Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This is a Smoke-Screen!

The Dolphins let Andre Goodman walk because his price was too high for his relatively limited upside. Then they signed a free agent corner who actually came in assuming he was the penciled in starter. Well, very few people agreed with Eric Green on that matter, and I was not one of them. I always assumed he would compete for a roster spot, rather than take over for Goodman.

Then the Trifecta put their heads together and got one, if not the best combination of corners in the draft, selecting Vontae Davis at #25, then picking up Sean Smith at #61 in the 2009 draft. These two guys are, in my not so humble opinion, likely to be starter-quality cornerbacks in the NFL. They're also likely to be 'play-makers' - Davis because of his bravery and egging-on persona, and Smith because of his physical attributes and speed.

So after 'getting younger' and preparing for the eventual passing of the torch from Will Allen to the young boys, the re-working of Allen's contract, extending him through 2011 AND giving him a sizable raise would seem to make no sense. At least that's how I felt when I first heard about it.

And before all of Will's family and friends get angry at me, let me just explain that I have always had faith in Allen's cover skills, and with the exception of a couple of really bad games last year after he got injured, he's been pretty soild for the Dolphins.

But here's where the move comes up not exactly smelling like roses. The Dolphins had approximately 9 million dollars of cap room before this. That was all the money they had to sign Davis, Smith, Pat White, and any other rookies that make the squad. Sure some space will be created by the cutting/trading/waiving of players through the pre-season and training camp, but it's generally poor business sense to pay for something BEFORE you have the money.

These sorts of deals generally happen in the early weeks of the regular season for just that reason.

And word is that Allen got a 3 year, 16.2 Million dollar contract with $10 Million guaranteed. over the first 2 years. He will turn 31 during training camp.
I assume the contract terms suggest that the 3rd year is a voidable one or is contingent primarily on a roster bonus. He will now almost double his salary cap hit. Also, to renegotiate his contract before they've signed the two first-day corners, also bad business sense, since it gives their agents something to work with.

Surely, Jeff Ireland is not this dense. Surely he does not lack hindsight to this level. Surely he has his private reasons why he would make such a deal at this point in the year. Surely, it is a smoke-screen!

Let's discuss in the comments.


  1. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    \nTin, I\'m not sure why this is a smoke-screen. I see it as making the talent and depth level of our corners better. Now we don\'t have to rely on the Billingsley\'s and Babers of the world for depth. This could also be the end of Jason Allen.\n \nI don\'t think Will Allen\'s contract has anything to do with the rookie corners\' contracts. They have no body of work to use as leverage.\n \nIt is unlikely that either Davis or Smith will start right away, too much to learn. But they will provide excellent depth right away as they learn.\n \nAlso, why do you always list Sean Smith as having physical attributes and speed but not Davis? Vontae is stronger and faster than Smith.

  2. "Also, why do you always list Sean Smith as having physical attributes and speed but not Davis? Vontae is stronger and faster than Smith."
    When have I ever made this statement?

  3. I WANT BRETT FARVE TO GO AWAY FOR GOODMay 26, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    You echoed my thoughts exactly on this.  I'm glad I'm not losing my mind (wait, don't answer that...)

  4. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    \n\n\nThe end of your second paragraph.\n \n\"They\'re also likely to be \'play-makers\' - Davis because of his bravery and egging-on persona, and Smith because of his physical attributes and speed.\" \n

  5. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    \nAlso what do you think the smoke-screen is? I\'m not picking up on that.  :-E

  6. Knight, you're putting words into my sentences.  No where did I saw that Davis didn't have speed and strength.  I said his gambling and egging on of the opponent would lead to big plays (assuming he gets some VERY sticky gloves because he's got terrible hands).  Smith on the other hand would rely on his physique to make plays, i.e. his height, long arms, and his considerable speed for someone of his size.  No where did I say that Davis ain't got what Smith got, I simply pointed out their individual strengths.
    Unless you're going to argue that Davis is 6'4" like Smith, I don't know what the argument is.

  7. ...I didn't quite follow that line of thought either ...think it kind of "went up in smoke" somewhere in the writing :-P

  8. Knight, this re-signing simply does not make sense in any shape or form.  You are arguing that we are shoring up the secondary, but that's the OBVIOUS implication, which in the Year of the Trifecta (new chinese astrology), is not the whole picture.
    The simple fact that Ireland would use up so much dough on re-signing a vet now during OTAs suggests a myriad of smokescreens.
    Most of us know that these types of extensions happen AFTER mini-camps and OTAs are a thing of the past, and generally after most if not all of the rookie signings are taken care of.  To do this now suggests the following:
    1.  Time to light some fire under the asses of Davis and Smith.
    2.  Time to suggest to the world that Will Allen is of high value to your team, thus increasing his trade value.
    3.  We're going to give you $10 mill guaranteed, you'll mentor the young'uns, then quietely step aside allowing them more playing time. 
    4.  We really don't like Andre Goodman and just want to stick it in his face!
    5. This contract was to butter up Rosenhaus, so they could get through the rokie contracts all greased up.  Let's not forget, Rosenhaus made a cool million of this deal!
    I could go on but I won't.  One reason I won't list is that the Trifecta believes that a 31 year old Will Allen, a 32 year old Will Allen, and a 33 year old Will Allen, with several knee injuries, is worth a huge salary cap hit, and $10M guaranteed.

  9. You must be losing your mind to use the BF phrase in here....I believe we have a code word for him...if only I could remember what it was...

  10. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    Tin, I think I had heard you mention it like that before, that Smith has physical attributes and speed and Davis relies more on his confidence and trash talking corner attitude. I could have mistaken what you really meant.
    The thing about Smith is he needs to get stronger (only 10 reps on the bench). Big, strong WRs will shed his jams and that could be a problem early on. Now the fact that he is so tall and has long arms, that does not translate into benching well. But still he needs to get stronger.
    Davis on the other hand with his upper body strength (24 reps) and physical style could get him on the field sooner than later. He also runs real well and is a good athlete. Didn't Davis have the best 40 time of all the top tier CBs at the combine?

  11. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    I think the trifecta likes Will Allen's ability and they feel he still has plenty left in the tank. We fans seem to start writing off players when they are 31 or 32 years old. We also signed the older 31 year old Bell to a 4 year deal. On offense we signed the 29 year old Jake Grove to a 5 year deal.
    My feeling on this is these are the type of players that fit the trifecta mold and they already had a season with W. Allen and Bell. Grove was a guy all of them were high on in the 2004 draft and what they saw of him on film over the years, especially last year against the AFC East.
    So maybe we just don't want to keep looking for corners next year and we can get this secondary all on the same page this year and for the next few years to come. Now they don't have to worry about W. Allen walking next year incase they don't have a qualified replacement for him. There is no guaranty that Davis or Smith start this year or next year. Pat Surtain didn't start until midway through his 2nd season when JJ benched Buckley because he wasn't tackling.
    Then there is Jason Allen. This is his last chance to finally breakout and become a starting corner. I agree with you about his first few seasons being moved around from safety to corner, back to safety, then back to corner, then back to safety then back to corner.
    In 2005 he played in Saban's complex defense at both positions where Saban talked out of two sides of his mouth saying Jason has always been a safety and has never been a corner, to he's always been a corner and never was a safety. Then Saban hires Capers as DC in 2006 and his defense is even more complicated. Jason was lost. Then Cameron/Capers says he's a safety in our defense in 2007 and we played a different defensive style that year. Then the trifecta comes in with a new 3-4 and determines Jason is a corner and that's where he stayed. So this is his year to step up.

  12. My whole point is about the timing of the deal.  There's no reason why they couldn't have done this deal in September.

  13. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    But what is the difference? Teams have been signing some of their veteran players to extensions the entire off-season.
    I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, I'm just not getting why it doesn't make any sense to sign him now if they want to keep the player and get him signed now.  *DONT_KNOW*

  14. The Knight who says Ni!May 26, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    On another note, I just watched some video on Vernon Carey at miamidolphins.com about him doing charity work for kids and I came away with a few thoughts on Vernon. He's a good guy who gets the big picture and he looks like he's in excellent shape. I'm seeing definition in his upper body I never saw before. His chest and arms look more toned not just big.
    I like the core of this team at a lot of positions and believe this team is going to be a much better and a more talented team than last year.
    Tin, my 'core team and reasons to be optimistic about this team' article is coming soon. LOL

  15. Tin,
    I didnt think they would sign Will Allen b/c of his age either, but 31, 32, and 33 is not terrible for a cornerback. It's not good, but a guy can still contribute meaningfully at that age.
    I think one thing you are missing is that the deal averages a little more than 5 million per year. Thats pretty good value. And I think the five million he will get paid this year is a bargain considering he played at close to a pro bowl level last year (did you know he actually got one ALL PRO vote from the  associated press?).
    The contract, for an elite cornerback, was not at all expensive. He is a little better than Goodman and they are making the same amount per year.

  16. KNIGHT,GREAT recollection of POOR JALLEN,in your 7:01 !!
    I'd like to think he'll be allowed the duration of his contract @ONE position b/4 he's written off.. I'll be pissed,IF he were simply to get released prior to that,(even if he totally flops this yr).. Even IF we were to trade him,we won't get near what we originally paid,(ONCE AGAIN)!! Shoot,I thought he did the best vs BLondon(big deal),and didn't blame his effort vs Moss @all(who burns even the elite).. I had JAllen starting ahead of EGreen,(maybe that holds true),and one of the rooks ignites,pushing WA inside this year,(UNLIKELY but POSSIBLE)leading to a WA trade,and a NJones extension,(that'd be the ultimate),IMHO..
    Realistically though,I think this signing may mean the end of the rd after 09 for o10 FA NJones.. I see WAllen sliding to the nickle position,once the rooks get their feet under them,(I've suggested WA will be the nickle @ times THIS year),and by the time WA's done NJ will be 30 himself.. Very few BP sized CB's in the o10 draft,but a bunch of nickle types,IMHO!! Where for art thou ALPHONSO??  :'''(
    I could see TIN's #2 being a possibility,(""2.  Time to suggest to the world that Will Allen is of high value to your team, thus increasing his trade value.""),but hopefully NOT until TWO others have firmly established themselves(that'd have to be kept a secret until),some other(playoff hopeful team)becomes desperate enough to pay-up w'substantial draft pks..   

  17. Tin do I see a little aprehension about Jeff Ireland here ?  To be honest I think he has a lot more learning to do to run this team alone.  With some of the moves that have been made I still question the reasons, not the players.  Willford for one and I still feel they made a mistake in the draft not going after more lineman, and now this W Allen signing.  It seems to me you see a crack in his armor.
    I truely believe the trifecta are much much better than what has been here for a very long time.  Yet that doesn't mean they can't make mistakes, but I think we will see much less of them.  This team is much better than it has been in a long time, and I think we have a winner with Sparano, he has a great feel for this team.
    I always talk about leadreship and expectations from the top.  Miami needs to look no further than Coach Sparano for both of these qualities.  The way I see it, he is going to be here awhile.

  18. 13kv,
    I agree with everything you posted there
    If we have 9 million in cap space, then I'm assuming most of Allen's contract was already factored in to the cap with his old contract. Because if not how would we sign rookies. White and Smith probably get 4 years 5 million with 1 hitting this years cap. Davis who knows but rookies usually get too much. So after Smith and White we have around 7 million for Davis who gets atleast 5 per year, leaving only 2 for hte rest of the puppies. I like leaving the money to the people who understand how it works, but Ireland does have us stretched thin

  19. Tin,
    Your math is wrong.  Allen was due to make 3 mill before the new contract in 2009 and this was already factored in the cap figure.  He is now getting 5.4 mill for 3 years and onlly is a 2.4 mill dollar hit.  The actual cap figure now is 10.79 million after the Allen signing.

  20. Tin,
    Your math is incorrect.  Allen was already due 3 mil in 2009 and that number was already factored into the cap figure.  He now will make 5.4 mill for the next 3 years or a 2.4 mill dollar hit this year.  The actual cap number after the signing is now at  10.79 mill 5/26/09.

  21. Thanks, Fang, for 'getting it' :)

  22. looking forward to it!

  23. marktag,
    my best subject was always english and science, but I would like to see your scratch-work on this.  You are correct that he was scheduled to make just over $3 million in 2009 but being given a raise makes the cap hit HIGHER, not LOWER, so I'd like to know what you mean by that.  Are you saying it's 2.4M more?  For the record, no NFL contract pays the same amount year to year so forget the whole $5.4 M number. 
    As for the remaining space, I find it hard to believe that we actually increased the cap space after signing two players.  Also, that number may not include Channing Crowder's contract, due to the terms not being released.
    And for the record, I didn't actually DO any math to begin with, lol.  Impossible to do math without numbers.

  24. Yeah I started watching that video then promptly fell asleep.  Gotta be honest, the only o-lineman that I can listen to for more than 90 seconds is Smiley. 

  25. If they put Will Allen on the trading block, does anyone disagree he'd be the top free agent corner out there?
    We could get significant value for him.  I bet Arizona would be interested....

  26. Tin,
    What I am saying is that the cap number you are using before the signing is incorrect.  Our cap remaining dollars will be reduced by 2.4 mill this year. I was told that his guaranteed monies will be paid 5 mill 2009 and 5 mill 2010.  Hope this helps.

  27. marktag, if you have a link showing this info I'd appreciate it big-time.
    If the bonus is split up that way he'd likely hit the cap for $7 million in 2009 and 2010

  28. After actually doing some math, you may be right about how much cap room we have, however, I'm not sure the initial cap room number I started with was accurate.  It was reported by half a dozen sites a couple of weeks ago that the Dolphins had limited cap room, i.e. $10M.  The site where I found the breakdown had us listed at $13.6M near the end of April.  After adjusting for the new contracts, I came up with an estimate of $8.9M left.