So now that we have the details of the contracts for Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, I can give you a rough idea of what Miami's cap situation currently looks like in 2014.
I previously posted that before the signing of Wallace, Ellerbe and Wheeler, the Dolphins had a $66 cap number for 2014. This included Brian Hartline's new deal, and as stated previously, Chris Clemons signed a one year deal so he isn't on the books in 2014.
This did not include the removal of Kevin Burnett from the books.
The Dolphins have designated Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby as June 1st cuts rather than taking the accelerated bonus hit now. This rolls over about $3.6 million cap hit toward the 2014 salary cap.
Here are the cap numbers for 2014 for our new players:
Wallace - $17.25 million
Ellerbe - $7.4 million
Wheeler - $6.4 million
That's a total cap hit of $31.05 million in 2014. So by removing Dansby and Burnett, but spreading their accelerated cap hit to 2014 and with the massive base salary increases for Wallace, Ellerbe and Wheeler, the Dolphins will be using up almost $94 million of their salary cap for 2014. This does not include of course any new free agents or players that will be drafted in 2013.
I would also like to point out that some cap flexibility continues.
Dimitri Patterson is on the books for 2014 at a cap number of $5.4 million. There is simply no way he isn't restructured or cut. Cutting him after June 1st saves $5.4 million in 2014.
Daniel Thomas is a $1 million cap hit in 2014. Cutting him after June 1st saves almost $1 million.
Richard Marshall is a $6.5 million cap hit. Cutting him after June 1st saves over $5 million.
Brandon Fields is a $3.7 million cap hit. Cutting him after June 1st saves over $2 million.
Just to give you guys an idea of some bloated contracts or 7 figure cap numbers that can be reworked or removed.
There will not be an opportunity to save by releasing Wallace, Wake, Hartline or Tannehill as there would actually be an additional cap hit by accelerating their signing bonuses.
It is reasonable to say that guys like Patterson, Marshall and Thomas will not be with the Dolphins in 2014. Combine their cap savings and you get $11-12 million in additional cap space, bringing that 2014 number down to about $82-83 million.
Contracts for Wallace and Ellerbe decrease in cap value for 2015, making it easier to resign other valuable players or bring in an additional free agent or two during that offseason, barring the Dolphins going nuts again in 2014 (which I don't see as realistic).