A look at Trent Green's deal
Here's the deal:
Year/ Base Salary /Sign Bo. /Roster Bo./ Work Bo. /Cap #
2007/ $1.5M /$1M /$3.4M/ $100K /$5.33M
2008/ $2.8M/ --/ $500K /$100K/ $3.73M
2009 /$3.5M /-- /$500K/ $100K/ $4.43M
What I see here is a huge commitment to Green this year with that shrinking each year, making it more likely he'll be a cap casualty as the contract (and the player) ages.
For instance, the Dolphins would be on the hook for a $666,334 cap hit next year (plus whatever bonuses accelerate from this year) should they decide Green is no longer their guy and someone else, such as John Beck, needs to be the starting quarterback. The team would save approximately $3.1 million in cap charges by cutting Green before next season's bonuses start coming due.
In 2009 the cap savings after cutting Green would be even greater -- approximately $4.1 million -- in a year Green will be 39 years old.
Now that does not guarantee Green will be cut next year of the one after. There are performance factors on both his part and Beck's that will be weighed before that decision can be made. There are other variables as well such as which direction the franchise takes between now and then and who is driving the ship.
In that regard, assuming Green is playing at top form, the Dolphins are winning, and you guys are happy, this contract is not a bitter pill that Miami would hate to swallow in 2009. It's a good job by Miami's negotiating team of walking the line between a rosy future and one that is less so.
In other words, the Dolphins have protected themselves should Green tank or Beck boom in that they can cut Green pretty easily as early as next year. But they have also shown foresight to be able to keep Green if he plays out of his mind this year and beyond.