Kenny Stills is rumored to be receiving offers of $12M+ per season to test free agency. While he had one of his best seasons in Miami, the Dolphins may need to move on. Stills was one of the more explosive parts of the Dolphins offense this season leading the team with 9 touchdowns. However, the current regime is paying for the previous one’s mistakes.
In order for the Dolphins to pay their current cast of core players, they won’t be able to go wild in a bidding war. The Dolphins have done well obtaining young talent to be the future of their franchise. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been left with so many holes they won’t be able to pay them all at once. Rookie contracts will expire soon and their young talent has earned their due.
Not only does Miami have contract decisions to make on playmakers like Jarvis Landry and Reshad Jones, they’ll also have Jay Ajayi, Kiko Alonso and Devante Parker to pay. Add in the ballooned contracts of Ryan Tannehill, Ndamukong Suh, and Cameron Wake and the Dolphins can’t afford to get into a bidding war. Stills is young and can produce for the Dolphins for years to come, but they have too much to do these next two seasons to keep a dynamic player like Stills.
Aside from contracts, the Dolphins appear to be headed in a whole new direction as a team. The writing was on the wall the moment the team drafted 2 wide receivers last season. Knowing the market would blow up for quality receivers Miami took steps to draft rookies to replace production. Leonte Carroo might not have the skill set of a Kenny Stills but doesn’t mean Adam Gase won’t have him prepared to fill in. The Dolphins want to be a draft-and-develop team. Over the next few drafts, you’ll see the Dolphins use mid round picks to replace their aging stars. First rounds will be used for instant playmakers like a guard this year, and develop talent to fill gaps when veterans retire.
Miami has also never been a stranger to spending in free agency. The team has many roles to fill like LB, DL,G, and DB which could prove to be the nail in the coffin for Stills. Expect Miami to pony up for a linebacker like Melvin Ingram to be their one long-term solution. Each position after that they’ll make moves to secure veterans they can replace in the draft a season or two down the road.
It has been years since the Miami Dolphins have prepared for the future. Too many contracts have been handed out in an attempt to win now. Just as many contracts have been beefed up by bidding wars. Miami has spent way too much money to build so little. Luckily for fans, that was the old regime. As much as it hurts to see fan favorites walk for better deals, the Dolphins have to start building for now as well as the future. As much as fans want to see a playmaker like Stills back with Miami, he’ll most likely move on to a better pay day.