Florio notes that the Dolphins' spending spree is unlikely to have much of an impact on their 2013 salary cap situation. Doing so, however, will impact their 2014 cap.
From receiver Brian Hartline ($2.15 million of a five-year, $30.775 million deal) to quarterback Matt Moore ($2.5 million of a two-year, $8 million deal) to receiver Mike Wallace ($3.25 million of a five-year, $60 million deal) to linebacker Dannell Ellerbe ($2.425 million of a five-year, $35 million deal) to linebacker Phillip Wheeler ($2.4 million of a five-year, $26 million deal), those five contracts account for a total of only $12.725 million in 2013 cap space.
Next year, with Hartline’s number going to $6.2 million, Moore’s moving to $5.5 million, Wallace’s skyrocketing to $17.75 million, Ellerbe’s inflating to $7.425 million, and Wheeler’s growing to $6.4 million, the combined cap numbers for the same five players become $43.275 million.
Those five aren't bad players, but I'm not sure you want them taking up one-third of your cap space. This is starting to feel like a Tannenbaum-esque push by Jeff Ireland to save his job. If it works out in 2013, he can deal with it then. If it doesn't it will be somebody else's problem.
You can spend in free agency to put you over the top when you are close, but opening the wallet itself rarely turns you into a contender. Free agents just cost too much money to find enough quality players.