3 Miami Dolphins contracts that are holding the team back

The Miami Dolphins have some tough decisions to make this offseason before even getting to start of free agency. Some, not so much.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) celebrates a sack Denver Broncos quarterback
Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) celebrates a sack Denver Broncos quarterback / JIM RASSOL/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA
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It doesn't matter if the Miami Dolphins were "doing right" by a player or thought they were doing right by themselves, these five contracts were mistakes.

Miami is projected to be over $51 million against the cap when the league new year begins in March. That means they have to trim payroll. The cap isn't a real thing, it can be manipulated and twisted so the Dolphins should have no problems getting to even and they could gain as much $100 million with some impressive bookkeeping.

While Chris Grier and Brandon Shore will play with all the numbers, they have to do better this year with how they handle deals so they don't have to cook the books down the road.

Emmanuel Ogbah

$17 million in cap space for a guy that is backup these days is a brutal hit to the cap situation. The Dolphins gave Ogbah a huge contract coming off one great season. He was then injured and never got back to that level of play again. The Dolphins are going to eat at least $4 million in space.

Jerome Baker

Baker earned his paycheck in 2023 but his cap hit is still $14 million this year. Miami could recoup nearly $9.9 million but Baker played well this year and the Dolphins may keep him around. The last couple of years Baker hadn't played at the level consistent with his contract.

Terron Armstead

It is hard to move on from Armstead given the amount of dead money the Dolphins could carry but paying him $20 million and change and then wonder if he will play on Sundays is a risk as well. Armstead's contract eliminates the possibility of the Dolphins finding a new left tackle without having to move that player to guard and still pay a premium.

Xavien Howard

Howard was once a top shutdown corner. Then he got paid and then he got mad that Byron Jones made more a year later so Chris Grier reworked his contract. He rewarded them with declining production and injuries. At $25 million in 2024, Howard's contract is not an easy one to swallow and it hinders the Dolphins spending potential in free agency, especially trying to replace him.

Tyreek Hill

Hill so far has been worth ever single penny but at some point, his $31 million cap hit is going to be crushing. HIll would cost the Dolphins a whopping $54 million in dead money if he were released. MIami has no plans to do so but given his high pay, the Dolphins can't spend as much at the position as they may like to. The Dolphins could buy three really good WRs for the price they are paying for Hill.