What are the cap ramifications of Dolphins cutting OT Isaiah Wilson?

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Kyle Crabbs
·2 min read
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It did not take very long for the Miami Dolphins to come to accept what the Tennessee Titans already knew — 2020 1st-round offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson is no where near ready to play football in the NFL. And so the Dolphins, who traded for Wilson at the start of the league calendar year this past week, announced yesterday that Wilson had been waived from the team.

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But with the transaction made just a few days ago, one has to ask what kind of financial implications may linger from the Dolphins’ gamble of Wilson. After all, rookie contracts feature significant amounts of guaranteed money over a player’s first four years of contracts; so Miami taking on a guaranteed contract just to cut Wilson in the immediate aftermath of the deal would be a disastrous move.

Fortunately for the Dolphins, the prior misconduct of Wilson throughout the 2020 season voided all of Wilson’s guaranteed money. And so the Dolphins were able to rest easy knowing that there will be no lingering implications of the team’s salary cap when they made the move.

In all, the Dolphins swapped 2021 & 2022 7th-round draft selections along with the exchanging of Wilson. But now that Wilson has been cut, the Dolphins’ cap will reflect as though he was never in Miami in the first place: there will be no dead cap for 2021 or beyond. And Miami will recoup all of Wilson’s scheduled 2021 salary of $1.1M.

The only lingering hint of the Isaiah Wilson gamble from Miami is that the team must wait 12 months for their 7th-round pick — the Titans will continue to hold Miami’s 2021 selection as an initial part of the deal. A risk well worth taking on for the potential reward, but a risk that fell short none the less.