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We talked a lot about the 2013 and 2014 salary cap situation for the Miami Dolphins during the 2013 preseason, but our assumption that Ireland had mortgaged next year for this year seems incorrect, according to The Phinsider.
Depending on free agents they have coming up, things really look cushy on Over The Cap.
That said, Jeff Ireland didn't exactly spend well this offseason.
We can start with Mike Wallace, a high-priced free agent signing which was a complete waste of ink for most of the season.
Brian Hartline outproduced him.
Hartline, who had a cap number of $2.115 million versus Wallace's $3.25 million.
You could maybe write that off as Ryan Tannehill struggling but honestly, how did Hartline get the numbers he did then?
Ireland let Jake Long go, a guy who was only rated as the No. 8 tackle in the NFL by Pro Football Focus last year (subscriber link). Putting aside the utter chaos that was the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito mess, losing Long put the line in a poor position to overcome injury and talent problems which led to the mess we saw at the end of the season.
The offensive line allowed the most sacks in the NFL (58) and a ridiculous 98 quarterback hits as well.
Previously Ireland traded Brandon Marshall to Chicago for a song and then let Reggie Bush go to Detroit. Like Long, both players were sorely missed in the offense the year after they left.
His drafts have also been hit and miss, his 2008 and 2009 selections being flat-out bad while his 2010 and 2011 have been OK at best. It's too soon to judge the 2013 class, but No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan has languished on the bench, Jamar Taylor has been hurt all season and running back Mike Gillislee has rarely seen the field (though as a fifth rounder, that's no shock).
The best player of the class? Kicker Caleb Sturgis.
The Dolphins fell apart this season, and the front office and coaching staff may get a pass because of it. It's the last one Miami fans should stand for, though.
Ireland, more than anyone, needs to improve his methods and get better results.