum in that Sparano should be fired prior to negotiating with these guys to examine the possibilities.  And, there are no guarantees that they would take the job in mid-season.  Mr. Ross could look toward an unemployed coach, like Jeff Fisher.  Or, he could promote from within the organization, like go with Mike Nolan.  It is a difficult decision to make a coaching change in mid-season which limits possible candidates.

So, I’ll bet Mr. Ross is doing a lot of talking to himself too.  And, he is likely talking with other people he trusts, like Carl Peterson.  But, I feel confident that we will not know what is going on or what he is thinking.  His intentions are NOT going to be leaked to the press.  He cannot afford another episode, like with Jim Harbaugh — although, we might be in a lot better situation, if that had panned out.  I believe all this stuff in the press that Tony Sparano is safe — for any amount of time — could be merely a head fake.  Who knows?  Mr. Ross might have left town to talk with a coaching or general manager candidate.

For me, I want Mr. Ross to make a coaching change now.  Why?  Because I am selfish and impatient!  I want HOPE that my beloved Miami Dolphins will see better days ahead!  I want to put the past behind me.  I wonder if a whole lot of the 34 players above are hoping and wanting the same.

What do you think?


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  • mmandia

    Great article!! I find it absurd how the pay on this team is divided out. The only people on either list who’ve earned their money would be Henne, Long, Hartline, and Fields. That is to say: Earned what they were paid to this point. The more I look through the list: it’s almost as if The less production you have, the more we will pay you. How does Slaton make half as much Bush with 0 touches. Bush may not have good numbers, but he leaves it on the field every time he’s out there, and no one can tell me he doesn’t run hard. Crazier still, Slaton will have made more than twice as much as Henne. I know Henne is wildly unpopular around here, but he earned his money at least. I wonder what the other QBs on the roster made this season in comparison?

  • Phinphanatic

    Gene…best article I have seen you write! Nice work!

  • Lespaul

    @mmandia I could not agree more. Bush seems really frustrated with how they are using him in the game plan. He runs hard and would sure be nice to see him break one. I just don’t think it’s in him anymore. He was fast and elusive in college but everyone in the NFL is fast and elusive.

  • AustinLopez1972

    Nice article. Completely agree we should fire Sparano now and start rebuilding. Sparano HAS to know he isn’t coming back next year so what’s the problem in pulling the trigger now? Let’s get these players acclimated under a new regime. Whether it’s an interim coach or a big name coach. Let’s let the fans and players know the wheels of change are in motion. The only reason I can find why it hasn’t happened already is that Ross might be content in knowing that every loss gets us closer to Andrew Luck.