The Miami Dolphins have key free agents hitting the market this offseason, including Lamar Miller, Rishard Matthews and Olivier Vernon. The team has a tight cap situation and that could lead to the potential releases of players like Greg Jennings, Jordan Cameron and Cameron Wake.
Miami is coming into the offseason after hiring Adam Gase as the new head coach and his offensive scheme could impact how the team handles personnel moves. The team is interested in bringing back Miller, but if the running back asks for too much money on a new contract, Miami could let him walk. Miller is expected to be the top free agent running back on the market with Doug Martin likely staying in Tampa, meaning numerous teams could go after Miller in free agency.
Miller is just 24 and since he does not have much wear and tear on his body, some teams may see him as an option to sign long term. According to James Walker at ESPN, Miller is interested in returning to Miami, but said that "scheme and fit" will be important factors in wherever he ends up. Walker adds that he thinks there is a "40 percent chance" Miller will return based on what he could get on the open market. Miller's use by the Dolphins has been criticized over the past couple years and Miller was reportedly frustrated with his role in the offense last season.
Gase taking over could make the Dolphins more appealing to Miller, but there is also a chance he will take a big contract if he is offered one by another team. Miami is already over the projected salary cap according to Spotrac.com and that could mean the team will look at making some roster cuts this offseason. Omar Kelly at the Sun-Sentinel writes that the Dolphins potentially could open up $40 million in cap space with certain cuts this offseason, including players like Greg Jennings, Cameron Wake, Jordan Cameron and Quinton Coples.
Those moves could help the team attempt to keep Miller or Vernon and also could allow the team to sign other free agents. The team also may consider the restructuring of Ndamukong Suh's contract, as the defensive tackle is going to count for over $25 million on the salary cap for next season. The Palm Beach Post reports that Miami can turn part of Suh's salary into a bonus, which could open up around $18 million in cap space for the team to use.