Re-signing running back Lamar Miller is a top priority for the Dolphins this offseason, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, who hears from a source that the team “definitely” wants Miller back in the fold for the 2016 season.
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While the Dolphins are “bullish” on Miller behind the scenes, his price tag will be the sticking point when it comes to the club’s ability to re-sign him. According to Beasley, industry insiders are estimating that Miller will earn a contract that averages somewhere around $5MM per year. That figure seems reasonable, though it’s not clear yet if Miami has a cutoff point when it comes to annual salary or guaranteed money.
Miami doesn’t currently have a ton of cap space, and there are other free agents and extension candidates the team will want to address this offseason. However, there plenty of players who could be released or have their contracts restructured in order to create some flexibility. Most notably, reworking Ndamukong Suh‘s deal could create more than $17MM in cap savings.
Still, assuming the Dolphins do restructure Suh’s contract and make other cost-cutting moves, the team will have to decide whether it wants to dedicate a chunk of those savings to the running back position, where inexpensive second-year back Jay Ajayi could be ready to handle a larger load in 2016. Miami has also been cited as a possible suitor for free agent running back Matt Forte, who figures to command a per-year salary similar to Miller’s and may be interested in reuniting with former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
As the Dolphins weigh their offseason moves, Olivier Vernon‘s future will also be a key issue, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. A team source tells Jackson that the Dolphins have yet to tell Vernon how much they’re willing to offer him on a new deal. Earlier today, I identified Vernon as a viable candidate for the franchise tag.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.