Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says players on team to stand for anthem in 2018

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says all players on his team will stand for the national anthem starting next season.
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All of our players will be standing, Ross told the New York Daily News on Monday.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills, safety Michael Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas knelt during the anthem several times during the 2017 season. Only Stills is likely to be with the Dolphins next season, as Michael Thomas is set to become a free agent later this month and Julius Thomas is likely to be released.

The NFL has proposed partnering with players to effect social justice change with a plan that would contribute nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities. The hope is that the league’s commitment would create an environment in which players would no longer want to protest. The plan, however, has met resistance from some players, including Michael Thomas and Stills.

Ross did not say what the consequences would be if a Dolphins player chose to kneel during the anthem in 2018. Last season, Dolphins coach Adam Gase had established a team rule requiring players to either stand for the anthem or stay in the tunnel but later told players that if they wanted to kneel, they could do it and wouldn’t be punished.
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The Dolphins owner was in New York to be honored with the ROBIE Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation. On its website, the foundation recognized Ross’ work in the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality to improve race relations and drive social progress.

The cap increase could have been higher, but a new $1.5 million per-team veteran performance bonus pool was added.

But since 2013, the Jonathan Casillas Authentic Jersey cap has risen more than $54 million, from $123 million to $177.2 million, an increase of 44.1 percent.

Teams were notified of the salary cap and the numbers for franchise tag designations on Monday. There is an exception for players franchised for a second straight year.

The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement allows teams to carry over unused cap space from one year to the next. It also establishes a spending floor. Every four years, teams must spend at least 89 percent of their cap space in cash to avoid a CBA violation.

Free agency begins March 14, with the start of the NFL’s new league year. Teams that are over the cap must clear salary by that date. Currently, three teams are over the cap: the Philadelphia Eagles ($11,210,390 over), Miami Dolphins ($8,874,165 over) and Kansas City Chiefs ($3,285,981 over).

The Cleveland Browns have the most room under the cap, with $108 million to spend.
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