Contracts that are holding the Miami Dolphins back

Thomas Morstead, Dolphins, NFL (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Thomas Morstead, Dolphins, NFL (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /
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Jerome Baker (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Jerome Baker (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

There has been a lot of Miami Dolphins speculation about the future of Jerome Baker and his contract is an issue.

The Miami 2021 spending spree included a big contract extension for Jerome Baker and make no mistake, Baker deserved a new deal and fans were thrilled about it. That being said, it is an issue now.

Baker is still playing decent but he isn’t elite and there are questions about how he will fit in the Vic Fangio system. Perhaps Baker gets better under the system. This is not a knock on Baker, far from it. I love his passion and energy and his play but his contract, faced with a potential release, could be a problem.

The Dolphins are one of the teams that many speculate will target a linebacker in free agency and if that is the case, Baker could be released to free up space. Miami will eat $8.7 million in cap space and save only $4 million. Next year the savings increase to $9.9 and the dead money drops to $4.9.

Baker is an interesting player because while he may not be perfect, he doesn’t give anything less than 100% and is a leader in the locker room. His contract may be such that Miami has to think hard about what they pursue on the open market.

Why? If the Dolphins try and get another linebacker, Baker would likely be expendable. Miami paid big to Bradley Chubb last year and again, depending one what Fangio wants to do on defense, Baker may be an odd man out and while he has value, is it fair to him to keep him around in a platoon role? Maybe not but he is being paid as a starter because he is one. What the Dolphins do this off-season will have an impact on Baker’s 2023 season.