Axe drops on four former starting players today
The Dolphins have just terminated the contracts of wide receiver Marty Booker, quarterback Trent Green, tackle L.J. Shelton and defensive tackle Keith Traylor. All were starters during the 2007 season.
The team also waived tackle Anthony Alabi, defensive tackle Anthony Bryant, tackle Marion Dukes, defensive tackle Marquay Love and offensive tackle Joe Toledo. All of those players were backups, in Alabi’s case, or project players who had yet to establish themselves.
“This is never easy, especially since all of these players worked hard during their tenure here,” Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement. “In particular, in the case of each of the veterans, it’s especially difficult to release players who have been productive and valued members of the organization. However, we feel these decisions are in the best interest of the team.
“I want to thank all of them for their contributions to the Dolphins and wish them good luck.”
By some quick math, today's moves slice around $13.07 million off the books in scheduled 2008 base salary alone, but because there will be proration charges on bonuses paid to Green, Shelton, Traylor, Toledo, Alabi and Booker that will accelarate to this year, the actual savings to the cap will be more in the neighborhood of $9 million.
On the Green contract alone, the Dolphins are saving good money. Green was to make $2.8 million in base salary this season. He was scheduled to collect a $500,000 roster bonus by the end of this month and a $100,000 workout bonus later this offseason. His cap charge was to be $3.73 million.
Well, the base salary goes away, as does the roster and workout bonus. The Dolphins are on the hook for $667,000 in prorated signing bonus charge. So they save $3.063 million on Green alone.
Marty Booker signed a 7-year, $28 million contract in 2002. The contract's last year was to be 2008 when Booker was due $4.3 million in base salary. He doesn't get that now but the final year of proration for the signing bonus is still on the books. So the Dolphins save approximately $3.5 million on Booker.
For Shelton, the savings is not quite so spectacular because he still had two years remaining on his four year contract. Shelton signed that four-year, $15 million deal in 2006. Although the Dolphins don't have to pay him the $3 million due in base salary this year, they have to pay approximately $1.75 million as the accelarated proration for the $3.5 million signing bonus Shelton collected. That means a savings of $3 million but the proration charge of $1.75 million equals a savings of about $1.25 million for Shelton.
By the way, I asked the Dolphins to help with these important numbers because, after all, accuracy is important and the entire NFL sees them anyway so there is no competitive advantage or disadvantage involved. But I haven't heard back on that as of this writing.