Going into the 2012 regular season, the Miami Dolphins will be operating with roughly 2.895 million under the cap or approximately 127 million in salaries. This new salary cap figure as reported by @nyjetscap shows that the Dolphins have very little amount of space to make some big transactions this season.
Included in this cap figure is some dead money off of Vontae Davis' contract. If you are unfamiliar with dead money, it is basically when bonuses are paid out a bonus and the player is no longer on the team. According to some reports by insiders, some 1.1 million counted against the cap when Vontae was traded. Essentially, it hurt the Dolphins a bit now, but in the long term, future salary amounts are for the Colts to handle from Sept 9th until the last game of the season.
Even though the Dolphins will be operating with very minor space this season, they are not the worst in terms of cap figures. The Ravens as of July have over 606,000 under the cap, and the Falcons, Chargers, and Saints are all under 3 million in space.
So, where does that leave Miami next year?
First Miami can be in a much better cap position if they re-sign Jake Long. Re-signing Jake Long allows them more flexibility this season by buying out this year's contract and spreading it out over a number of years.
Should the Dolphins choose to trade Matt Moore, some 2.5 million could be freed up before the 9th, and any 53 man roster bonus would be paid by acquiring team.
In the off chance that David Garrard is named the backup or one of the backups, then he will be paid around the same as Matt Moore for this season.
I think that with the emergence of Pat Devlin, Jeff Ireland may not have both on this roster by September 9th, but we will surely find out soon.
Another point of contention that I personally just learned today via sports agent David Canter is that practice squad players are paid out of separate funds approximately $5,700 per week and are not guaranteed nor do they count against the cap.
So, if you are worried about the Dolphins not competing because of the Cap, that's part of it. The other part is making prudent decisions that will help this team in the future. Prudent decisions that stem from production from guys like Fasano and Jake Long. Should the Dolphins look at re-structuring Dansby's contract, that would be all possible if his agent would agree to such a drastic measure.
Next year, the Dolphins could be flush with cash with contracts potentially coming off the books. Of course everything changes with midseason signings that Jeff Ireland is known for.
Depending on where the Dolphins finish this year, they are going to need that cap space to accommodate a potential of 6 picks in the first 4 rounds.
Many thanks to our follwers @Phins_Phocus