More changes for Dolphins could come today
By Brian Miller
NFL free agency begins on Wednesday and on Monday teams are allowed to start legally talking with agents for players. That leads teams like the Miami Dolphins to make more changes today.
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In the past 72 hours or so the Dolphins have restructured Koa Misi’s contract, released Greg Jennings, made tender offers to six players, and restructured Ndamkuong Suh. They have also hosted defensive end Mario Williams who reportedly remains in Miami. If the Dolphins sign Williams it could be the catalyst to removing the transition tag on Olivier Vernon.
Miami could enter Wednesday with more than $30 million in cap space as they head into free agency but they may not be done tinkering with their roster just yet.
Decision on Brent Grimes, $9.5 million, Cameron Wake, $9.8 million, and Jordan Cameron, $9.5 million all could see their contracts restructured or sliced entirely in the next two days. Cameron especially given his low performance in 2015.
The Dolphins have not given any ultimatums to Cam Wake but they would like to reduce his cap hit this season. Wake is coming off an Achilles injury and at the age of 34 may be better suited for a 3rd down specialist role. His run defense has waned the last two seasons.
Grimes is interesting because he is the best player, in fact the only quality player at his position. Miami could opt to take a wait and see approach and watch how free agency unfolds before making a decision on Grimes. For $9.5 million they should be able to find a suitable replacement in the market. That being said, Grimes is still a solid player despite his dip in production last season.
Another player to watch is Earl Mitchell. Mitchell was not very good last season and Miami could opt to seek a player like Paul Soliai to replace him. On the offensive side of the ball however, nothing is more imminent than Lamar Miller.
The Dolphins and Miller have been talking about a new contract but the two sides appear far apart. Miami is willing to pay Miller in the $5 million a season range but reports have circulated that Miller’s camp doesn’t think that is enough. To think the media were talking about a $4 million range only a couple of months ago. That is what the market will do.
In addition to Miller the Dolphins need to make a decision on Dallas Thomas the worst graded offensive lineman last season. Thomas’ contract isn’t very high, $1.8 million but his production comes nowhere near that price tag.
Identifying the targets for Miami should become easier on Monday when the tampering window opens. For now it’s all conjecture as teams walk the fine line of the NFL rule books. Miami is expected to be active in their pursuit of CB, LB, and G help.