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Analyzing Potential Miami Dolphins Salary Cap Casualties in the 2013 Offseason

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IJune 24, 2016

Analyzing Potential Miami Dolphins Salary Cap Casualties in the 2013 Offseason

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    "We're in the money."

    That's the tune Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is likely singing this offseason, with the Dolphins poised to be $35.8 million under the salary cap (via ESPN). 

    The Dolphins could likely have their pick of just about any free agent in this year's class.

    That being said, there are always a few salaries that can be dumped, and opening up just a little more cap room can go a long way in delivering the top talent available.

    Who could be looking at a pink slip sometime between now and the end of the offseason?

     

    All salary information courtesy Spotrac.

LG Richie Incognito

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    2013 Cap Hit: $5,383,333

    Dead Money If Cut: $1,383,333

    Cap Savings If Cut: $4,000,000

    Why He Might Be a Salary Cap Casualty: Incognito was brought in to help implement Tony Sparano's man-blocking scheme under the mantra of "bigger, stronger" offensive linemen. Now, the Dolphins are running a zone-blocking scheme which calls for smaller, more agile offensive linemen who can move well.

    Even if the Dolphins don't move on from him this year, they may do so next year.

    Why He Might Not Be a Salary Cap Casualty: Incognito has one year left on his deal, so eating any amount of his salary is a moot point unless his play has been that poor.

    Besides, the Dolphins aren't that hard up for cap space.

CB Richard Marshall

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    2013 Cap Hit: $5,766,667

    Dead Money If Cut: $1,216,667

    Cap Savings If Cut: $4,500,000

    Why He Might Be a Salary Cap Casualty: Marshall played just four games before going on injured reserve. In that small sample size, he allowed 14 completions on 23 targets (60.9 percent) and a passer rating of 101.2 on throws into his coverage.

    Why He Might Not Be a Salary Cap Casualty: The Dolphins traded away cornerback Vontae Davis in part because they felt Marshall was part of the answer going forward. Cornerback Sean Smith is set to hit the open market as a free agent, and although the Dolphins have enough space to re-sign him if they so choose, who knows what the market will look like for Smith's services.

    Nolan Carroll as the team's best cornerback? Eek!

K Dan Carpenter

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    2013 Cap Hit: $3,012,500

    Dead Money If Cut: $327,500

    Cap Savings If Cut: $2,675,000

    Why He Might Be a Salary Cap Casualty: Carpenter had one of the worst seasons of his career, converting just 81.5 percent of his field-goal attempts into points. 

    Ever since being voted to the Pro Bowl with an 89.3 field-goal percentage, Carpenter has fallen victim to inconsistency and has converted just 79.4 percent of his field goals in the three years since then.

    Why He Might Not Be a Salary Cap Casualty: In his defense, he missed three field goals from 50-plus yards, and two from between 40 and 49 yards. 

    Good kickers are also hard to come by. Of the free-agent kickers this year, only Bengals kicker Josh Brown, Chargers kicker Nick Novak, Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka, Browns kicker Phil Dawson and Lions kicker Jason Hansen had a higher percentage than Carpenter. None are likely to leave their current teams by any path other than retirement (Dawson is 37 and Hansen is 42).

    Besides, the Dolphins aren't that hard up for cap space.

RB Daniel Thomas

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    2013 Cap Hit: $882,717

    Dead Money If Cut: $213,500

    Cap Savings If Cut: $669.217

    Why He Might Be a Salary Cap Casualty: The Dolphins tried to get Daniel Thomas involved in the offense, with 705 snaps and 256 carries over the past two years, but they haven't gotten much reward for their investment of a second-round pick. To date, Thomas has scored just five touchdowns and averages 3.54 yards per carry, ranking dead last among all backs with at least 250 carries over the past two years.

    Also, the Dolphins could unload him this year and free up over $1 million for 2013 in the process.

    Why He Might Not Be a Salary Cap Casualty: What will the Dolphins do at running back if they lose Reggie Bush to free agency? Getting rid of Thomas, in that sense, seems like it might be digging a deeper hole than necessary at running back. The Dolphins used a second-round pick on him in 2011, thinking he had that kind of potential.

    Besides, the Dolphins aren't that hard up for cap space.

     

    Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.

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