One of the biggest free agency questions surrounding the Miami Dolphins this year has been the future of running back Lamar Miller. Would the Dolphins find a way to keep their starting rusher, despite his being under-utilized last season? Would Miller price himself out of his hometown team? It appears, at least according to a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly, that the Dolphins are expecting Miller to leave when free agency begins later this week, choosing to take a "more lucrative offer."
Miller joined the Dolphins as a fourth-round draft pick in 2012. A native of Miami who attended the University of Miami, Miller was now playing for his hometown professional team, appearing in 13 games with one start as a rookie, gaining 250 yards on 51 carries with one touchdown. He became the starting running back for the team in 2013, appearing in all 16 games, with 15 starts, gaining 709 yards on 177 carries with two touchdowns.
In 2014, Miller had his best year, carrying the ball 216 times for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns. This past season, Miami often abandoned the run game, despite Miller having success early in contests, and the running back's season statistics suffered; Miller gained 872 yards on 194 carries with eight touchdowns.
For his career, Miller has 2,930 rushing yards on 638 carries with 19 touchdowns. He has also caught 117 passes for 887 yards with three scores.
Miller was reportedly asking the Dolphins for a contract exceeding the team's self-imposed $5 million per season ceiling. He is expected to draw interest on the open market, with teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Houston Texans all thought to be in contention.
The NFL is currently in the two-day "legal tampering" period, in which teams can discuss contract parameters with agents, though no direct contact with the player is allowed. Free agency will fully begin on Wednesday at 4pm Eastern time.
With the Dolphins seeming to pull out of the chase of Miller, it suggests that some team has expressed enough interest in Miller that Miami knows they will not be able to match the contract details.