Cameron Wake isn’t quite ready to call it a career, and he’s hoping to finish out his illustrious NFL campaign in the same place it all began, Miami.
One of the best to ever suit up in aqua and orange, Wake has managed to stay productive even at 36-years old, an age at which many football players have been retired for years. Going into the 2019 offseason, Wake’s contract is set to expire, meaning he’ll become an unrestricted free agent that is free to sign with any team. When asked about his football future on Friday, Wake insisted that he’s not ready to hang up his cleats just yet.
“I would like to think I’d probably be good to go for next year,” Wake replied, via Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post.
Wake continued by explaining that he hopes to play his entire NFL career with one organization, the Miami Dolphins. “I think that shows a mutual respect, from the player’s side to the organization, an organization’s side to the player to say, ‘Listen, we value you and we want to keep you in house,’ ” he said. “At the same time, they have a trust in the organization to say, ‘This is where I want to continue to fight and make a winning program more winning than it has been.’
From the perspective of the coaching staff, it appears the team would love to have Wake back as well. “If he wants to go another year, I don’t think anybody is going to be up in arms about it,” head coach Adam Gase said.
Wake joined the Dolphins in 2009 after playing several seasons in the CFL. Since then, he’s consistently been one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and has shown leadership and the ability to overcome adversity at every turn. He even worked his way back from a torn Achilles in 2015 that most thought would end his stellar career. Wake racked up 11.5 sacks the very next season.
Wake’s leadership and ability to take care of his body to the point where he’s able to play at a high level at age 37 is something Miami’s coaching staff greatly values. In fact, the team has so much trust in Wake that they practically let him dictate his own playing time.
“To be honest with you, to some extent Cam informs us of kind of where he’s at and if Cam wants to be on the field, he’s going to be on the field,” defensive coordinator Matt Burke explained. “We’re trying to keep him fresh and obviously I’m sure those 30 snaps (against Jacksonville), every single one of the third downs, he was on the field. We try to spot him at other places. That’s kind of our approach with all of our D-linemen.”
While averaging 37 snaps per game through 13 games played this season, Wake has currently managed 6.0 sacks, the second lowest total of any of his NFL seasons. That number has him at second on the team, just behind Robert Quinn’s 6.5 sacks. Despite the low total, Wake is rated as one of the league’s top edge defenders by Pro Football Focus because of the consistent pressure he puts on opposing quarterbacks, collapsing the pocket and forcing passers to make rushed throws.
Currently standing with 98 career sacks, Wake is just inches away from reaching a very special career milestone: joining the 100-sack club. The soft spoken defensive end has never been one to taut his stats, but Wake understands that reaching that number would be noteworthy given that Hall of Famers such as Bruce Smith, Kevin Greene, and Reggie White are a few names in the handful of defenders to have reached such a point.
“It’s something I definitely am looking forward to. To be mentioned with those names, that’s something special,” Wake remarked.
If Wake is unable to reach that benchmark in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, it appears there’ll be mutual desire for him to return to Miami and join the 100-sack club in 2019.