The Dolphins announced that they’ve re-signed their top impending free agent, wide receiver Kenny Stills. Stills will reportedly receive a four-year, $32MM pact with $20MM in guarantees.
Miami was among at least three teams – including the Bears, tweets Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times – in negotiations with Stills. A contract worth around $12MM per annum seemed like a possibility as of late February for Stills, but he’ll fall well short of that level.
Stills’ decision to eschew free agency in favor of a deal with the Dolphins has taken PFR’s third-ranked player off the board the night before the market opens. The 6-foot-1, 194-pounder earned that lofty position on the heels of a 42-catch, 726-yard, nine-touchdown season, his second with the Dolphins. Since entering the NFL as the Saints’ fifth-round pick in 2013, the field-stretching Stills has appeared in 63 of a possible 64 games, made 41 starts (including every Miami contest last year) and averaged 41 receptions, 685 yards and five scores per season.
Looking ahead to the 2017 campaign, Stills will join fellow receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker – and a prominent newcomer, tight end Julius Thomas – as Miami’s best weapons in the passing game. Landry’s scheduled to become a free agent in a year, so having Stills and Parker under control beyond then will give quarterback Ryan Tannehill and head coach Adam Gase at least two capable wideouts for the foreseeable future.
With Stills now off the board, Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor undoubtedly stand as the top two unsigned receivers entering free agency. Stills is third high-profile receiver who has left the list Thursday, as Pierre Garcon (49ers) and Brandon Marshall (Giants) previously agreed to deals.
Freelance reporter Rand Getlin (Twitter link) first reported Stills had re-signed with the Dolphins. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted the length and financials of the contract. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.