Aug 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; A Miami Dolphins helmet on the ground before the game against the Chicago Bears in a preseason NFL football game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Dolphins will have to cut some veteran players as they enter the 2016 season with cap issues. Ndamukong Suh is eating a big chunk out of that space accounting for almost $28 million. The Dolphins who have holes at guard, safety, cornerback, and linebacker can’t fix all those needs in the draft alone. They will need to rebuild the franchise yet again, or plug and play free agents. Free agents cost money. Money that the Dolphins may not have.
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Stephen Ross doesn’t have a problem spending money on players or running the cap up to it’s max. Next season he will more than likely have a new head coach barring a miracle by Dan Campbell. That new coach is going to want new players and he is going to need cap room to get it.
The first order of off-season business will be a restructre of Ndamukong Suh’s contract. The Dolphins will play with that to get the figure next season down. They will pay the piper later down the road. How well Dawn Aponte can get that done will be a key point in Miami’s cap future.
Whether due to playing decline or salary cap the Dolphins will make moves and the only question will be who becomes the head on the chopping block. Olivier Vernon will be a free agent after the season and is not likely going to be resigned unless Campbell can turn his play around but if that happens, Vernon is going to want a big raise. Lamar Miller is also a free agent and the Dolphins very well could opt to go in a different direction at running back if the asking price is too high. Matt Moore as well is an impending free agent and likely won’t return on another one year deal.
None of those players help the Dolphins cap situation but all of them would need replacing. Vernon could be replaced with Terrance Fede but Derrick Shelby is also a free agent to be but won’t likely be too expensive to keep. Yet he isn’t likely ready for a permanent role as a starter.
The Dolphins will need to make some moves and they won’t be popular. Here is a look at five veteran players that could be released during the 2016 off-season or at the very least asked to take a paycut. What makes it harder is that the Dolphins will have over $4 million already sitting in dead money.
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