The NFL is on the verge of a seemingly inevitable uncapped year, which would allow clubs to dump contracts without concern about fitting under a ceiling.
The league and NFL Players Association have until March 5, however, to reach terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. Teams must comply with the cap until then, and the Miami Dolphins failed to do so when they released outside linebacker Joey Porter on Friday afternoon.
The move appeared to end a frustrating chapter for the Dolphins' front office. Their aggravation soon escalated.
Three hours later, the NFL ruled Porter must be reinstated to the Dolphins' roster because the pro-rated bonuses of the final two years of his contract -- which must be accounted for immediately upon a premature release -- would put the Dolphins $600,000 over the cap, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Not a great start for senior vice president of football operations Dawn Aponte, the Dolphins' new capologist.
Luckily for the Dolphins, Porter isn't due a $1 million roster bonus until March 9. That allows them to hold onto the disgruntled Porter without getting zapped financially.
Dolphins owner Steve Ross told the Palm Beach Post on Friday that Porter's rantings last week were "uncalled for" and speculated the verbal eruptions were done to save face.
"I think he was worried about getting dropped and wanted to think it was him [provoking a move] as opposed to the team," Ross told the paper.