Guess how many veteran players the Dolphins have under contract for the 2015 season, just 2 1/2 years away?
One — punter Brandon Fields.
They also have seven current rookies under contract through 2015, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill (all drafted rookies get four year contracts). And Cameron Wake could be back if the Dolphins pick up his option.
But the Dolphins have held off on committing to any players for the long term, and subsequently have a ton of roster flexibility this year ($45 million in salary cap space) and in the future.
Thanks to information from the indispensable site, which has detailed contract information on every player and team, we see that the Dolphins’ nine players under contract for 2015 are the fewest in the NFL. And only Indianapolis, which is similarly rebuilding, has as few as one veteran player signed for 2015.
By comparison, the Seahawks have 28 players (eight veterans), and Carolina has 20 players (11 veterans) under contract through ‘15. In the AFC East, the Jets, Patriots and Bills each have at least five veterans under contract for 2015.
Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland took a lot of heat for not pursuing many big-name free agents the past couple of years, but his inactivity was by design. Ireland and new coach Joe Philbin can now shape the roster without having to worry about fitting expensive holdovers into the puzzle.
It’s also why the Dolphins were one of the few teams not to restructure any veteran contracts last week — they have plenty of space right now, and would rather let veterans such as Karlos Dansby play for $8.575 million in 2013 and get his contract off the books sooner rather than later (he’s signed through 2014).
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