Every team in the NFL plays under the salary cap. The existence of the salary cap makes it impossible for a team to have a great player who is paid what he is worth at every single position. It is the job of a general manager to optimize the overall performance of the team by signing a mix of players at different ability levels that win and also fit under the salary cap. Good general managers do this well and their teams win. Bad general managers are unable to succeed at this balancing act.
One of the frustrating things about being a Dolphins fan is that we have lived for over a decade with general managers who been unable to master the balancing act. In particular, we appear to constantly have players who are overpaid for their performance level. On average (and I do mean average - there are obviously individual exceptions) the Dolphins roster has under-performed their salaries as compared to other teams in the league.
I would like to hear the board's opinion about who on the 2012 roster under-performed their salary level and what realistically be can be done to address the under-performance problem. This is not intended to be a bash Ireland thread, so don't go down that path. Let's take the wisdom of the members to identify problems and realistic solutions. So, if you make a suggestion, make it real. We can't cut everyone and replace them in free agency.
I'll start with the easy one: Jake Long in 2012 ate up a huge percentage of the team's salary cap. His actual performance this year under-performed his salary level. Since he is at the end of his contract, there are only two real options. First, you can choose to let him move to free agency and draft a tackle in round 2, 3 or 4 or choose a less expensive replacement in free agency. Second, you can sign him, but only if he agrees to take a contract that is in line with his last two years of on the field performance.
So who else is under-performing their contract?