A look at Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake ahead of free agency.
The Super Bowl is just four days away, and right now the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams are preparing for the biggest game on the NFL calendar. Meanwhile, your Miami Dolphins continue to prepare for the 2019 league year, with free agency being the most important event on the horizon outside of the NFL draft. The first step in free agency preparation is determining what each club is going to do with their own soon-to-be free agents.
In our annual “Retain, Tag, or Walk” series of articles, we here at The Phinsider are giving you a closer look at the Miami Dolphins players with expiring contracts and providing a chance to vote on what you would do with that player. Today, we take a look at the legendary Cameron Wake.
Experience: Entering 11th season
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 263lbs
College: Penn St.
Expiring Contract: 2-year, $16,125,000
Last season, Wake recorded his lowest sack total since his rookie season, but his 6.0 sacks placed second behind only Robert Quinn’s 6.5. No other player on the roster recorded more than three quarterback takedowns. With that in mind, it’s easy to see that Matt Burke’s defensive scheme, as well as the fact that Miami’s defense was forced to stay on the field for so long with the offense failing to sustain drives, were both certainly part of the reason for the ageless Wake’s low sack total.
In fact, anyone who watched Miami Dolphins games last season could see that Wake has barely lost a step despite his advanced age. He was routinely pressuring opposing quarterbacks and flushing them out of the pocket. Wake was also Miami’s best run-stopping defensive end once William Hayes was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Wake just turned 37, but there’s no doubt he can still be a force on defense. With the Dolphins needing help at defensive end, there will absolutely be mutual interest between Miami’s front office and Wake’s representatives. The sticking point will be money. With that said, it’s hard to see Wake in another uniform next season, even if it’s not impossible.
The Dolphins are in rebuild mode. That means the team will bring in as much young and cheap talent as possible. Wake fits neither of those descriptors, but his is a special case. Wake is one of the most well-respected and widely loved players in franchise history. When one person has dedicated their entire career to a single franchise, especially one that’s often been uncompetitive, he deserves a level of respect from the front office. Given Miami’s need for help at pass rusher, I expect the front office to offer Wake a contract that both pays him what he deserves, yet is representative of both his age and production.
My vote: Retain