Despite getting their first win of the 2011 season by dominating the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium it is clear the Dolphins franchise is in need of a major overhaul. The Dolphins have not played to their potential in 2011 and the main blame has to go to Tony Sparano and his coaching staff. Sparano is as bad as it gets from an X’s and O’s standpoint and this Dolphins’ team has really suffered because of this. When the season ends I see the Dolphins being 4-12 and having the 5th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. I am going to play “Madden” general manager and offer my plan on how to fix this once storied franchise. I am going to take a realistic approach which means signing top notch free agents such as Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Dwayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson, and Mario Williams will not be our radar. In order to do this I have to use facts to create the salary cap paramters.
Our current salary cap figure is in the ballpark of $112,000,000 which currently sets us $8,375,000 under the NFL’s salary cap. The Miami Dolphins have $27,000,000 of expiring contracts at the end of the 2011 season with players such as Paul Soliai ($12.375), Kendall Langford ($1.4m), Vernon Carey ($2.5m), and Marc colombo ($2m) hitting the free agent market. With the remaining players on the roster we have another $17,000,000 in escalating contracts with Karlos Dansby, Brandon Marshall, and Reggie Bush’s salaries account to $11,000,000 of those escalating contracts. There is also a $1,500,000 exeption for salaries in relation to the 2012 NFL salary cap. After doing all of the calculations and taken the follwing into consideration the Miami Dolphins will be $19,875,000 under the NFL salary cap.
In order to get things started my first action would be to relieve general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano of their duties. To replace Ireleand I would bring in former Kansas city general manger and vice president Carl Peterson. While Bill Cowher is the popular name being throw around I would sign Jon Gruden as the next head coach of the Dolphins which would open up their offense and bring some excitement to the Miami fan base.
Football is a tough business and it’s not easy to let people go but I would release Yeremiah Bell from the dolphins’ roster which would save the Dolphins $4,300,000 against the cap which now gives me $24,175,000 in salary cap heading into free agency. A change in philosphy on the defensive side of the ball is in order as the Dolphins move from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense which makes personel a bit different. Pending free agents Kendall Langford and Paul Soliai are allowed to test the free agent market and suddenly we are loaded at defensive tackle with Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, and Tony McDaniel on the roster. Outside linebacker Cameron Wake moves to left defensive end but now defensive end depth becomes a major concern.
My focus during free agency would be on the defensive side of the ball and I would sign the following..
*I would sign defensive end Calais Campbell to a 4 year, $16,000,000 contract that would pay roughly $4,0000, a season leaving us with $20,175,000
* I would sign safety Laron Landry to a 4 year deal worth $27,000,000 paying him $4,000,000 in 2012, $7,000,000 in 2013, $7,000,000 in 2014, $9,000,000 in 2015 which would put us at $16,175,000 under the salary cap.
*Sign linebacker Geno Hayes to a 2 year deal worth $3,500,000 paying him $1,750,000 anually putting as at $14,425,000 under the salary cap heading into the NFL Draft. Here is my 2012 NFL Draft
Round 1-Matt Barkley-Quarterback-USC
Round 2-Dwayne Allen-Tight End-Clemson
Round 3-Kevin Zeitler-Offensive Guard-Wisconsin
Round 4-Matt Reynolds-Offensive Tackle-BYU
Round 5-Isiaih Pead-Running Back-Cincinnati
Round 6-Tyler Neilson-Outside Linebacker-Iowa
Round 7-Malik Jackson-Defensive End-Tennessee
Signing these draft picks will eat an estimated $8,000,000 against the salary cap leaving us with $6,425,000 in cap space to fill holes throughout the season with players such as Karlos Dansby ($8.8m) and Brandon Marshall ($9.3) being subject to restructure if needed. Here is my 53 man roster for the 2012 season..
Matt Barkley (1), Matt Moore (2), Pat Devlin (3), Reggie Bush (4), Daniel Thomas (5), Isiaih Pead (6), Charles Clay (7), Brandon Marshall (8), Davone Bess (9), Brian Hartline (10), Clyde Gates (11), Roberto Wallace (12), Marlon Moore (13), Will Yeatman (14), Dwayne Allen (15), Anthony Fasano (16), Jake Long (17), Richie Incognito (18), John Jerry (19), Nate Garner (20), Lydon Murtha (21), Ryan Cook (22), Matt Reynolds (23), Kevin Zeitler (24), DJ Jones (25), John Denney (26), Dan Carpenter (27), Brandon Fields (28), Vontae Davis (29), Jimmy Wilson (30), Sean Smith (31), Nolan Carroll (32), Tyrone Culver (33), Reshad Jones (34), Chris Clemons (35), Laron Landry (36), Karlos Dansby (37), Kevin Burnett (38), Tyler Neilson (39), Austin Spitler (40), Koa Misi (41), Jason Trusnick (42), Geno Hayes (43), Malik Jackson (44), Cameron Wake (45), Calais Campbell (46), Randy Starks (47), Jared Odrick (48), Tony McDaniel (49), Jonathan Wade (50), Mike Riveria (51), Lex Hilliard (52), and MIKE POUNCEY (53)