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Dolphins to lower offer to Ogunleye
Dolphins to lower offer to Ogunleye
By ARMANDO SALGUERO
The Dolphins today are expected to lower Adewale Ogunleye's one-year contract tender from $1.8 million to about $412,000 in a move to protect their interests in case the team's 2003 MVP sits out training camp and most of the regular season.
Miami will exercise the option in Article 19 of the league's collective bargaining agreement, which stipulates that a club can withdraw its original qualifying offer to an unsigned restricted free agent and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting an offer equal to 110 percent of the player's salary from the previous season.
The Dolphins originally tendered Ogunleye at $1.8 million, the highest possible level, so teams interested in signing the defensive end would have to compensate Miami with a first- and third-round draft pick for the privilege.
Although Ogunleye led the AFC with 15 sacks in 2003, no team made him an offer and none called the Dolphins about negotiating a lower compensation level.
Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman was tight-lipped about the team's intentions to lower the tender but promised to explain the action once it takes place.
''There's really nothing to discuss, and if there's stuff we need to talk about and address, we will at the appropriate time,'' Spielman said.
Unless Ogunleye signs the $1.8 million tender today, the Dolphins will lower the offer and save nearly $1.4 million in cap space.
Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Ogunleye, also declined to comment.
''It's really something I'd rather wait to talk about,'' he said. ``But [today] may be a good day for commentary on the matter.''
Rosenhaus and Ogunleye have made it clear that unless they can come to a long-term agreement with the Dolphins, the player will not report to training camp and likely will sit out all but the final six regular-season games.
Ogunleye already has skipped the team's offseason conditioning program and four offseason camps and was not at the training facility Monday for the start of a fifth camp.
The team and the player have admitted they are not close on the terms of a multiyear contract.
Ogunleye must play the final six regular-season games to earn an accrued season and qualify as an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
That threat and the promise Rosenhaus made earlier that Ogunleye would not sign the $1.8 million tender have pointed the team toward reducing the tender. The Dolphins don't want to be put in a position where they are rewarding Ogunleye for sitting out much of the season.
Ogunleye would get six seventeenths of $412,000 (about $146,000) in that case. The club also is aware that it would have to find suitable replacements for Ogunleye should he sit out, and having the extra cap space can help the team bring in players if necessary.
The move today is not necessarily permanent. Although the team would not be able to lower its one-year offer if it missed today's deadline, it can still sign Ogunleye to a higher multiyear offer if the sides agree to that.
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Re: Dolphins to lower offer to Ogunleye
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