Jackson suggests that the recent five-year, $55 million contract signed by Saints DE Cameron Jordan could provide the “floor” for contracts talks between the Dolphins and Vernon.
In the end, Jackson expects Vernon to target more money than this, possibly in the range of five years, over $60 million in total, and over $40 million guaranteed.
For what it’s worth, Jackson doesn’t rule out the possibility of the Dolphins using their franchise tag on Vernon next year, even though it would run them close to $15 million.
While Miami has an impressive defensive line right now, there are some obvious question marks moving forward such as Vernon and his long-term future with the team, veteran DE Cameron Wake who’s getting up there in age, and former first-round pick Dion Jordan.
Vernon, 24, 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.
In 2014, Vernon appeared in all 16 games for the Dolphins and recorded 47 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 17 defensive end in a 4-3 defense out of 59 qualifying players.