June 19, 2024

Only three NFL clubs have a worse financial situation than the Miami Dolphins, who are $41 million above the anticipated salary cap this summer.

The Miami Dolphins are on foreign soil, on a road that the team has never taken.

South Florida’s NFL club has typically been economically cautious for the 15 years I’ve covered it, which includes the new financial age of this $19 billion-a-year league and its annual pay cap.

While owner Steve Ross enjoys spending money throughout the summer and sees it as an opportunity to get back into the game, the Dolphins have never begun a new season above the salary cap.

The books were balanced under Nick Saban’s rule. Miami was not capped during the Bill Parcells era. During Dawn Aponte’s tenure, the Dolphins were economically conservative, and Mike Tannenbaum’s management of the books was superior to that of prior years.

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However, as a result of General Manager Chris Grier’s “All In” approach during the last two offseasons, which included consistently selling away draft assets to acquire veteran players who demanded pace-setting salaries, the Dolphins club is anticipated to be $40 million or more above the salary cap in 2024.

Only the Buffalo Bills ($45 million), Los Angeles Chargers ($45 million), and New Orleans Saints ($82 million) have been more economically reckless than Miami, which has consistently had a cap surplus of around $8-20 million.

However, Miami’s previous business tactics and personnel selections have resulted in what amounts to rising credit card debt, and while Grier has twice downplayed the team’s financial situation, this will not be a simple problem to solve.

“We’ve had a lot of discussions. [Our capologists have] given us a lot of flexibility with multiple options for how we can be creative, and so hats off to them just for their work and grind on things,” Grier said, referring to Brandon Shore (Senior Vice President of Football & Business Administration) and Max Napolitano (Director of Football Administration and Strategy). “Mike (McDaniel), Brandon, and I will have a number of talks. We’ll talk to Steve (Ross) as the summer progresses, and we’ll attempt to keep as many players here as possible.”


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