Even with the acquisition of an offensive mastermind in Adam Gase. The Miami Dolphins have limited cap space. Which is presenting hurdles for the potential signing of 2016 NFL Free Agents. Let’s take a look at the top 3 free agents for the Dolphins.
As usual. I’m going to start off with stats. Check out Lamar Miller’s career statistics:
- 51 attempts – 250 yards – 1 td.
- 2 att. of 20+ yards.
- 4.9 ypc.
- 6 receptions – 45 yards.
- 177 att. – 709 yards – 2 tds.
- 4 att. of 20+ yards.
- 4.0 ypc.
- 26 receptions – 170 yards.
- 216 att. – 1,099 yards – 8 tds.
- 9 att. of 20+ yards.
- 5.1 ypc.
- 38 rec. – 275 yards – 1 td.
- 194 att. – 872 yards – 8 tds.
- 7 att. of 20+ yards.
- 4.5 ypc.
- 47 rec. – 397 yards – 2 tds.
- 6 receptions of 20+ yards.
DeMarco Murray of the Chipless Philadelphia Eagles received 5 years totaling $40 million in last year’s free agent market. No other running back came close. Mark Ingram re-signed with the New Orleans Saints at $16 million for 4 years.
Matt Forte even at the age of 30 should garner around $7 million per year with a 3-4 year contract.
That leaves Lamar Miller in the $5 million per year range. Miller will turn 25 years old in late April and should get a 4-5 year contract with heavy incentives. He has been healthy for his career and if given 270+ carries/70 targets this upcoming season. I foresee him in the top 5 fantasy running backs. IF BEING THE KEY WORD HERE!
Long gone are the days of the feature running back. The emergence of Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ayaji in the second half of last season. Alleviates the Dolphins need to re-sign Miller. I’m not saying Ayaji is a foregone conclusion to be #1 NFL running back. But the 2015 fifth round pick. Showed signs of being a beast. His 3.8 ypc is deceiving. It’s how Ayaji did after contact that opened my eyes. Breaking tackles consistently and falling forward are signs of a bell-cow rb.
I’m sure Adam Gase would love to re-sign Lamar Miller. Look at Forte’s 102 receptions last season. Miller could easily reel in 70 receptions under an Adam Gase offense in Miami. Pound the rock with Ayaji and bam! A potent thunder and lightning combination is born for the next few seasons. Unfortunately the Dolphins are limited with what they can spend this off-season and Miller wants to be the feature back.
Un-Restricted free agent Olivier Vernon will likely be playing for another team. Cameron Wake and Vernon were a pass rushing duo to be reckoned with the past few seasons.
Wide Receiver Rishard Matthews would be the cheapest option for Miami to re-sign. If you consider $3.5-$6 million per year cheap? Matthews offers value for his position. I have him ranked as the 5th best free agent WR. Still the Dolphins need to free up cap space over the next few months in order to facilitate a deal. Ndamukong Suh represents $114 million and Ryan Tannehill accounts for $96 million. Possibly restructuring these deals would help. Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 586, 590 and 588 pass attempts the last 3 seasons. Not resigning Miller and Matthews would take away valuable playmakers.
I will leave my Fantasy Friends with a few possible options for the Miami Dolphins. Wide receivers Marc Mariani, Jordan Norwood and Brandon Tate could fill in nicely for less. Mohamed Sanu is a real possibility and why not Marvin Jones as an upgrade if the cap space is freed up. Potential running backs are Ronnie Hillman, Shaun Draughn and Bobby Rainey. Adam Gase is an offensive mastermind and I look forward to seeing how he moves the chess pieces after the 2016 NFL Draft.
Check back with ffnation later this week for a breakdown of where rb Doug Martin might land.
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