Dolphins need Olivier Vernon more than Miller


The Miami Dolphins are facing a tough decision with the impending free agency for starting tail-back Lamar Miller and starting defensive end Olivier Vernon. The team will likely only retain one but which one will that be?

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There has been rumors circulating the Dolphins have put a higher priority on Vernon and if that is true, it’s the smarter bet. Vernon will cost more money for certain but he is much harder to replace than Miller.

I am a big fan of Lamar Miller and admittedly am not a big fan of Vernon. Miller has the ability to change a game and electrify a crowd thus elevating his team emotionally. He is a hard runner who rarely fumbles and can while he doesn’t possess elite speed for a running back, he is fast enough when it matters. Miller is a team player but in 2015 he watched as his coaches game planned him out of the game.

Statistically, Miller’s season was off from the previous year but Miller ran harder and stronger. By the end of the season he was frustrated. Not because of the line play or the losing season but because the coaching staff never used him the right way. Never used him enough often abandoning the run entirely for no real reason. Now with a bitter taste in mouth Miller will have to decide if he is going to take any offer the Dolphins  toss his way or see wait free agency has in store.

Heading towards this off-season while the games were still being played I said it was Miller who needed re-signed and not Vernon.

Vernon has a very good season in 2015 but a lot of that success came later in the year. He was flagged for late hits on quarterbacks more than any other player in the NF and he was consistently coming up short making it to the quarterback.

The thing about Vernon is that he is either getting better or was playing better for a new contract. When Vernon hits the open market his stock is going to rise immediately because there are not that many starting caliber defensive ends in this years free agency crop. That means replacing Vernon with a veteran is going to be difficult if not impossible for the Dolphins. Keeping Vernon will allow the Dolphins to build around him on the right side of the defensive line and also concentrate on finding a replacement for Cameron Wake who is looking at two more years tops.

The Dolphins have so many holes this off-season that losing Vernon will create yet another one whereas losing Miller will be far easier and cheaper to replace. The Dolphins should be concentrating on Vernon right now because he can anchor a defense that is going to see an overhaul at corner and linebacker. Miami doesn’t need to overhaul the defensive ends right now too.d