As the 2016 NFL season turned from the 2015 season, speculation on the future of Cameron Wake became a hot topic.
Decisions would need to be made on Cameron Wake. Wake was not interested in doing a big restructure of his contract and was coming off a season ending Achille’s injury. He was also turning 34 and was primarily viewed as a 3rd down specialist.
Many believed that Wake’s career in Miami should come to a close and that the Dolphins should move on and save some cap money. Given the choice between keeping Olivier Vernon and an again Wake, there were some who believed that Vernon was the smarter and younger choice.
The Dolphins didn’t share those theories and Vernon was off to New York while Wake continued to rehab his Achilles.
When training camp began Wake was slower and thoughts of him returning to his previous form were creeping in. He lacked the same initial thrust he had shown prior to the injury despite the fact he had only been cleared to fully participate a couple of weeks earlier.
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The Dolphins did however envision Wake as a 3rd down pass specialist but as the season began and injuries mounted Wake’s time on the field was not relegated to 3rd downs and obvious passing downs. Wake had recovered and regained his speed and he was setting out to prove all of this doubters wrong.
Wake would turn in a performance that was far more reminiscent as his pre-injury seasons. Compared to 2014, Wake’s numbers were very close. Wake posted 7 less combined tackles in 2016 than in 2014. He recorded 11.5 sacks in both seasons but he forced four more fumbles in 2016 than in 2014 with 5 total. He also added his first career interception in 2016.
2016 was a very good year for Wake and it earned him another Pro-Bowl birth and has him in the running for Comeback Player of the Year. His performance was so strong that Miami won every game that he recorded a sack in.
The years are winding down for Wake and just how many more he has left is unknown but one thing was seen for certain in 2016. He hasn’t started wearing down just yet.