Contracts that are holding the Miami Dolphins back

Thomas Morstead, Dolphins, NFL (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Thomas Morstead, Dolphins, NFL (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Dolphins are less than a month away from the start of free agency and they won’t be able to spend as they have before. Several contracts are the reason.

The NFL salary cap isn’t real. It’s a baseline at best that can be manipulated and twisted to fit the needs of a team. Take the Saints for example. Annually one of the worst-positioned teams in cap space but still finds ways to spend and stay under the mandated numbers.

For the Dolphins, Chris Grier and Brandon Shore have done well in terms of getting the most out of cap space but there are some contracts that were not set up well. Now, the Dolphins are going to be strapped, to some degree, because of them.

If a player is playing at a high level or is productive, the salary isn’t as glaring but sometimes that doesn’t happen.

We can look at a guy like Jason Sanders who signed a big contract extension in 2021. His production fell after he signed his deal and his consistency has become erratic. Sanders’ contract would pay him upwards of $18 million through 2026. This is just an example of what we are looking at within this article on the coming slides.

Miami can eat Sanders’ contract if they wanted to. He is set to count $3.7 million against the cap and $3.6 million would be dead money if they did.

While Miami can easily move on from Sanders should they desire, a few other players are a lot harder to simply eliminate and their salaries are not conducive to simply releasing them to save money.