The Miami Dolphins have Lamar Miller, Olivier Vernon and Rishard Matthews hitting free agency this offseason and the team will have to make some tough decision about who they should to try and re-sign this winter. Greg Jennings, Jordan Cameron and Cameron Wake could be potential cuts in the offseason, while Shaq Lawson and Myles Jack could be draft targets for the team.
The Dolphins have over $100 million committed to players for next season and that will factor into how the team pursues players in free agency. New head coach Adam Gase will likely play a major factor in helping decide who the team should keep and go after and Miami may not be as willing to spend as they did last offseason after missing the playoffs in 2015. The team added Jennings, Cameron and Ndamukong Suh as free agents and that created some high expectations for the Dolphins.
The team took a step back and missed the playoffs and now Gase comes in to help try and get things going in the right direction. Miller is the most important player of the group hitting free agency and he is expected to get pursued by numerous other teams. According to James Walker at ESPN, Miller is interested in coming back to Miami, but also added that the running back said that "scheme and fit are important" in where he ends up.
Over the past couple years the Dolphins have been criticized by some in the media for not using Miller properly and the decision to stay or leave could depend on how Gase plans on using Miller. Last season Miller rushed for 872 yards and eight touchdowns in 16 games and teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Giants could potentially go after Miller in free agency.
Rishard Matthews is coming off of a solid season and could be an option to return, while Vernon could be looking for big money and that could be a factor in whether the team re-signs him or not. According to NFL.com, Vernon may look for money like Cameron Jordan got from the New Orleans Saints at over $50 million and that could be too much for the Dolphins. James Walker at ESPN writes that players like Jennings and Cameron could be potential salary cap casualties in the offseason based on their production from this year.
The Dolphins have a top 10 pick in the draft this year and Mel Kiper speculated in his first mock that the team could go after defensive end Shaq Lawson from Clemson. If the team lets Vernon go and released Cameron Wake following his Achilles injury, Lawson would make sense as a pick. Lawson comes in after helping lead the Clemson defense and he put up 29 tackles with 12.5 sacks last season.