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 Explaining Miami's cap situation 
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Post Explaining Miami's cap situation
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what the "minimum" actually means, and how much Miami "has to" spend. I decided to break it down quickly for the blog today.

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It's well known and widely reported that Miami will have about 47 million in cap space this Off Season.

For detailed numbers on all Miami's players, here's a link (ignore Jake Long's cap number; due to the last year of his contract being voided through incentives, it technically won't take effect for another few weeks, but he is not on the roster for next season and does not have a cap number):
http://www.nyjetscap.com/Dolphins/dolphins2013.php

Where the confusion lies is with the "minimum" Miami has to spend.

Under the new CBA signed now two years ago, teams, this year, will have to spend 89% of the salary cap. However this is a cash minimum, not a cap minimum, meaning Miami's cap number does not need to be 107 million, (89% of the estimated 120 million salary cap).

Before I explain the difference, let me give a quick background on the way the salary cap works for those who aren't familiar. If a team has a salary number of 110 million, it doesn't mean that they spent 110 million that season. Teams will give signing bonus's to players, which is cash paid up front. That signing bonus is then prorated throughout the length of the contract for salary cap purposes. So for example, let's say the Dolphins resigned Randy Starks and the contract was for 5 years and included a signing bonus of 15 million. While Starks would get 15 million up front in cash, that 15 million would be prorated over the 5 years so it would count 3 million per year against the cap. Starks' total cap number would be 3 million plus his 2013 base salary, plus his "likely to be earned" incentives for 2013.

In this same example, while Starks' cap number might be worth 6 million, let's say, for 2013, his cash number would be 18-20 million (depending on what his base salary is) for 2013.

So while Miami's salary cap number as of right now is 78 million (give or take), their cash number is about 58 million. Their cap number can be no more than 120 million, and their cash number can be no less than 107 million. There is no cash maximum, and to my knowledge there is no cap minimum.

So, in cash, Miami needs to spend 49 million this Off Season. Between resigning their own potential free agents and draft picks, Miami will likely spend close to, if not more than that 49 million number, even though it might only cost 25 million (for example) against the cap. So don't expect Miami to spend big in Free Agency "because they have to spend money" as some are suggesting.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:44 am
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
I stand corrected.

I have to say that I am very surprised. The NFL has not made rules about cash spend since they implemented the salary cap.

On a side not, I wonder how this cash rule applies to deferred payments, which happen occasionally


Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:24 am
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
Phins Rock wrote:
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what the "minimum" actually means, and how much Miami "has to" spend. I decided to break it down quickly for the blog today.


Where are you getting your information?

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Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:06 am
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
Rich wrote:
Phins Rock wrote:
There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what the "minimum" actually means, and how much Miami "has to" spend. I decided to break it down quickly for the blog today.


Where are you getting your information?

The cash minimum is explained here:
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ntil-2013/


Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:17 am
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
That says Marshall and Carpenter should be cut.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
Nice, so we're not forced to overspend and go after pricey free agents if we don't see ones we like. We could simply sign our rookies and re-sign or extend our current players, making sure to put the money up front in the form of a cash bonus and thus reducing their cap numbers while still meeting the minimum cash number. This would set us up to keep building our team through the draft and go into each year with a very nice cap situation but also have the ability to make moves if the right guys emerge.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
wkloiber13 wrote:
Nice, so we're not forced to overspend and go after pricey free agents if we don't see ones we like. We could simply sign our rookies and re-sign or extend our current players, making sure to put the money up front in the form of a cash bonus and thus reducing their cap numbers while still meeting the minimum cash number. This would set us up to keep building our team through the draft and go into each year with a very nice cap situation but also have the ability to make moves if the right guys emerge.


Exactly, that's the way I look at it..............I don't think the team is going to purposely overpay for a player just to meet the cap number. If they miss out on a player in FA, they can lock up key players on the current roster.

Anyway, it appears we have options and options are good.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
I sorta want us to spend SOME money. We need to supply Ryan Tannehill with weapons. Now.. and later. I am tired of losing!

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Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:17 pm
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
I run the nyjetscap website and just wanted to throw my two cents in here. The one rule that may be overlooked when it comes to the cash minimum is that the cash minimum is in 4 year "buckets" not a per year spend. What the league and union did was eliminate the salary cap floor that existed and instead institute a per team spending floor. The league realized, though, that you cant expect a team in any given year to be forced to spend 89% of the cap so the agreement is to spend 89% over a 4 year period. In this case it is from 2013 thru 2016. So if Miami decides that there are no free agents worth pursuing or homegrown players worth extending they can simply stay put and deal with reaching the spending limits another year. I wouldnt expect teams to begin to feel like they have to spend until 2015 when they realize that they will be short. Even still there is also no real penalty. If they fail to reach the threshold they have to pay it back to all the players who were on the team those years. For some cheaper teams they may prefer to backpay their old players than overpay guys they dont really want just to meet the limits.

Right now I have Miamis cash payroll estimated at $60,762,053. The Dolphins first round draft pick will receive a signing bonus of about $5.9 million and the two second rounders at 3 million total, so the real cash spend if close to $70 million. While low its certainly easy, as pointed out by the OP, to make that up in the future when they are happy with some of the free agents. Id imagine they will spend this year to bring in some pieces for your QB, but the planning itself has been very short term these last three years. Dont know if Ross really means it when he says this is the first time it felt like his team, but if he does I would imagine that means he is willing to spend more on the team than he has for the last few years.

As for the question about deferred compensation and similar items the league will value those using a present value calculation.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:52 pm
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
jason423 wrote:
I run the nyjetscap website and just wanted to throw my two cents in here. The one rule that may be overlooked when it comes to the cash minimum is that the cash minimum is in 4 year "buckets" not a per year spend. What the league and union did was eliminate the salary cap floor that existed and instead institute a per team spending floor. The league realized, though, that you cant expect a team in any given year to be forced to spend 89% of the cap so the agreement is to spend 89% over a 4 year period. In this case it is from 2013 thru 2016. So if Miami decides that there are no free agents worth pursuing or homegrown players worth extending they can simply stay put and deal with reaching the spending limits another year. I wouldnt expect teams to begin to feel like they have to spend until 2015 when they realize that they will be short. Even still there is also no real penalty. If they fail to reach the threshold they have to pay it back to all the players who were on the team those years. For some cheaper teams they may prefer to backpay their old players than overpay guys they dont really want just to meet the limits.

Right now I have Miamis cash payroll estimated at $60,762,053. The Dolphins first round draft pick will receive a signing bonus of about $5.9 million and the two second rounders at 3 million total, so the real cash spend if close to $70 million. While low its certainly easy, as pointed out by the OP, to make that up in the future when they are happy with some of the free agents. Id imagine they will spend this year to bring in some pieces for your QB, but the planning itself has been very short term these last three years. Dont know if Ross really means it when he says this is the first time it felt like his team, but if he does I would imagine that means he is willing to spend more on the team than he has for the last few years.

As for the question about deferred compensation and similar items the league will value those using a present value calculation.


Thanks for the clarification. Also, you run a great website. I refer to it a lot.


Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:28 am
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Post Re: Explaining Miami's cap situation
Player Cap cost Cap savings Dead money

Karlos Dansby $8.575M $3.925M $4.65M

Paul Soliai $7.875M $6.3M $1.575M

Richard Marshall $5.766M $5.35M $2.33M

Kevin Burnett $5.7M $3.2M $2.5M

Richie Incognito $5.38M $4.3M $1.08M

Dimitri Patterson $4.6M $4.6M $0

Davone Bess $3.43M $2.68M $750K

Dan Carpenter $3.012M $2.7M $312,500

Michael Egnew $652,239 $210,522 $441,717

Nolan Carroll $622,939 $575,000 $47,939

Remember that dead money is a cost that remains on the team's books after a player to which the team was invested is cut or traded. The Dolphins, for exampled, don't have Vontae Davis on the roster anymore. But he's still costing them $1.1 million in dead money on their salary cap.

If cutting or trading a player leaves a lot of dead money on the books, the move is less likely.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins ... rylink=cpy


Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:55 am
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