For a team that had negative $3 million to spend under the cap, the Miami Dolphins have been rather busy of late. The latest was the signing of recently released Mario Williams who will join the Dolphins on a reported 2-year $16 million deal.How are the Dolphins doing this?
Well, the answer may be that they can't under current circumstances and they know it. They already had to forego a franchise tag for Olivier Vernon in favor of a transition tag due to being hard up for cap spending room. That transition tag carries a $12.7 million figure. Even that may not be enough to keep Vernon should a team such as the Raiders offer him a front loaded contract.
Now that the Dolphins appear to have Mario Williams for $8 million per season, they could opt to simply lift the transition tag on Olivier altogether. Whether they remove the transition tag or not may not matter. He will command more than the transition tag figure on the open market anyway, especially in light of the Malik Jackson $15 million deal in Jacksonville.
Speaking of the Malik Jackson deal, it could mean the Jaguars won't go as hard for Vernon which would help the Raiders chances of landing him. On the other hand, even after signing Jackson, the Jaguars still look to have the most cap space in the NFL and can do pretty much whatever they want. While Vernon would get to remain in his home state should he sign there.
Many of the top pass rushers who were set to hit the market are now taken. Along with Jackson and Williams, Jason Pierre-Paul and Tamba Hali are no longer available. Making Vernon that much more of a hot commodity. Which also means he will be seeing a considerable payday as a result. Will the Raiders go all in for him? We'll soon see.