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Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Dolphins showing WRs the money


When the Miami Dolphins won the AFC East title two years ago, their top three receivers' average annual salaries added up to $5.04 million.

How much has Miami adjusted its ledgers?

This year, that number for Miami's top three receivers is $14.77 million.

The Dolphins last week rewarded slot receiver Davone Bess with a three-year contract extension that begins next year and pays him an average of $3.01 million through 2013.

Bess' extension gives the Dolphins two receivers in the NFL's top 37 highest-paid, according to NFL Players Association data. The NFL ranks contracts by average dollars per year, which includes base salaries plus likely to be earned bonuses divided by the number of years on the contract.

Brandon Marshall is at the top of the NFL pay scale. The Dolphins gave him the league's richest average salary when they signed him to an offseason extension. Marshall is averaging $11.19 million through 2014.

Second-year pro Brian Hartline is averaging $563,744.

Two years ago, the Dolphins top three targets were within two receptions of each other on the final stat sheet. Ted Ginn was averaging $2.65 million, Greg Camarillo $1.92 million and Bess $470,000 as an undrafted rookie.

Bess certainly has outplayed his status as a league-minimum guy and now ranks 37th in average salary. He's among the highest-paid slot receivers, behind Michael Crabtree ($5.69 million), Devin Hester ($5.49 million), Wes Welker ($4.21 million), Justin Gage ($3.5 million) and Roscoe Parrish ($3.34 million). Of course, the term "slot receiver" is more dependent on the formation than the player.

In addition to his usual $470,000 base salary for this season, Bess received a $3 million signing bonus. His base salaries for coming years will be $1.01 million, $2.23 million and $2.63 million.

Bess grabbed a team-high 76 receptions last year for 758 yards and two touchdowns. Bess has 26 catches for 282 yards and two touchdowns through five games this season, putting him on pace for 83 catches, 902 yards and six touchdowns.