A Closer Look at the Miami Dolphins' 2013 Spending Spree

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IJune 5, 2013

May 21, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland during organized team activities at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When it came to addressing their needs this offseason, the Miami Dolphins didn't throw darts at the board. They hit the dartboard with a BRINKS truck.

Mike Ginnitti of Spotrac tracks NFL contracts and salaries, and by his calculation, the Dolphins have spent nearly two times one year's salary cap. 

It should be noted, however, that these figures are projected, with roughly $29 million total to still be spent on rookies. As of right now, they have spent around $220 million total. So it seems C.R.E.A.M. may now officially stand for "Cash rules everything around Miami."

But which position ruled the spending spree for the Dolphins?

Unsurprisingly, it was the wide receiver spot that earned the highest spending from the Dolphins—in total and on a per-player basis. With $102.94 million on wide receivers Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, those three players alone account for roughly 41.5 percent of the team's projected total spending this offseason.

Considering the early consensus that the Dolphins needed to equip quarterback Ryan Tannehill with more weapons headed into the 2013 season, their focus on receiver was expected.

It was somewhat surprising to see the Dolphins aggressively turn over their linebacking corps with both Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby on the roster for 2013, but they spent roughly $63.3 million in adding Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe in free agency and Jelani Jenkins in the draft.

Looking at the back end of the flow chart, the Dolphins made nice additions at cornerback and right tackle despite smaller dollar figures.

The cornerback they added (Brent Grimes) is coming off two injury-shortened seasons, and the right tackle position (where they added Tyson Clabo) is always a cheaper add than a left tackle. They also added guard Lance Louis to a cheap deal that only guarantees him $100,000.

One thing to keep in mind is that despite the aggressive approach to free agency this offseason, the Dolphins are far from cap-strapped in future years. As of right now, they have spent just $104 million on the cap for next year, leaving them with roughly $20 million to spend next offseason. 

That being said, they have 14 unrestricted free agents that will be due for contracts next season, including defensive tackles Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, cornerback Brent Grimes, tight end Dustin Keller, offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, kicker Dan Carpenter, safeties Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones and offensive guards Lance Louis and John Jerry. 

One of the benefits of having a quarterback on a rookie contract with the rookie wage scale is that there isn't a lot of money invested at quarterback. That has allowed the Dolphins to spend more money this offseason.

How they will keep all the players that are due for paydays following this year, however, remains to be seen.


Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from Pro Football Focus' premium section, and all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.