One of the hot topics this offseason is Miami’s intentions with wide receiver Kenny Stills. It’s a topic that needs to be answered sooner rather than later.
It was just two years ago that Still, coming off of a great second year in New Orleans, was traded to Miami for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a third round pick. Many people – including myself – had high hopes for the former Oklahoma Sooner in South Florida. He was the big-play threat Miami lacked with Mike Wallace leaving town.
The Miami Dolphins were certainly taking a chance on Stills. Like Wallace he was considered a “one-trick pony”, utilizing his track speed to get past defenses.
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We didn’t see a whole lot of value in Stills throughout the 2016 season. While he played in 15 games he only caught 27 passes for 440 yards. That wasn’t good enough.
With only one more year remaining on his contract, new head coach Adam Gase and the Dolphins front office was looking towards this offseason. In a move to eventually take Stills’ spot, Miami swapped 2016 draft picks and sent two additional ones to the Minnesota Vikings so they could take Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo.
Everything changed this past season. While coaches may not have had much faith in Stills it turned out that 2016 would be arguably his best seasons in the NFL. This past year he caught 42 passes for 726 yards (17.3 average) and nine touchdowns.
Although only two of those numbers are career bests, Stills proved to the Dolphins and the rest of the NFL what he’s worth. And now teams have to pay for it.
"The Stills camp is already aware of the receiver’s potential value in free agency. And the market is said to already be in the $12-million-a-year range, per sources."
$12 million is too much for a receiver that would be considered third in the pecking order. And with Carroo waiting to take his spot, there’s no reason for Miami to overpay for a position that they’re not in desperate need for.
Stills proved to be an asset. But with Jarvis Landry set to get a contract extension and DeVante Parker continuously improving, along with Carroo and a fast weapon like Jakeem Grant, it’s time for change.
If the Dolphins do decide to keep Stills in town they have until March 7th before teams can talk with him. Expect Stills to listen to offers on the open market before locking down a contract in Miami.