Today we continue Looking back at the 2016 off-season for the Miami Dolphins and the 20 moves that could impact not only the 2016 season but beyond.
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Number 19: Cameron Wake
Entering the off-season it appeared that the Dolphins were ready to part ways with defensive end Cameron Wake. Wake’s salary was pushing the $9 million mark for the season and the over 30 end was coming off a torn Achilles that forced him to miss most of the 2015 season.
Adding more fuel the assumption fire was that Wake was unwilling to restructure his contract and take less than what he was making. This was forcing the Dolphins hand.
With Olivier Vernon still on the roster and tagged with a transition tag, it appeared that the Dolphins may have been leaning towards keeping Vernon and allowing Wake to leave. Two days prior to the start of free agency in March, the Dolphins rescinded the tag placed on Vernon making him a free agent.
Vernon’s departure created a hole at defensive end and it left the team with a bigger priority to keep Wake.
Since the Dolphins made the decision to keep Wake he has continued his rehab and while he is taking it slow in traing camp (at the time of this writing) he is on schedule to not only return to his pre-injury form but also seems to have a chip on his shoulder.
Wake seems rejuvinated by the coaching staff that includes a new head coach in Adam Gase and a new DC in Vance Joseph. Joseph’s wide-9 defense is moving Wake further outside which should give him more leverage coming at quarterbacks.
In May the contract impasse came to an end as well when the Dolphins and Wake agreed on a two year extension that would slightly lower Wake’s 2016 cap and give Wake more security for the future.
While it’s too early to tell if Wake will recover from his injury and not have another that will curtail his 2016 season, the option to keep Wake given the salary that Vernon commanded looks to be the better of the two moves. Paring him with Mario Williams could potentially prove to be one of the biggest moves of the entire off-season.
It at least makes the top 20.