Lawrence Timmons is back on the Miami Dolphins after going off the reservation the past couple of weeks, but you probably already knew that. The question now becomes why Timmons is back?
And this is going to be short ...
The answer why Timmons is back is because the Dolphins believe they made their point to the veteran linebacker and any player who considers going AWOL hours before a game. The message is you go, you’ll pay for it.
Timmons paid by missing one game check this year. He also will pay for it by basically losing as much as $4.5 million in guarantees he was scheduled to have next season but is now forfeiting. The financial portion of this issue has basically cost Timmons security for next year.
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Before he went AWOL, Timmons was almost certain to be on the team next year because his 2018 guarantees made cutting him prohibitive.
He has to do right to be on the team in 2018 because if he doesn’t, the Dolphins can cut him without the same significant cap hit. It would now cost the Dolphins approximately $2.75 million to cut Timmons next year. Before he went AWOL it would have cost them approximately $7.25 million in dead money to cut him.
Timmons served only one game of what could have been a four-game suspension. But the Dolphins see it as him having missed two games. So although the first game he missed is because he went AWOL and the second was from the actual suspension, the Dolphins are taking the view the player missed two games.
Finally, Timmons is back on the team because coach Adam Gase likes him. Up to the point he disappeared amid mysterious circumstances, Timmons had been establishing himself as one of the team’s leaders.
No, he didn’t always practice at 100 percent. But he was good in games. And the Dolphins appreciate that. Gase apparently appreciates it.
Here’s something interesting: Executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum led the entire Timmons recovery saga once the Dolphins returned from the West Coast after beating Los Angeles. But Tuesday when the decision was made to reinstate Timmons, Tannenbaum carried the final decision to Gase.
It was the coach who was the last to sign off on having Timmons return to the team and get back on the field starting Wednesday.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero