Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports the Dolphins and free agent DE Olivier Vernon are not close to an agreement on a long-term deal, and it appears as though Miami will need to decide whether to use the franchise tag on him before tomorrow’s deadline.
Salguero believes it would be dumb for Miami to allow Vernon to walk, given the value of pass-rushers who are in the prime of their career. With this in mind, Salguero thinks the Dolphins should use the tag in some form, rather than allow another team to dictate the terms of his next deal.
According to Salguero, a tag and trade is another option that would make sense for the Dolphins if they believe Vernon isn’t worth the $15.7 million they would have to pay him under the franchise tag.
Should they field offers for Vernon, Salguero writes that they could try to recoup a first-round pick or multiple second-round selections for Vernon.
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.
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