Dolphins will carry more than $18 million under the salary cap for Ryan Tannehill

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As the NFL salary cap climbs higher and higher, NFL teams become more and more willing to carry significant dead money for specific players.

This year alone, the Steelers will have former receiver Antonio Brown on the books for $21.12 million, and former Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will count for $16 million. Next year, if Saints quarterback Drew Brees moves on, he’ll leave behind $21.3 million under the cap.

Former Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has joined this not-so-exclusive club. The remainder of his signing bonus and a can-kicking restructuring bonus already meant that he’d count for $13.423 million this year, if released without a post-June 1 designation. The curious decision of the Dolphins to pay $5 million of his salary in order to get a seventh-round pick and a future fourth-round pick for Tannehill and a sixth-round pick increases the cap charge to a whopping $18.423 million.

Of course, keeping Tannehill would have cost $26.611 million under the cap, and $18.725 million in cash.  So the Dolphins created $8.188 million in cap space, spent $5 million to do it, and picked up a fourth-round pick next year while flip-flopping 2019 sixth- and seventh-round picks with the Titans.

While some are skewing reality to heap false praise on the Dolphins for doing something good, the bottom line is that the Dolphins were trying to make chicken salad. To do so, they crafted a convoluted recipe that had them essentially buying not quite a fourth-round pick in 2020 for $5 million, and pushing the dead cap money that will apply to Tannehill to nearly 10 percent of the entire 2019 salary cap.

46 responses to “Dolphins will carry more than $18 million under the salary cap for Ryan Tannehill

  1. Should not have traded him. They tipped there hand they are taking a QB and someone is gonna jump them for Jones.

  2. There won’t be a QB. They are holding out for #1 overall and Tua. Which is the right call. He could be a generational talent. Plus they’re clearing their cap completely for future years. How is this not good? 0-16 or 8-8 you’re at home on the couch in January either way. Tank is a very viable strategy in modern sports leagues thanks to the huge advantage of top 5 draft picks. They say being stuck in perpetual mediocrity is the worst thing that can happen to a team. It traditionally describes basketball teams too bad and poorly constructed to win, but just good enough not to get a high pick. Kudos to the Fins for actually trying to change the culture down there rather than doing the same thing year after year after year.

  3. Stop hating on the dolphins.

    They got a future 4th for a player nobody thought they could trade.

  4. So now their QBs are Luke Falk and Jake Rudock. They are either going to draft a QB high or they should lose picks for tanking…

    That’s not even trying to field an NFL QB. Tannehill might not have been great, but he’s clearly better than that.

  5. revren10 says:
    March 16, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I remember when Dolphins fans said this guy would be better than Brady,

    ==========================

    Oh really? Who?

    Didn’t think so.

  6. I wonder if Gase was given the option to blow everything up and tank for a high draft pick?

    Or was he expected to field a winner from that for-crap talent he was given?

  7. Basketball went to the lottery pick system, trying to keep teams from tanking, but they still do it. The Clippers traded away their leading scorer even though they are likely to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, the team just keep on winning enough to make sure they won’t be in the lottery for the number 1 overall pick. The Lakers were in the hunt for the playoffs when King James got hurt, and now they are really tanking.

  8. we’re you the one on this site who said Miami wouldn’t be able to trade him or get anything for him?

    so now you’re just trying to save face by trying to spin this as a negative?

    you conveniently forgot to mention that because of the trade, he will be completely off the books in 2020 as opposed to the Dolphins still carrying dead money in 2020 if they just cut him.

    You also forgot to mention that because of this trade and the other moves Miami made, they are projected to have more than $120 mil of cap space in 2020 and more than 10 draft picks for next year’s draft.

  9. Doesn’t matter how much cap space his contract eats up. They’re not planning on being competitive this season anyway. General Manager Me brings in the best position coaches I can find, signs as many building block players as possible and — drum roll please — extends Xavien Howard with a front loaded contract so his cap hit in 2020 and beyond is manageable.

  10. Ouch that’s worse than the Bortles cap hit for J-Ville (And Bortles actually won some playoff games lol)

    Also… our cap hit is lessened a bit more once some team signs him to be a back up or competition… or tight end or whatever

  11. Miami will be lucky to win 4 games.

    I am laughing at the arrogance of Ross that franchise stealing half of the Pats’ staff in the division and acting like karma won’t come back.

    Flores and Co are now the direct enemy, in my book.

  12. Keeping Tannehill would be stupid. Hell get you 7-9 wins which is where we have been at for years.
    This was a good move. They basically got something for someone they were going to cut shortly.

    I’d like to see what Luke Falk can do. It’s a win/win. If he does well then maybe he may be the guy and they Fins can surround him with talent. If he does t do well, then you draft a qb in the first round next year.

  13. TruthfulDolphinFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    March 16, 2019 at 10:37 am
    Should not have traded him. They tipped there hand they are taking a QB and someone is gonna jump them for Jones.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    They didn’t tip anything. They are looking towards the 2020 draft. They will plug someone in there this year as they tank the season. As others have said, if Tannehill started, it would probably mean 6-9 wins. Does us no good as far as rebuilding goes.

  14. Drafting, then making Tannehill a multi millionaire was one of the worst investments an NFL team has ever made. Ryan Tannehill should have been a sixth round draft choice at best.

  15. Just about everyone has praised the Miami front office for getting picks for tannehill when nobody thought he was tradeable because they had to release eventually. They paid out 5m to do it but are saving over 20m over two years in cap space. It was a brilliant move by Miami. Amazing how this article spun the whole thing into a negative.

  16. The three teams decided to bite the bullet get what they can in this year’s draft and take the dead cap hit all at once. They could have waited until after June 1 but then it would be for 2020 draft picks but they could split the dead cap over 2019 and 2020. Pick your poison.

  17. In 2020 the Dolphins have a projected 120 mil in cap space and 10 picks. 2019s dismal season will lead to a top pick. Add it up to Tua or Fromme, 9 picks and lots of money to surround one of them with a lot of talent.

  18. The sad part of all this is the Dolphins have two QB’s on their roster that are better than Tannehill. Luke Falk and David Fales. The inability to evaluate QB’s is expensive. It’s double dumb when they’re on your roster and you can’t even see them.

  19. Not only was it smart. Pay money now to save more money in the future, and add a pick along with 2-3 support. Picks next year…. They are gonna do it again with R Quinn. Pay some salary and trade him during the draft, or preseason or at the deadline.

    Luke Falk was the guy we were supposed to draft in rounds 3-5 last year to replace RT. Instead we grabbed him off waivers. He’s probably a career backup, works for me.

    Like the dude above said. This move gives us 120-140 million next season with rollover this season. If we can put two good drafts together and spend it right, I’m gonna be happy

  20. So with the dead money from Suh still on the books and a couple other guys, this brings them to like 36 million in dead money for this year. The GM should go work for the government, they also have no idea how to properly budget.

  21. We’ll be Cleveland 2.0 in 2021. Tua as starter, Fort Knox in the bank and 10+ draft picks. I’m 100% in on this strategy so we can grow into a perennial powerhouse.

  22. People on here suggesting the Dolphins “Tank” their upcoming season to get higher draft picks for the future are unbelievable…The fans deserve better than that and there is no guarantee that a first round pick, much less a QB, is going to pan out. Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell, Jake Locker, Matt Leinart and others were stiffs that everyone thought would save their franchises. I would certainly hope that fans werent hoping the teams that drafted these guys had tanked their previous seasons to get them. With free agency and the draft, teams should always field a hard playing, competitive team that wants to win but coaching has to also make it happen.

  23. revren10 says:
    March 16, 2019 at 10:37 am
    I remember when Dolphins fans said this guy would be better than Brady,

    —————————
    Pretty much every newly drafted QB coming into the league has hopeful people trying to say he is going to be better than Brady. Its really not a Dolphins specific thing. Its just normal offseason chatter before the reality hits.

    But its not lost on me how Brady is always the one to measure against.

  24. contender21open says:
    March 16, 2019 at 11:13 am
    revren10 says:
    March 16, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I remember when Dolphins fans said this guy would be better than Brady,

    ==========================

    Oh really? Who?

    Didn’t think so.

    ==========================

    Tannehill had his true believers on Miami Dolphins fan boards, who said this many times.

    His fans actually think and the Tennessee fans now believe, they got the missing piece. Good luck with that.

  25. As for dead cap. Miami is clearing bad contracts on players who frankly didn’t deserve or didnt earn their pay.

    The Free Agents FORMER GM Mike Tannenbaum brought in 2018 to start, only one finished the season NOT on IR. Danny Amendola. Their big FA acquisition to help solidify the oline, played one game before going on IR.

    I wish some of you really had a understanding of things you want to chirp about.

  26. revren10 says:
    March 16, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I remember when Dolphins fans said this guy would be better than Brady,

    ==========================

    Don’t just make things up. Never happened, we were always skeptical of a WR turned QB, with one year experience.

  27. TruthfulDolphinFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    March 16, 2019 at 10:37 am
    Should not have traded him. They tipped there hand they are taking a QB and someone is gonna jump them for Jones.

    Hilarious you couldn’t wait for the team to cut or get rid of tannehill now you wish they kept him..

    they arent going QB in the draft, They are straight up trying to tank this season for the shot at lawrence,Tua, or Fromm in 2020.. enjoy Luke Falk and Rudock this season..

  28. carloswlassiter says:
    March 16, 2019 at 11:14 am
    I wonder if Gase was given the option to blow everything up and tank for a high draft pick?

    Or was he expected to field a winner from that for-crap talent he was given?

    ——————————/—/-/

    You do know that Gase had full control of his roster, right? And he had some influence on all those crazy contacts? And that rumor has it that Ross wanted him to tank but he refused to. Oh, yeah, let’s not get into the play calling and sticking with the wide 9.

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