Could Dolphins tag and trade Olivier Vernon
By Brian Miller
There is a report circulating around the NFL that the Miami Dolphins may be looking to tag free agent defensive end Olivier Vernon and then trade him.
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The news comes from a NJ.com source via Rotoworld.com.
"“Multiple league sources” tell NJ.com the Dolphins could franchise tag free agent DE Olivier Vernon with an eye toward trading him, ” the report says."
This is interesting for many reasons. First of all, the Dolphins would need to tag him at $15 million for 2016. Teams can rescind franchise tags up until the player signs the deal at which point the contract is fully guaranteed barring a restructure. The question is if Vernon signs his tag can the Dolphins trade him or will they get stuck with the contract? If they get stuck it would have to be imagined they would restructure but at that point Vernon holds a lot of cards in his hand.
The next question is whether or not another team would be interested in making the trade? Finalizing a new contract would imperative and that is another piece to the puzzle because Vernon would have some control over that as well. Once the Dolphins identify a trade partner they would then need to work out compensation.
How much is Vernon worth in a trade? That’s hard to say. His talent level is high enough to warrant a first day pick but most teams won’t deal away first round picks and anyone thinking Miami could parlay Vernon into two draft picks is expecting too much. When Jason Taylor was traded to the Redskins, the Dolphins received a 2nd round and a 7th round pick for him. Taylor was obviously at the end of his career and Vernon is at the beginning of it.
If the Dolphins found a trade partner for a first round pick they should almost certainly take it but it’s unlikely to find that kind of trade partner unless the Dolphins are returning picks in the deal. More than likely the trade asking price would be a 2nd round pick and maybe a 4th or 5th rounder. It’s also possible Miami would take a 2nd and 3rd with the 3rd coming a year later.
If the Dolphins are indeed looking to make this move it would be bold and could benefit the club as they try to get younger, more physical, and look to fill needs. Vernon is going to be an expensive player to keep. A team like the Raiders or the Jaguars could be trade partners given their needs at defensive end and their cap situations.