The Miami Dolphins seem to be on an upswing heading into their 2017 off-season. While Adam Gase and the executive team have work to do, it’s not going to be easy to continue the rise.
Although the Dolphins made the post-season in 2016 it’s not a guarantee that they will be a shoe-in for 2017. A lot of work needs to get done. The Dolphins need to get younger in some areas and more experienced in others. It’s a combination of age and experience versus salary.
How do you judge a teams age vs. experience vs. salary? It is more than simple production because injuries, supporting cast, schemes, and fit all play a part in that. As Dolphins fans have seen players like Wes Welker and even Chris Hogan were average in Miami and super human in New England. Somewhere coaching too comes into play.
What is certain is that the Dolphins have to look at the age of players and the contracts they currently have and then weigh that against the production and play of that player. But the more important part of the equation and where Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier have to be near perfect is when to add a players replacement to the roster. Simply waiting until that player is no longer needed is not the answer. And it costs more money.
There are three to four tiers of age values in the NFL. The first rookie contracts that typically cover a player from age 21 to 25, the ages of 26-28, 29-32, and finally those that are in the final years of their NFL careers. Most roster turnover occurs in the 21-25 year old range as team sign and release undrafted rookies and practice squad players.
The bulk of a players production should come in the final two stages but there is a premium on the 26-28 range because that tends to be the higher salary bracket as good players coming off their rookie deals make the most money of their career unless they continue to perform at a high level entering the final two stages in which they will see another large payout in contract.
Breaking down any team by age is easy but comparing the ages to the salary to the production is more difficult. Identifying the players that will soon need to be replaced can be more daunting. Here is an attempt, an ATTEMPT, at looking at the Dolphins current roster as it is now. Comparing the age vs. the salary vs. potential production and replacement. Feel free just to comment now and rip us now.