The Miami Dolphins have several decisions to make between now and the start of the NFL’s free agency period at the beginning of March. How will the team allocate funding for new players? Will they target big names, or use free agency for depth and the NFL Draft in April for potential starters? Can they add quality starters this year at positions of need? What exactly are the team’s needs?
All of those are key questions that have to be answered if the Dolphins are going to build upon this year’s surprising playoff run to make themselves a yearly factor in the AFC. Another question which could go a long way toward deciding what ultimately happens in free agency and the Draft is, which Dolphins players scheduled for free agency will the team re-sign prior to the start of the signing period on March 9.
Throughout the next several weeks, we will be asking for your input into what Miami should do with each of their pending free agents. We will break down the history of the player, the player’s 2016 season, contract that is set to expire, the estimated franchise tag value, and ask for your vote on what decision the team should make. Today, tight end Jordan Cameron is on the block.
Cameron entered the league in 2011 as a fourth-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns. He spent four years with Cleveland, during which time he caught 130 passes for 1,600 yards with 10 touchdowns, earning a 2013 Pro Bowl appearance. That season also saw Cameron reach career highs in receptions (80), yards (917), and touchdowns (7). He joined the Dolphins in 2015, signing as a free agent. He started all 16 games for Miami that year, the first time he had played an entire season, catching 35 passes for 386 yards with three touchdowns.
Cameron’s second season with Miami did not last nearly as long as anyone had hoped. In the team’s Week 3 contest, Cameron suffered a concussion, his fourth such injury in four years, and was ultimately placed on injured reserve, ending his season. Cameron is said to be considering retirement due to the repetition and severity of the concussions, though reports during the season indicated that a decision had not been made on that front. In those first three games of the year, Cameron caught eight passes for 60 yards with a score. He never seemed to get fully into the offensive rhythm with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but he did provide another pass catching option for the team when he was healthy.
Cameron’s expiring contract was a two-year, $15 million deal. The team renegotiated the contract with Cameron in the 2016 offseason, providing him $5 million in salary guarantees in exchange for a $1.5 million pay cut. His salary cap number for 2016 was $8 million.
A tight end franchise tag is likely to be around $10 million for one season.
The Phinsider thoughts
For his sake, given how many concussions he has had in a relatively short span, and the severity of the injuries, maybe retirement is the best situation for Cameron. However, I am not one to tell a man that he can or cannot do his life’s work, and, if he still has the love for the game - and there is no reason to think that he does not - then he could still be looking for a job. That roster spot is not likely in Miami next year, and he probably will be allowed to walk.
What should the Dolphins do with Cameron? Vote below and feel free to discuss in the comments.