Welcome to the Dwork On Sports blog. This is a place where I’ll cover all things related to South Florida sports, with a steady combination of facts and opinions while ultimately keeping a close eye on anything and everything related to our local teams.
The Miami Dolphins have done a bit of house cleaning over the past couple weeks, cutting ties with receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, offensive lineman Nate Garner and cornerback Cortland Finnegan. It’s clear that the Dolphins are trying to create as much cap space as possible for when free agents can start signing with new teams next week.
The biggest name that has been linked to Miami is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the extremely talented and controversial player that has been dominating for the Detroit Lions since entering the league in 2010 as the 2nd overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Suh is arguably the best player in the league at his position and he will receive a contract that reflects his skills. Whether the Dolphins are willing to offer him that kind of money, or if the 28-year-old would consider playing in Miami, has yet to be seen.
I think that Suh has been one of the dirtiest players in the league over the past several years but he’s still a game-changer on defense, and he’s still young enough for me to give him the benefit of the doubt that he may still have some growing up to do. Or he may not.
Either way, he would fill one of the areas that cost the Dolphins a chance at playing January football last season. Miami was absolutely gashed by the run during the last two months of 2014 and signing Suh would be an instant fix.
But is a team that is still healing from the wounds created by the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal willing to make a huge financial investment in a player that has become known as much for his wrongdoings as he is for his talents as a football player?
Suh is likely to garner a contract in the 6-year $100 million range. While the Dolphins have already cleared some cap space by releasing the aforementioned players, I suspect that there are still a few heads that will find their way to the chopping block.
Names like Randy Starks, Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler have been floating around as possible candidates to be cut, and as the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson mentioned in his recent blog, cutting Starks, Wallace, Ellerbe, Wheeler and punter Brandon Fields would save the team $23.6 million in cap space, giving Miami $38.6 million to spend on new or returning players.
NFL teams can start negotiating with players on March 7th and signings can be made on the 10th, which is when the 2015 league year begins.
It’s clear that there is going to be a good amount of turnover in Miami but the team has so many areas of need that it’s anyone’s guess where that money will be spent.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been trying to make a big splash for the past few years but guys like Peyton Manning, Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher have balked at the idea of coming to Miami.
Will he finally land his big fish in Ndamukong Suh? Is that the right move for this franchise? One of those questions will probably be answered in the next several days. The other…well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
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