Two years ago, i posted a fanshot called "A Bold Prediction For Cameron Wake."
In light of Wake's recent contract issues, I thought it would be good to check in with his progress.
I keep seeing insane comments around the internet suggesting we trade Wake (even some suggesting we trade him for extra picks this year when we were already in round three!) and have read elsewhere that suggest we shouldn't give him a big contract.
Well, Wake has delivered on his promise and more.
In the two years since that post, Wake has had:
-3 forced fumbles
-7 passes defensed
Last year alone, despite being double teamed constantly, and without a threat opposite him to draw attention, Wake had:
-3 passes defensed
Last year, Wake was, BY FAR, Miami's best player. Pro Football Focus (the best stats/analysis site on the internet recently made a list of the top 101 players in the NFL. Wake was #16. No other Dolphin even made the list.
Here is their blurb:
(two things to keep in mind: 1. this was based solely on 2011. 2. "It was based on an ethos of all positions created equal. This isn’t about the most valuable players; otherwise there would be a lot more quarterbacks. This is about looking at what is expected from a position and who most exceeded that."
When you start to break down the performance of Cameron Wake, you understand his need for a new contract. One of the top pass rushers in the league, Wake finished 2011 our highest-ranked 3-4 outside linebacker with the best grade of all his peers as a pass rusher. He proved that you really need to look beyond sack numbers when judging the impact a pass rusher has. As good as Wake is in the passing game, it’s overlooked that he is able to get off blocks and make plays in the run game–his run defense was initially a concern when he transitioned to an every-down role. Keeps getting better.
Best Performance: Week 15 at Buffalo (+5.7)
Key Stat: His 81 combined sacks, hits, and hurries was the second-highest total of all defensive players.
Wake is one of the very best players in the NFL. If he played for a more successful team, he would be a media superstar. He is, right now, utterly irreplaceable.
Trading him would be complete folly and would make the Dolphins a far worse team, immediately and for the future.
Not signing him to a new contract would be equally asinine. He is only 30, and with less wear and tear than most 30 year-old NFL players.
Right now, Wake is our best player, and unless someone else steps up in a huge way (and barring injury), he will remain so for at least a few years. Trading him would be so foolish it's mind-boggling. It would be like Baltimore trading Ray Lewis seven years ago.
Wake is arguably the best in all of the NFL at his position and has kept improving the aspects of his game that were initial concerns.
I hope Wake spends his entire career with the Dolphins, but at the very least we shouldn't trade him until we see signs that he is or will soon start slowing down. We shouldn't see those signs for at least 3-5 years, more likely 4-6.
I can't wait to see what he does this year, especially if the Dolphins can get at least a reasonable threat on the other side. But even double-teamed and game-planned around, he is still a beast, and a joy to watch play the game.
Show him the money, Miami. He's earning it.