The Miami Dolphins have not made much of a splash in free agency and frankly, not much of a ripple either. Is this it for them this year?
A bigger question is whether the Dolphins have enough money to spend in the market at all. As Miami fans watch New England break open the checkbook and sign just about every top player on the market, Dolphins fans are scratching their heads. Maybe they shouldn’t be.
The Dolphins were entering free agency with around $35 million to spend but it came in closer to $32. They added a punter, they added a FB/TE/ST player, tendered Adam Pankey, traded for both Isaiah Wilson and Bernardrick McKinney and that has left them with less than $25 million in cap space.
Now figure they will need at least $12 million to sign their draft class there are two things we can take away from this. 1: Forget about Deshaun Watson, the Dolphins couldn’t absorb his salary and 2: the Dolphins don’t have much to spend on free agents this year.
Miami has no one to blame but themselves. They can create more cap space by releasing players like Allen Hurns, Jakeem Grant, or Albert Wilson. They can dump a couple of contracts like Jesse Davis’. Even then, they will find themselves overpaying for players and will find themselves in the same situation next year.
The cap next season is expected to grow to over $200 million and Miami should have a lot of spending room but this year, not so much. Contracts to Byron Jones, Xavien Howard, Ereck Fisher, and Kyle Van Noy who is no longer with the team, have hurt them.
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Miami, so far in 2021, is being smart with their money but they also have holes to fill and the draft is not going to provide the answers to all of them.
It is likely that the Dolphins take a slow methodical approach to adding veterans on low-end one-year deals. A similar approach that the Patriots have taken over the last two decades. Will it work for the Dolphins? Maybe but that depends on how well they develop the players they have added over the last two years.
Regardless, Miami has enough to make one splash on either side of the ball but finding that player is going to be tough and comes at the expense of another need and position. Miami simply doesn’t have the money to compete this year and adding special teams players didn’t really help.
Again, they have options on their own roster to eliminate some of the fat in contracts and they will likely have to wait until a deal is made before they clear room.