“The more money we come around, the more problems we see”.- Kelly Price
These, the iconic lyrics of the timeless rap classic “Mo Money Mo Problems” convey an issue. As Puff Daddy, Mase, and The Notorious B.I.G spit bars of insight into the uncertainties, disparities, and the all around problems that come along with the big payday, the message they are conveying is simple: Money causes problems.
This theory of problems has been around since the dark ages, and easily applies to the unfortunate series of events that have run their course throughout the Dolphins franchise for the past few years. From the delusional billionaire owner, to the revolving door of personnel within the organization (players and coaches alike), the Miami Dolphins have dug themselves into a contractual hole that they just may not get out of (For the next few years at least).
These fiscally irresponsible big contract deals have literally put what the Dolphins “have to offer” at risk in coming years. The Miami Dolphins will also need to decided whether aging veterans like Cameron Wake and Brent Grimes will fit into the Dolphins almost 5 million dollar overdrawn bank account.
With the playoff picture quickly fading to black on the 2015 season, is it time for Miami to jump ship, or can the current Dolphins roster swim their way into the playoffs soon?
Lamar Miller– The former 1,000 yard rusher has been a victim of the power struggles between coaches throughout much of 2015 . Former offensive coordinator Bill Lazor admitted to not liking to run the ball, which has shown in the inconsistency of Lamar Miller’s numbers this season. Only in a failing offense can a 13 carry for 100 yard game, be followed by 5 carries for 2 yards, within the blink of an eye . While Miller lacks the power to be an up-the-gut back, he makes up for those short comings with his explosive speed, pass catching ability, and sheer elusiveness. The former University of Miami alumni is a top-15 running back in the league, and it’s likely that Lamar Miller will remain a Miami Dolphins for another few years.
Olivier Vernon– Like his former brother in arms, Jared Odrick, The Dolphins will likely lose Olivier Vernon in free agency come 2016. Vernon, though far from an elite pass rusher, has many upsides: he’s young (25), aggressive, and playing some of the best football of his career. Vernon will likely command a hefty contract (est: 5year, 40 million) which far excedes the money Miami can spend on an already expensive defensive line.
Vernon has recorded 22 sacks since 2013.
Rishard Matthews– Matthews has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2015 Dolphins season. The fourth year receiver out of Nevada demanded a trade during the offseason (which clearly wasn’t granted) and since making the starting rotation after rookie DeVante Parker had offseason foot surgery, Matthews has become a legitimate WR2 in the NFL. Though Matthews lacks elite speed, he’s become a staple in the offense by flaunting his excellent route running abilities and physical toughness becoming Tannehill’s second best receiver this season (43 catches, 662 yards, 4 touchdowns).
With the plethora of receivers Miami has in its arsenal, it’s hard to say if Rishard Matthews will stay in Miami next season.
Look for teams such as the Carolina Panthers, or division rivals the New England Patriots to be knocking at Matthew’s door once available.
Brent Grimes– At the tender age of 32, it’s hard to say just how much longer of a career Brent Grimes will have in the NFL. Grimes is still an elite corner but as the season has progressed, the feisty corner has begun to slow, being picked apart by more physical, taller receivers. Grimes is due 8 million next season and while the price is steep Miami’s options at corner are slim pickings.
Cameron Wake– Miami’s second all time leader in sacks, may also be nearing the end of a long and prosperous career. Wake, 34 is coming off of a severe injury which could sideline the denfesive tackle for quite some time. If Cameron Wake is healthy there is no reason the Miami Dolphins would not pay his 8.3 million due next season.
Wake recorded 8 sacks in 4 games before tearing his achilles
Greg Jennings– 1 touchdown, 3 drops and only 13 catches for 122 yards. Jennings will no longer be a part of the Miami Dolphins next season due to the 4 million owed him for 2016 .
Jordan Cameron– Injuries…. the fear everyone had about Cameron was true. The former Clevland Brown has been banged up all season, and has had trouble connecting with Ryan Tannehill. Due 7.5 million due next season, it’s highly unlikely the former Pro Bowler will be returning to Miami in 2016.
Dion Jordan– Unless Jordan can wow coaches this offseason, it’s highly unlikely the former Oregon standout will play another game for the Miami Dolphins. The 2013 3rd pick overall has been suspended 3 times for failing to oblige the NFL substance abuse policy, and though 3.2 million is not a lot of money for the potential that Dion Jordan has, it’s likely his time in the NFL will soon come to a close.
Unless of course Chip Kelly still wants him?