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Will the Miami Dolphins purge bloated salaries?
> Posted by Omar Kelly on January 18, 2010 11:17 AM
If the Miami Dolphins want to dump Gibril Wilson and his bloated salary, this is the offseason to do it?
While all of the secondaries failures can't be blamed on the team's starting free safety, who struggled mightily in coverage last season, Wilson certainly didn't prove he was deserving of the $27.5 million contract the Dolphins' decision-makers paid him last offseason.
Gibril wilson 6 In the coming weeks the Dolphins must decide if Wilson, whom they made the third highest paid safety in the NFL, is worth the $3.9 million he's due in base salary and a workout bonus ($50,000) in 2010.
If the answer is no, then the Dolphins can do exactly what Oakland did last offseason, admit they made a mistake and release Wilson, who contributed 93 tackles, eight pass breakups and one sack in 2009.
If the NFL owners and player's union don't agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement by March Wilson's release won't be accompanied by salary cap ramifications because 2010 is expected to be an uncapped year.
The contract Wilson signed last offseason guaranteed him $8 million. He received $5 million of that sum in a signing bonus, $2 million in a roster bonus already paid, and earned $950,000 in base salary and $50,000 in a workout bonus.
That means Wilson's received ALL the money he was guaranteed.
After 2010 he's due $4.6 million in 2011, $5.1 million in 2012, and $5.9 million ($500,000 from a roster bonus) in 2013. That a steep price for a strong safety masquerading as a free safety.
Those salaries are way out of proportion when factoring in Wilson's contribution, and shortcomings. But his future depends on whether or not the Trifecta is ready to declare him a failure, admitting they were wrong on their assessment of his skills.
But Wilson's release means a void is created in the secondary that must be filled by a free agent signing, or the elevation of Tyrone Culver or Chris Clemons.
Here's a look at a couple more players that might be on the Dolphins chopping block because of bloated salaries that don't match their production.
OLB Joey Porter – The Dolphins owe Porter $1.2 million on bonuses by March. If they believe the aging pass rusher is worth the bonuses, plus his $3.6 million salary in 2010 he’ll stay for at least one more season. If they decide they don't want him around he'll be cut loose, becoming an unrestricted free agent.
ILB Akin Ayodele– He’ll be 31 next season, and while he’s still productive (finishing third on the team with 71 tackles) he’s due $3.25 million in the final year of his existing deal. Ayodele is great in the community, and in the locker room, but he struggled with a couple of injuries last season.
ILB Reggie Torbor – The team’s backup inside linebacker had an average season (37 tackles, one sack, one interception), but is due above average money ($3.05 million) in 2010. While it's ideal for the linebacker unit to get younger, it's hard to justify letting both Ayodele and Torbor go in one offseason. Torbor also serves as one of the top special teams contributors.
CB Jason Allen– The team’s 2006 first-round pick hasn’t established himself as a reliable cornerback in two seasons at the position. He's due $1.27 million in 2010, which is a lot for a backup cornerback who primarily served as a special teams ace. But cutting Allen means they create another void on the roster. It's more realistic that he'll be brought to training camp and asked to compete for playing time.