Dolphins were the 5th highest spending team in 2017 and it didn’t pay off

The 50 yard line inside the Dolphins practice bubble. - image by Brian Miller
The 50 yard line inside the Dolphins practice bubble. - image by Brian Miller /

The Miami Dolphins were the fifth highest paid team in the NFL in 2017 but in the end, it only amounted to a cap misery and a 6-10 season.

According to a Tweet by Adam Schefter showing the spending of all 32 NFL clubs in 2017, the Dolphins were in the top five.

Miami spent a total of $179,426,565 million in 2017. They spent 107.44% of the cap. The overage was due to carry over from the year before. Miami blew through money with $10 million going to Jay Cutler, $8 million to Julius Thomas, $2 million to Koa Misi who never made it to training camp, and of course the big contracts of Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill.

The Dolphins should use this as a history lesson and learn from it. Spending to the dollar and more doesn’t get you into the post-season. Now with the 2018 new year about to begin, the Dolphins have yet another cap problem and could be as much as $7 million and maybe eight over the cap in the days before the start of free agency.

This however is a relatively easy fix.

Releasing Julius Thomas will save $6 million. Another $5.4 can be saved by releasing Lawerence Timmons and another $9 million for Ja’Wuan James. If the Dolphins move Jarvis Landry they will get back the $16 million allotted to the cap as well. So there is room to maneuver but Miami needs to do far better with their contracts moving forward.

For those wondering about the Ndamukong Suh rumors, forget them. Miami stands to eat $22 million in dead cap money by releasing and saving only $3 million. That number changes considerably if he is designated a June 1st release. Miami would save $17 million and only eat $9 million. Only.

The Dolphins will however find themselves in great salary cap shape in 2019 should they opt to move on from Suh and Tannehill as well as players like Andre Branch and Kiko Alonso who are tieing up the cap. All of those contracts flip into Miami’s favor after the 2018 season. If the Dolphins don’t win enough in 2018 it will be a clearing house in 2019.