On Wednesday, Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel tweeted that he had been told the projected price for Kenny Stills would be roughly $30 million for five years. If this is true, the Dolphins should re-sign Stills ASAP.
The Miami Dolphins would love nothing more than to keep their top 3 receivers from 2016 together again in 2017. Jarvis Landry is expected to receive his extension sooner rather than later. DeVante Parker is still on his rookie contract. That leaves Kenny Stills who is an unrestricted free agent heading into 2017. Miami and Stills have both expressed interest in a re-signing contract, but Stills will still understandably explore the free agent market.
Coming off of his rookie contract from his time in New Orleans, it was initially unclear what kind of figures Stills was expected to see as he enters the prime of his career. Some reports had him worth up to $10 million annually. Who knows if there is a team out there willing to fork over that kind of dough, but now we have a clearer understanding of what kind of contract we could expect to see for Stills this offseason.
On Wednesday, Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel reported in a tweet that he had been told the projected price range for Stills would be approximately $30 million for five seasons, with about $12.5 million or more of that guaranteed.
One of the teams expected to go after Stills in free agency are the Tennessee Titans. Following Kelly’s tweet, at least one person writing on behalf of the Titans said he was a bit floored when he saw this. His reasoning for believing that it was too high is because Stills has never caught more than 63 receptions in a season or exceeded 1,000-yards in a season either. Both are justifiable arguments, but I on the other hand, believe this to be a bargain price for Stills.
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Stills’ numbers may not stick out on paper, but Dolphins fans know how much of an asset he was to the team this past season, and a big reason why Miami reached the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. While he may have only reeled in 42 receptions last year, nine of those were for touchdowns. If Stills is averaging a touchdown for every 4.67 receptions then there’s not a lot of need to catch a boatload of passes. Stills showed his ability throughout the season as a deep threat, consistently getting behind defenses. His big play ability (17.3 yards per catch) played a large part in his lack of receptions.
The writer did go on to say that he would likely be okay with the deal if the guaranteed money was handed out in the first two years of the deal. I believe that this is the likely scenario for any team that ends up signing Stills to a long-term deal. For Miami, this would make the deal more team friendly in case things don’t work, giving them the option to opt out early.
The length of years should a deal be made similar to this projection is another reason to like it. While the salary cap may not be rising at a rapid rate similar to the NBA, it is still growing considerably. Should Stills continue his growing success, this would look like a huge bargain for the Dolphins in the latter years of the deal.
So what do you think? Should Miami give Stills a deal similar to the one Kelly has projected or let him walk and turn their focus to other positions of need in free agency?