Will Dolphins keep Vernon and cut Cameron Wake?


The Miami Dolphins have a big decision to make with Olivier Vernon in the next few weeks. And it could determine the future of Cameron Wake.

More from Dolphins News

The Dolphins have not begun to talk contract with Vernon as of yet. At least not according to several media reports but they still have a few weeks before the start of free agency to decide what to do with the defensive end. Vernon is going to command a lot of money on the open market and when teams begin to apply their annual tags on Tuesday, Vernon could see himself getting tagged.

The franchise tag would put Miami on the hook for $15 million this year and that is a lot more than they want to spend. On the other side of the defensive line is Cameron Wake. Wake is over 30 and is coming off an Achilles injury. Adding to the list is his $9 million salary that he will make in 2016. Releasing Wake would save the Dolphins $8.4 million in cap space. Money that could go to re-signing Vernon and possibly even Lamar Miller.

Vernon is an interesting study though. While he graded out very well in 2015, most of those positive marks came in the 2nd half of the season. Was this a result of the system improving allowing him to make plays or was it a result of him realizing that his contract was coming due this off-season?

Whichever the reason may be, Vernon is hitting free agency at a time when very few defensive ends will be on the market. That will drive his price up. In the last eight weeks of the season, Vernon had more hits on quarterbacks than any other player in the NFL. He also had more penalties.

If the Dolphins view Vernon as a future star then they seriously need to consider either restructuring Wake or letting him hit the market instead. It’s going to get very interesting in Davie, Fl. the next two weeks.