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cddolphin

cddolphin's 2018 Mock Offseason (Part 4 Up, Free Agency Day 1)

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I'm going to post a mock offseason I recently completed one section at a time.

Originally I wanted to hire Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator and begin to transition the defense to a 3-4 / 4-3 under hybrid, but it's looking more and more like he will remain in Chicago. To that end, I'm approacing this with the idea that Matt Burke remains as defensive coordinator.

Note that this is not what I think Miami will do, but rather what I would like Miami to do.

I will attempt to be as realistic as possible, particulary on the financial side. 

First up: player cuts

Edited by cddolphin

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2018 Salary Cap: $176 million + $94k rollover from 2017 = $176.09m salary cap

Current 2018 obligations under contract: $167.16m

2018 CAP SPACE = $8.93M (before any cuts, free agent signings, or restructures)

Cut RT Ja'Wuan James - $9.34m in savings (no dead money)
A 1st round pick in 2014, James has been a steady if not standout RT when healthy. He will go through multi-game streaks of very spotty and then very good play, but usually falls somewhere in between despite a good PFF rating of 80.0. Having missed 17 games during his 4-year career, James is the first cap casualty partly due to his high cost, and partly due to the emergence of young, cheap OL such as Jesse Davis and Eric Smith.

Cut LB Lawrence Timmons - $5.45m in savings ($2.75m in dead money)
After a head-scractching AWOL incident (which voided all his 2018 guarantees and ended up being a blessing in disguise), Timmons started the season very strong and then in the final third began ceding snaps to newly-acquired LB Stephone Anthony, who had about 20 snaps in every game after week 11. Timmons is emblematic of one of the problems in Miami: paying 30+ year old veterans big money only for the wheels to fall off early on. Lawrence Timmons, Dannelle Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler.... none of these moves worked out. With Timmons cut, the biggest FA investment of 2017 ends after one rollercoaster season.

Cut TE Julius Thomas - $4.6m in savings ($2m in dead money)
Surprise! It was apparent from the preseason: Thomas couldn't catch, run, or block. How he managed to get more snaps than Fasano, I still don't know. While I can't bring myself to call this a bad move (we essentially just swapped an expensive Branden Albert for a less expensive Thomas), it clearly hasn't worked out.

Cut LG Ted Larsen - $1.11m in savings ($833k in dead money in 2018 and another $417k in 2019)
Adding relatively cheap competition to the interior OL last offseason was a good idea in theory. The execution left something to be desired. Larsen started the season hurt and when he made his way back onto the field, his play simply wasn't very good. Miami should look elsewhere rather than rely on a 30 year old guard for $2m annually.

Keep C Mike Pouncey - 2018 cap hit of $9.0m (potential savings of $7.0m)
After missing 19 games over the previous four seasons, and with a contract that would now be easy to discard, Pouncey's future after 2017 largely depended on his play during the season. Luckily, Pouncey capped a fully-healthy 2018 with a team-high 971 snaps on offense alongside a very high pass-blocking rating per PFF. With a cap hit that's not too awful, another easy out in 2019, and with the possiblity of starting two very young guards in 2018 high, Pouncey is a piece to keep. He's safe.

 

CAP SPACE AFTER CUTS: $29.43M

Edited by cddolphin

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Early offseason draft for me, Was going to create own thread but not going to go into same detail as you, Early signs are we are on same page. Draft prospects may be way off in value but I tried to be sensible whilst targeting players I like so far in limited tape work.

 

Cut J Thomas, J James, L Timmons, 

 

Resign J Landry, W Aitkins, M Thomas, S Young, W Hayes, J Denney,

A Steen, R Scott.

 

R1 Baker Mayfield - QB - Oklahoma

R2 Tremaine Edmunds  - OLB - Virginia Tech

R3 Frank Ragnow- G - Arkansas

R4 Caleb Wilson - TE - UCLA

R4 Josh Sweat - DE - Florida State

R6 Frank Ginda - ILB - San Jose State

R7 Jamar Summers - CB - Connecticut 

R7 Ralph Webb - RB - Vanderbilt

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Back to you. only thing I disagree with is Larson, I think by cutting him we would create another hole. Although I would love an upgrade not sure we benefit too much from the small savings. Some opinions seem to indicate that Tunsil improved when he returned.

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19 hours ago, mountainpd said:

Cut J Thomas, J James, L Timmons, 

 

Resign J Landry, W Aitkins, M Thomas, S Young, W Hayes, J Denney,

A Steen, R Scott.

^^So after your cuts there'd be $28m in space. Minus draft picks ($7m this year) that gives you $21m to re-sign all those guys and bring in any new free agents. Landry & Hayes alone would knock out at least $14m in space, even with creative contracts. That leaves $7m for Aikens, Thomas, Young, Denney, Steen AND any free agents (Rashawn Scott is still under contract by the way). It wouldn't work. Dolphins will end up losing some people they want to keep, no matter what, be it Hayes or Landry or some valuable depth. I can understand the desire to keep all those guys listed, Aikens is a good special teamer, Young is an okay backup swing tackle (although he is 30), Hayes performed well despite getting hurt and only playing about 300 snaps. There will be some tough calls in a cap-strapped year.

19 hours ago, mountainpd said:

Back to you. only thing I disagree with is Larson, I think by cutting him we would create another hole. Although I would love an upgrade not sure we benefit too much from the small savings. Some opinions seem to indicate that Tunsil improved when he returned.

I was definitely on the fence and would understand keeping him. At this point in my mock, the only guards on the roster are Isaac Asiata and Jesse Davis, and backup tackles include Zach Sterup and Sean Hickey. It'll definitely need to be addressed (again).

Edited by cddolphin

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19 hours ago, mountainpd said:

R1 Baker Mayfield - QB - Oklahoma

Although^^ cutting Tannehill would free up $15m in cap space; but it would be unlikely to happen before the draft, which is when you need the space.

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I would probably resign Fede too. Plus I forgot about Parkey.

I disagree on the amount Hayes and Landry would cost, or I wouldn’t pay them that much I would sign Hayes for no more than 3mil and Landrys contract could be worked to about 6-7 million in year 1 pretty easily.

Suh would be best to restructure contract and I would explore that avenue.

I wouldn’t cut Tannehill but would consider trading him if there was any value especially if we nicked one of the qb’s.

I cannot see us being overly active in the free agency market either.

 

On a side note I hope Branch bounces back his contract is horrible.

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55 minutes ago, mountainpd said:

Suh would be best to restructure contract and I would explore that avenue.

Restructuring Suh again would be more of the same: temporary relief while making the future cap hits even worse. You can get creative and free up $6m from his hit this year... but his 2019 hit would become $31m ($16m dead cap potential) and his 2020 hit $25m ($7m dead cap potential).

If I'm GM I just eat the hit this year and think about a restructure next season, when the threat of cutting him is actually legitimate.

Same goes for Tannehill. No way he restructures, he has no incentive to do so. He only has $7m guaranteed left on his contract.. and if he is cut, someone like the Browns / Redskins would almost certainly offer him at least $18m for 2-3 seasons.. I mean, Jimmy G was offered a deal at that rate before he was traded and turned it down.. QB contracts are going bonkers.

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CONTRACT EXTENSION:

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Miami has signed former Pro-Bowl, All-Pro, and future Hall of Fame DE Cameron Wake to a one-year contract extension.

1-year, $8 million ($5 million guaranteed) + $2m signing bonus (converted from his current 2018 salary).

Wake was a top-10 DE in the NFL in sacks (11), hits (14), pressures (61) and ranked second in PFF's 2017 pass rush productivity. Wake continues to out-pace HoFer Jason Taylor in sacks, collecting 0.70 sacks / game played, compared to Taylor's 0.60 sacks / game. Wake should remain in Miami until he slows down, and this extension ties him to Miami through the 2019 season (Wake will be 37, an age at which we've seen veteran pass rushers remain successful). This extension fuly guarantees his 2018 salary while converting part of it to a signing bonus, lowering his 2018 cap hit by $1m and adding a 2019 year with a $9m cap hit ($6m guaranteed).

CAP SPACE AFTER EXTENSION: $30.43M

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mountainpd, there isn't anyway that Landry will sign for 6 to 7 mil the first season. There are some very good teams that desperately need a solid WR, that have ton's of cap space, that are going to be all over Landry. The Cowboys, Raiders, Bengals, and Packers all can afford Landry, and he can be the missing piece they need to make their offense dynamic. All those teams won't bat an eye at paying Landry the 14.5 mil his agent is asking for in the first year.

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1 minute ago, freak_of_nature said:

I wonder if CLE will make Landry a huge offer. He'd be a huge boon to that team and whichever QB comes in.

That's my early guess as to where he signs.  They will draft another QB early, and will want a guy like Landry to make his life easier.  They have a bajillion dollars to spend.

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3 hours ago, ericsvibe said:

there isn't anyway that Landry will sign for 6 to 7 mil the first season.

It's technically possible, but the cap hits in 2019 and beyond would be way higher as a result.

Teams with a lot of money to spend know Miami would have to back-load any contract, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them front-load it to make it hard to match.

Edited by cddolphin

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5 minutes ago, hrubes20 said:

That's my early guess as to where he signs.  They will draft another QB early, and will want a guy like Landry to make his life easier.  They have a bajillion dollars to spend.

My guess would be the Texans think he would want to be on a winning team. Watson coming back too.

 

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22 hours ago, ericsvibe said:

mountainpd, there isn't anyway that Landry will sign for 6 to 7 mil the first season. There are some very good teams that desperately need a solid WR, that have ton's of cap space, that are going to be all over Landry. The Cowboys, Raiders, Bengals, and Packers all can afford Landry, and he can be the missing piece they need to make their offense dynamic. All those teams won't bat an eye at paying Landry the 14.5 mil his agent is asking for in the first year.

Just to add to the above......It’s not a great WR draft at the top either, so that will probably push the market up for FA Recievers.

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