Despite what others might be telling you, the Miami Dolphins cap future is pretty darn good!

Miami Dolphins Offseason Workout
Miami Dolphins Offseason Workout / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins future is not up against a wall and the sky isn't falling despite some in the media who see a shortened window of success.

The Miami Dolphins cap situation is fine. I know, the cap technically doesn't exist but it does to at least some degree. Cap manipultion may not be easy for everyone but for the Dolphins, Brandon Shore has it all figured out.

There are some in the local media that will point out Miami will be at a crossroads in the next year or so but that isn't really the case. In fact, Miami actually is in pretty good shape.

Yes, Miami will need to sign some of their veteran players off rookie contracts but those are still spread out for the next few seasons.

Consider Miami's priority by year.

  • 2024 - Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis, Zach Sieler, Andrew Van Ginkel, Robert Hunt
  • 2025 - Tua Tagovailoa
  • 2026 - Jevon Holland, Liam Eichenberg,
  • 2027 - Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips both should be on 5th your options

During that time frame, the Dolphins don't have any big time free agents that need to be re-signed to big contracts and in 2025 Tyreek Hill will come off the books if he sticks to his retirement plans. Here are some players that Miami will need to replace over the next few years and whose contracts will become team friendly.

  • Terron Armstead - No guarantees after 2025 but in 2026 Miami can recover $14.3 million in cap space.
  • Xavien Howard - Dolphins can recover $14 million in 2026, 2027 is voidable. No guaranteed salary after the 2024 season
  • Bradley Chubb - 2026 can recover $16.5 million while 2027 release would recover $27 million.
  • Jalen Ramsey - 2025 could see Miami recover nearly $16 million against a $5.3 million dead hit.

Those are the four biggest salaries entering the 2023 season. Miami will need to re-sign several players who will be making a lot of money as well as free agents but the cap is hardly going to stand in the way of Miami moving forward into 2025 and 2026.

In addition to cap relief from some players, the cap itself will continue to rise as well and that creates natural space. In addition, many of the larger one and two year deals will come off the books in that time as well, for example, Miami will not have Cedrick Wilson on the team in 2024 or 2025 freeing up more money as well.

The key to any worry about cap economics is the draft. The better Miami drafts year-to-year the less worry they will have on needing to sign top FAs to fill their mistakes. Overall, the Dolphins are doing much better in this regard.

When we look at the future as it stands now, replacing players like Armstead, Howard, Chubb, Hill, and anyone else will be much easier and cheaper if Miami drafts the replacements a year before they need them.

Looking ahead, according to, the Dolphins as it stands today will be over the cap by around $32 million but that is based on players that are on any contract length and does not take into consideration players that will not be on the 2024 roster.

In 2025, as it stands now, Miami has $99.2 million in cap space. That of course does not include new players, extensions, or anything else and that number increases to $165 million in 2026.

The numbers we need to remember in those figures is the players under contract.

  • 2024 - 56 players under contract
  • 2025 - 34 players under contract
  • 2026 - 11 players under contract

Rosters will change and players will get extended and cut and added. Miami will add through free agency and the draft. The salary cap will go up and that too is not taken into consideration either.

The point is simply this, what some in the local media want you to believe is that the cap is going to be a problem but that isn't true and it only stands to be a problem if the Dolphins want to let it become one. Consider that in 2024 the Dolphins will need to clear potentially $32 million if nothing changes and $13 of that alone would come from releasing Emmanuel Ogbah and another and $7.3 million would come from releasing Cedrick Wilson. I'm sure Brandon Shore and Chris Grier will have no problems trimming another $10 million without blinking but they really won't need to. Their cap situation is fine.