With about $112 million in contracts for 2014 and a salary cap of $126 million, plus a cap rollover of about $15 million, the Dolphins will have roughly $29 million in cap space going into free agency.
Here is the first move the Dolphins need to make.
Dmitri Patterson managed to play in only 6 games last season and start in only 4. For his limited playing time, he made $4.6 million. This season, he is projected to have a base salary of $5.4 million.
I know Patterson made a lot of plays in his limited playing time, but that is too much for a guy who can't stay healthy. And given the emergence of Nolan Carroll and Jimmy Wilson, as well as the potential of Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, it may be time to part ways and use some of that added cap space to resign Brent Grimes.
I like Patterson and would be willing to give him the opportunity to demonstrate he is healthy and restructure, but that cap number is too big and we don't take a cap hit for releasing him.
It would be the first thing I would do if I were Dennis Hickey.
A healthy Patterson is a top 10 CB in this league but I agree he is not worth the money if he's on the sideline. I hope he restructures because when we had him and Grimes on the field at the same time it instantly made our D better.
I agree with both of you. Patterson is an excellent candidate to re-structure. If we could get him for three years and around $8-9M, with only about half guaranteed, I think that would be a team friendly deal for a player of his quality.
After that, I hope Hickey looks to cut or trade players like Martin and Thomas. Both are due to make about $1M this season and both are backups that could be replaced with a draft pick or someone already on the roster.