It’s a little more than three weeks until the start of the new league year and a couple of weeks until the deadline for teams to use the franchise tag, which means there should start to be contract talks between impending free agents and their current teams.
One player that will likely be approached is Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, although Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that there haven’t been any “serious contract talks” between the two sides at this point and that Vernon is waiting to find out how much the Dolphins are willing to offer.
Vernon closed the year with 5.5 sacks in the final eight weeks and has 29 sacks overall over his four years in Miami. That leaves him as one of the top pass rushers headed for the open market this offseason and, given the constant need for pass rushers, in good position to land a sizable contract.
The Dolphins could keep him from the market by using the franchise tag. Going that route would take some cap maneuvering that would likely include restructuring defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s contract and could mean the end of Cam Wake’s run in Miami. Whichever way they go, there’s some work to be done in Miami as they set up their defense for next season.