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Free agency rumors 2016: Dolphins chasing William Hayes

The Miami Dolphins may be close to signing defensive end Mario Williams, but they could also be looking to add William Hayes.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are reportedly closing in on a deal that will land former Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams, giving the team an apparent replacement for Olivier Vernon, who is expected to leave the team once free agency begins on Wednesday. That does not mean the Dolphins are done chasing defensive ends, however:

Of course, the Dolphins could be looking to grab Hayes if something changes on the Williams front, but the team could also look to sign Williams and Hayes,then release veteran defensive end Cameron Wake. The Dolphins approached Wake about restructuring his contract this offseason, but he was not interested in negotiating. The team was expected to keep him, but rumors seem to suggesting that the Dolphins are not locked into that option.

Hayes was a fourth round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008. After four seasons with the Titans, during which he tallied 8.0 sacks, 1 pass defensed, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 111 tackles in 48 games played with 12 starts, Hayes moved to the Rams. With St. Louis, Hayes appeared in 62 games with 20 starts over four years, during which he recorded 21.5 sacks, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed, 3 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, and 158 tackles.

Miami has had a busy two days, trading for cornerback Byron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso from the Philadelphia Eagles, restructuring the contract of tight end Jordan Cameron, expressing interest in Seattle Seahawks' guard J.R. Sweezy, chasing Williams, and potentially adding Hayes to the interest list. And that is all with free agency not officially beginning until 4pm Eastern time on Wednesday.