Dolphins impending free agent DE Olivier Vernon made it clear that he won’t be offering the team a hometown discount this offseason.
“I only get one shot [at free agency], so I’m not [doing] a hometown discount,” Vernon said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “I want to help bring [the Dolphins] back to something relevant” but “if it entails going somewhere else, then that’s what has to happen.”
According to Jackson, the Dolphins are interested in signing Vernon to a contract extension, but they haven’t decided on how much they’re willing to spend on him.
Miami could always franchise Vernon at around $15 million next year, even though they’d probably prefer to get a long-term deal in place.
Should Miami lose Vernon to free agency, Jackson could see them considering a defensive end early on in next year’s draft or try to sign some depth in free agency.
Vernon, 25, is entering the final year of his four-year, $2,818,080 rookie contract and stands to make a base salary of $700,000 for the 2015 season.
The free agent market isn’t all that deep at defensive end, which could lead to Vernon breaking the bank with so much cap space available to be spent.
In 2015, Vernon appeared in 15 games and recorded 55 tackles and seven sacks for the Dolphins. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 1 defensive end in a 4-3 system out of 51 qualifying players.
We have Vernon listed as the No. 5 player in our Top 2016 Free Agents list.