Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon is considered one of the top players in the league scheduled to become a unrestricted free agent this offseason, but Miami's front office isn't willing to just let its former third round draft pick walk to another team this offseason. The Dolphins' front office has reportedly been trying to workout an extension with defensive end Cameron Wake prior to the league year, which could bring the franchise tag in play for Vernon.
The Dolphins pass rusher is willing to play on the franchise tag during the 2016 season and is willing to bet himself, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole. The Dolphins have been looking to restructure defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's contract this offseason, as he is a massive $28.6 million cap hit this upcoming season.
The franchise tag will reportedly cost upwards of $15 million to keep Vernon in Miami, and the Dolphins' front office has until the March 1 deadline to try and lock him up for 2016. Vernon has not missed a game since joining the Dolphins in 2012 and is coming off another impressive season in which he recorded 61 combined tackles and 7.5 sacks.
The Dolphins coveted pass rusher will have plenty of interest if he becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly interested in signing pass rushers like Vernon through free agency this offseason. It's unknown if the Dolphins will be able to make enough cap space to bring Vernon back on the franchise tag, but the 25-year-old pass rusher is willing to play it out next season, as he reportedly believes he will receive a huge guarantee on any new contract offered next offseason.