The “Re-sign, Tag, Walk” series of posts here on The Phinsider concludes this afternoon with a look at one of the biggest names on the list for the Miami Dolphins. This series has taken a look at all of the soon-to-be free agents for the Dolphins in 2017, allowing you as fans an opportunity to share your thoughts on what the team should do with each player.
As we have now hit the “legal tampering” period, it is time to finish off the series and take a look at the final free agent on the list.
This series breaks down each of the players scheduled to see their contracts end this week, giving you as a fan the opportunity to decide whether the team should bring back the player, tag him in order to make sure no one else signs him, or allow him to leave for a new club.
And, yes, I know the deadline to franchise tag a player passed while I was not around, but I am leaving it as an option to see what you would have done as the Dolphins’ GM.
Anyone who is not under contract for the 2017 season by 4pm ET Thursday will be able to begin signing with new teams - barring any restricted free agent tenders that have been placed on players with less than four years of service time in the league. The deadline to re-sign your own players is rapidly approaching if a team does not want them to hit the open market.
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.
Time to take a look at wide receiver Kenny Stills.
Stills was a fifth-round draft choice by the New Orleans Saints in 2013, coming out of Oklahoma. He spent two years with New Orleans, catching 95 passes for 1,572 yards (16.5 yards per reception) with eight touchdowns. In March 2015, the Dolphins traded for Stills in a deal that also sent linebacker Dannell Ellerbe from Miami to the Saints. His first year with Miami, Stills played in all 16 games, with eight starts, and recorded 27 receptions for 440 yards with three touchdowns.
The 2016 season saw Stills’ role expand, starting all 16 games for the Dolphins and cementing himself as the team’s deep threat. He caught 42 passes for 726 yards (17.3 yards per reception) with nine touchdowns.
Butler’s expiring contract is a two-year, $2.4 million contract (via overthecap.com). His salary cap number for 2016 was $1.67 million.
The linebacker value for a franchise tag is around $15.5 million.
The Phinsider thoughts
The Dolphins should re-sign Stills, but not for the numbers that seem to be floating around him this offseason. If Stills can get the $12-15 million per season that people seem to think he can get - essentially making him a franchise tagged player - it is great for him, but not something the Dolphins will be able to match. Stills and quarterback Ryan Tannehill are on the same page when it comes to the deep ball, but in a year that will also need to see Jarvis Landry and Reshad Jones re-signed, Stills cannot be given those type of numbers. If the team and Stills can reach a reasonable deal, he should absolutely be brought back this offseason.
What should the Dolphins do with Stills? Vote below and feel free to discuss in the comments.