Slowly, we are working our way toward the start of NFL free agency, which begins a month from tomorrow. All across the league, teams are trying to determine if they want to keep their players who are scheduled to hit free agency, whether that is through re-signing or through use of the franchise tag. For the Miami Dolphins, those decisions include several key members of the team.
The Dolphins have 20 players about whom they need to make decisions. We have been asking you as fans of the team to provide your thoughts on what the Dolphins should do for each of their upcoming free agents. We break down the history of the player, what they did for the team in 2016, the terms of their expiring contract, the estimated value for the franchise tag, and then as you to vote on the decision the team should make.
This afternoon, we take a look at a fan favorite - long snapper John Denney.
Denney joint the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He has played in every game since, despite the team having brought in younger players to challenge the team’s all-time iron-man. He has earned two Pro Bowl selections during his career, making the trip in 2010 and 2012. His role as a long snapper seems minimal based on the fact that he plays only on punts or on field goal/extra point attempts, but the truth is Denney has played a critical role for the Dolphins for years, a role that keeps the special teams effective despite changes to holders, kickers, and punters, as well as being a key member of the coverage unit down the field.
Denney again played every game of the season for Miami, extending his streak to 192 straight games. He is absolutely a rock on the Dolphins special teams, and continued that through the 2016 season, both in his availability and in his play on the field. Denney seems to always be around the ball as special teams tackles are made, an impressive feat for a long snapper.
Between the base contract and extensions, Denney is finishing a six-year contract. His 2016 salary cap number was $1.2 million, while the average value for the contract was about $1.15 million (via overthecap.com).
There is no established or estimated value available for a long snapper franchise tag.
The Phinsider thoughts
Denney should be re-signed. That’s a pretty easy statement to make, and one that is pretty accurate. He is a fan favorite, with a pretty well-known cult-following behind him. He has not lost a step as the rock of the special teams, and he is a key veteran on the roster. Bringing him back makes sense.
What should the Dolphins do with Denney? Vote below and feel free to discuss in the comments.