Mike Tannenbaum likes to make the big deal and be aggressive. In his time with the Miami Dolphins, he's given a huge contract to Ndamukong Suh three years ago, and two years ago trades back five spots in the first round with the Philadelphia Eagles for Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso. Whether you like the moves or not you do have to admire Tannenbaum's aggressiveness. He was like that with the New York Jets and it’s no different with the Dolphins.
This year it seems Tannenbaum might be going down a different path. One criticism of Tannenbaum is he doesn't manage the salary cap well and to be fair he doesn't. Right now, the Dolphins are $8 million over the salary cap before the league year. He gave contracts last year to Kenny Still, Kiko Alonso, and Andre Branch and a couple of those contracts were unnecessary, and the Dolphins are paying for it now. That and the restructuring of Suh's contract a couple years ago pushing his cap numbers up in future years have hindered the Dolphins ability to spend this off season. With the Dolphins coming off a disappointing 6-10 season, the team must shake things up with the roster. The Dolphins best wide receiver Jarvis Landry is looking to get paid and with his contract expiring the Dolphins and Landry are far apart in negotiations, so the team placed the franchise tag on him. This guaranteed Landry $16 million if he signs it. The Dolphins can look to trade Landry and try to get something in return and clear $16 million from their salary cap as well. The problem is what do the Dolphins do if they can't trade him? Do they keep him at $16 million for one year or rescind the tag and risk losing him only to get a compensatory pick in next year’s draft?
The other shake up could be with Suh. He has a $26 million cap number for this season. The Dolphins could trade him but would have to take a $22 million hit against the cap for this year while creating more money under the cap the next 2 years. The Dolphins could also designate him as a June 1st release and save $17 million against the cap this year while spreading out the cap hit the next two years. The Dolphins could restructure his contract again, but that would push money against the cap the next two years and that's a bad choice. The Dolphins could keep him at his current salary and do nothing. Personally, I would trade him if I could get good value for him or just keep him as is. I'd hate to see the Dolphins cut him and get nothing in return.
The Dolphins could be looking to trade both Landry and Suh for draft picks and look to make a bolder move in the draft. It's no secret the Dolphins have been looking at quarterbacks in this draft because Ryan Tannehill is coming off a serious knee injury so maybe the Dolphins are looking at moving up to get a quarterback to push Tannehill and have a backup plan in case he can't make it back. That's not a bad option honestly because the Dolphins back up plan this year blew up in their face. The Dolphins also must shake up the roster as well because really since Landry and Suh have been with the Dolphins how has the team done? Not much better and Landry is not a number one receiver and he shouldn't get paid like one. Yes, he has over 400 receptions in 4 years, but he moves the chains and a number one receiver makes big plays and scores touchdowns. Yes, Landry scored 9 touchdowns this year, but in his previous 3 seasons only 13 barely 4 a season. Suh hasn't made the defense significantly better either in his 3 season so maybe getting rid of him could hurt initially, but down the road create more money to bring in more players to help at a cheaper cost.
No easy solution for the Dolphins, but a shakeup is probably needed.