The Phinsider’s annual 90-in-90 series is back today with another in-depth look at the players who are currently vying to make the Miami Dolphins’ 53-man roster. This series of articles takes a look at each individual on the roster http://www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com/cheap-matt-haack-jersey , breaking down how they performed in 2017, why they could progress or regress in 2018, and the odds that the player makes the team when the regular season arrives.This year, we have already finished the reviews for wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Xavien Howard, long snapper Lucas Gravelle, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end A.J. Derby, running back Frank Gore, defensive tackle Gabe Wright, wide receiver Kenny Stills, cornerback Tony Lippett, kicker Jason Sanders, kicker Greg Joseph, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, tight end Mike Gesicki, linebacker Raekwon McMillan, running back Kalen Ballage, wide receiver Jakeem Grant, tight end Durham Smythe, quarterback David Fales, wide receiver Albert Wilson, defensive tackle Akeem Spence Youth Jason Sanders Jersey , linebacker Chase Allen, defensive end Cameron Wake, running back Senorise Perry, and tight end MarQueis Gray, offensive lineman Ted Larsen, defensive end Andre Branch, running back Kenyan Drake, defensive end Quincy Redmon, quarterback Bryce Petty, wide receiver Francis Owusu, defensive end Jonathan Woodard, defensive end Charles Harris, center Connor Hilland, guard Jesse Davis, safety Reshad Jones, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, guard Isaac Asiata, defensive end Robert Quinn, wide receiver Drew Morgan, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, and linebacker Mike Hull. Today, we add tight end Gavin Escobar.2017 ReviewEscobar was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in March of last offseason, but was released in September after being unable to climb the depth chart. He was then signed by the Baltimore Ravens in October and spent two games on the active roster being being cut. After the season, the Browns signed him to a reserve/futures contract before releasing him this past April. The Dolphins signed him four days later.Escobar was a member of the Dallas Cowboys from 2013-2016, during which time he played in 62 games, starting seven. Over that span he recorded 30 catches for 333 yards and eight touchdowns.Why he might progressAs someone who’s spent five years as a role player in the NFL coming into a crowded depth chart, it’s hard to imagine Escobar suddenly becoming a star out of nowhere. That being said, Escobar certainly has room to statistically improve after recording zero catches last year. If he finds a way to make the 53-man roster, any contributions to the offense would be considered an improvement after his reception-less 2017 season.Why he might regressAs noted above, Escobar has quite a bit of competition in veterans MarQueis Gray and A.J Derby (both of whom have familiarity with head coach Adam Gase and Miami’s offense) as well as rookies Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe. His chances of making the team are quite small, yet seeing as he didn’t make a roster to open last season, I’m not sure being cut even counts as regression.Chances of making the 53-man rosterVery slim. Gesicki White Xavien Howard Jersey , Miami’s 2018 second-round draft pick, is a lock to make the roster. Gray is currently atop the depth chart and has fans in the coaching staff. Derby should make an impact this year as well, while Smythe could very well be kept around given his blocking prowess and potential as a pass catcher. Unless Escobar has a legendary preseason, he will only be a training camp body until roster cuts roll around. The Miami Dolphins are focusing on the 2019 season, starting to develop their plan for the offseason including free agency and the NFL Draft. While the team is now stuck waiting until after the Super Bowl to hire New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores as the tenth full-time head coach in Dolphins history, that does not stop the preparations from general manager Chris Grier and the rest of the front office.The Dolphins head into the offseason with the fifth-lowest amount of salary cap space in the league, but they have a clear method to quickly create cap space if they choose. Using numbers from OverTheCap.com, Miami currently is $14.0 million under the projected 2019 base cap of $190 million. The only teams with less space than Miami are the Philadelphia Eagles ($14.5 million over the cap), Jacksonville Jaguars ($3.53 million over the cap), Minnesota Vikings ($6.65 million under the cap), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($12.2 million under the cap). At the other end of the spectrum, the Indianapolis Colts have the most cap space, with $117.4 million in space, followed by the New York Jets ($93.8 million in space), Buffalo Bills ($83.9 million in space), Cleveland Browns ($82.5 million in space), and the Oakland Raiders ($71.1 million in space). The league rules for the offseason changes how spending against the salary cap is accounted. During the season, every dollar the team spends on a player’s base salary plus bonuses, as well as the salary of the practice squad, are a part of the cap. During the preseason, training camp, and preseason, the league only accounts for the top 51 salaries for each team. That does not impact the Dolphins right now, as they only have 49 players under contract for 2019, but it will come into play as players are re-signed or once free agency begins.Dolphins 2019 roster (49 players): Ryan Tannehill - $26.6 millionReshad Jones - $17.2 millionRobert Quinn- $12.9 millionKenny Stills - $9.75 millionDeVante Parker - $9.39 millionAndre Branch - $9.00 millionAlbert Wilson - $8.33 millionKiko Alonso - $8.27 millionJosh Sitton - $7.00 millionBobby McCain - $6.34 millionT.J. McDonald - $6.00 millionDanny Amendola - $6.00 millionLaremy Tunsil - $3.96 millionMinkah Fitzpatrick - $3.74 millionCharles Harris - $2.96 millionAkeem Spence - $2.50 millionDaniel Kilgore - $2.40 millionTed Larsen - $2.29 millionXavien Howard - $1.95 millionMike Gesicki - $1.50 millionWalt AIkens - $1.40 millionRaekwon McMillan - $1.28 millionNick O’Leary - $1.1 millionKenyan Drake - $1.02 millionJerome Baker - $897,800Cordrea Tankersley - $849,572Brice Butler - $805,000Jakeem Grant - $755,095Durham Smythe - $728,058Kalen Ballage - $717,295Davon Godchaux - $695,487Vincent Taylor - $683 Youth Cameron Wake Jersey ,607Chase Allen - $648,334Torry McTyer - $647,500Matt Haack - $646,334James Burgess - $645,000Cornell Armstrong - $599,602Jason Sanders - $592,800Jeremiah Valoaga - $570,000Isaiah Ford - $570,000Luke Falk - $570,000Jalen Davis - $570,000Jamiyus Pittman - $570,000Quentin Poling - $495,000Kendrick Norton - $495,000Connor Hilland - $495,000Chris Lammons - $495,000Sam Eguavoen - $495,000Also factored into the salary cap number for each team is their “dead money.” This pool of money is bonuses already paid or guaranteed base salary in a contract for a player who is released from the roster. This money can come from a player released this year, or after June 1, it can be spread over the current year and the next season. The Dolphins already have three players counting against the 2019 salary cap due to dead money, including the second-half of Ndamukong Suh’s huge dead money number from last year. Dead Money:Ndamukong Suh - $13.1 millionLeonte Carroo - $175,097Isaac Asiata - $130,400The Dolphins could release players to add to the cap space. This could create dead money if there are still guarantees or signing bonus money which needs to be accounted for in the cap, but it would also provide some cap relief for Miami as well.Potential cap cuts (cap savings at least $1 million):Ryan Tannehill - Cap savings: $13.2 million; Dead money: $13.4 millionRobert Quinn - Cap savings: $12.9 million; Dead money: $0Kenny Stills - Cap savings: $4.25 million; Dead money: $5.5 millionDeVante Parker - Cap savings: $9.39 million; Dead money: $0Andre Branch - Cap savings: $7.00 million; Dead money: $2.00 millionKiko Alonso - Cap savings: $4.75 million; Dead money: $3.53 millionJosh Sitton - Cap savings: $5.00 million; Dead money: $2.00 millionDanny Amendola - Cap savings: $6.00 million; Dead money: $0Akeem Spence - Cap savings: $2.50 million; Dead money: $0Daniel Kilgore - Cap savings: $2.40 million; Dead money: $0Ted Larsen - Cap savings: $1.88 million; Dead money: $416,668Xavien Howard - Cap savings: $1.29 million; Dead money: $664,189Walt AIkens - Cap savings: $1.40 million; Dead money: $0Nick O’Leary - Cap savings: $1.00 million; Dead money: $100,000Quarterback Ryan Tannehill could be designated a post-June 1st cut, which would spread his dead money over two years. The Dolphins would not see the relief from the cap until June 2, but it would allow him to be off the roster prior to any bonuses he could have triggered into his contract as well. If the Dolphins use the post-June 1 cut option, they would see $18.75 million in cap space created this year, with $7.86 million in dead money this year, then another $5.56 million in 2020. A post June-1 cut could also be used on Reshad Jones, who would create $15.2 million in dead money this year White Frank Gore Jersey , with a $2 million in cap space, with another $8.09 million in dead money in 2020 - a scenario not likely to be used, but one which could provide some cap space if Miami becomes desperate at some point this year. The Dolphins will have several decisions to make as Flores comes to the team and the front office begins making their first moves for the offseason. There is money to be had for the Dolphins, but every cut also means they have to sign someone to re-fill that spot on the roster. This also does not account for players like Cameron Wake, William Hayes, Ja’Wuan James, Frank Gore, MarQueis Gray, John Denney, David Fales, Brandon Bolden, Travis Swanson, Mike Hull, Leonte Carroo, A.J. Derby, Isaac Asiata, and Jesse Davis who are among the team’s soon-to-be free agents as their contracts expire in March. Miami could look to re-sign some or all of those players, potentially using some of the cap space they create. If the Dolphins were to make all of the moves above - releasing all the players straight out without using the post-June 1 cut - Miami would gain nearly $73 million in cap space. They could also re-work contracts and find other ways to create space - including the $5 million in additional space designating Tannehill as a post-June 1 cut - which could push them toward the $100 million in cap space mark. But, again, every cut means another player they need to sign.Miami seems to be focused primarily no building through the draft and looking toward the long term health of the franchise rather than the win-now, free-agency focused team they were over the past several years. If that is truly the case, they will not be looking for big-name free agents to sign, which means they can save some of their cap space this year, rolling it into 2020, or beyond, so they can eventually find the one piece that completes the rebuild they are starting. The Dolphins’ salary cap situation is not pretty, but it is not a complete mess either. Yes, they are going to have to spend a year resetting it, but it appears that the team can quickly rebound.
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