Most of the focus on defensive ends with the Dolphins of late has been on how the team will handle Olivier Vernon’s impending free agency.
They can talk to him about a new deal for the next couple of weeks before deciding on whether to use the franchise tag to bring back the 25-year-old that finished the season with a flourish. Using the tag would require some cap shuffling with a restructure of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s contract one of the likeliest routes they’d go to get the needed room.
Another option could be parting ways with defensive end Cameron Wake, who is set to count $9.8 million against the cap in 2016 while returning from a torn Achilles. That’s not a good number for the team, but it also isn’t the only possibility.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports the team is talking to Wake about an extension that would lower his cap hit and keep him in Miami beyond the one year left on his current deal. Reaching an agreement would make it likelier that the Dolphins can hold onto Vernon and offers the possibility of a strong pass rush on both sides of the defensive line if Wake’s able to make a full return from his injury.