Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins moves: One makes clearer sense, another raises $$ questions

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, speaks to wide receiver Danny Amendola after winning the AFC championship game last January.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, speaks to wide receiver Danny Amendola after winning the AFC championship game last January. AP

Exactly 14 days ago I outlined for you how the Miami Dolphins had a lot of defensive ends on their roster. And I spoke to some folks within the organization about my opinion and they kind of, sort of, agreed it’s a lot of defensive ends.

And then the Dolphins reached a contract agreement with William Hayes.

Another defensive end.

That made me actually laugh out loud because I just don’t understand sometimes.

But I was probably wrong to doubt the Dolphins because there is apparent method to their madness.

And here’s the method best I’ve been able to decipher from various conversations with sources:

The Dolphins added Hayes not long after they announced their intentions to jettison Ndamukong Suh. Those two moves should typically not be connected except that Hayes was perhaps the Dolphins best run-stopping defensive end last year.

And at 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds he’s well capable of moving inside to defensive tackle for pass rushing duties. So that, initially, is one of the duties the Dolphins see Hayes capable of filling during 2018.

Remember that last season when the Dolphins were in their sub package (often) the front four was Charles Harris and Cameron Wake outside, Ndamukong Suh inside, and either Andre Branch, Terrence Fede, Jordan Phillips, or somebody else who was healthy enough to fill the spot.

With Suh gone and the Dolphins not yet completely certain whether they’ll add another tackle through the draft or free agency, another pass rusher with ample girth for duty inside was needed. Hayes seems to promise possibilities doing that job.

Hayes had one sack in 10 games last year. But you’ll recall that rushing the passer wasn’t really his job. He was basically a run-down rotational player until he got hurt.

Signing him back for this year doesn’t mean the Dolphins simply added a defensive end -- even though that’s exactly what the depth chart will eventually show.

It means they possibly added a one- or perhaps even two-down pass rushing tackle.

Does that solve the defensive end glut?

No. Particularly since none of the other guys play special teams.

But have the Dolphins added to their curious run of resources on defensive ends with the Hayes signing? Apparently not.


Yesterday you got the latest Dolphins cap numbers and today I have an update:

The contract for receiver Danny Amendola is in and, honestly, it begs questions.

Amendola got a two-year deal from the Dolphins for $12 million with $6 million fully guaranteed.

Amendola didn’t get a signing bonus but he got a $3 million guaranteed roster bonus, a guaranteed $2.95 million base salary and a guaranteed $50,000 workout bonus this year.

So Amendola is golden in 2018.

He’s costing the Dolphins $6 million in hard dollars and his cap number is $6 million.

Next season, Amendola is not so golden. He is scheduled to get a $5.95 million base salary and another $50,000 workout bonus.

If he performs this year and the Dolphins want to bring him back for ‘19, he will cost $6 million against the cap again. If he bombs with the Dolphins this year and the team wants to go in another direction, Amendola can be cut before the start of the league year and cost the Dolphins zero in cap space.

So why does any of this beg questions?

Because Amendola was best known in New England for three things:

Clutch catches and big games, particularly in the playoffs.

Being injured, particularly in 2012 and 2016.

And taking pay cuts.

According to the Boston Globe, Amendola made $6 million from the Patriots the past three seasons as he took pay cuts every year.

But he’s getting a pay bump from the Dolphins in that he’ll make in one year what he made the past three years with New England. Guaranteed.

At age 32.

And I get it, the Dolphins must feel they have to pay more than New England to get Amendola away from New England because, well, the Patriots and the Dolphins are simply not on the same level.

But matching what the guy made the last three seasons in one year alone?

And I also question how strong the Patriots would have actually worked to keep Amendola when they have Julian Edelman coming back from an ACL injury, Chris Hogan, Brandin Cooks, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell and just acquired Cordarrelle Patterson to return kicks and perhaps run deep routes.

How much were the Patriots really, seriously, going to pay Amendola, if anything?

The Dolphins may say they took the $16 million franchise tag they had on Jarvis Landry and turned it into two receivers -- Amendola and Albert Wilson -- for $11 million in cap space.

That’s true.

It’s also true they tell players they have to take a little less to play in Miami, but that didn’t apply to Amendola who got way more.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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