Free agency is still three weeks off, and Lamar Miller apparently can’t wait.
Miller, the Dolphins’ starting running back the last three years, is about to get paid.
“I’m tryna make next year the greatest story ever told. #Dreambig,” Miller wrote Monday on Twitter.
The Dolphins want that story to be written in Miami.
At the Senior Bowl last month, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said this about Miller and teammate Olivier Vernon, who is also set to become a free agent on March 9:
“We drafted them. We know them. We’d love to have them back. But the discussion is once the coaching staff evaluates and see how they fit, but they’re certainly players that we have great affection for and have done a great job for us, so we’ll see what happens.”
But behind the scenes, the Dolphins are more bullish on Miller, the Miami Herald has learned. One source tells the Herald that the organization “definitely” wants Miller back in 2016.
The sticking point: How much are the Dolphins willing to spend?
Industry insiders estimate Miller, who averaged 893 yards, six touchdowns and 4.6 yards per attempt from 2013-2015, will command a contract that pays roughly $5 million a year. That would put him at the top of the second tier of NFL running backs, which seems reasonable, considering he has a clean medical history and is one of the league’s most efficient runners.
The Dolphins should have the salary cap space to make it happen; they shed $10 million in liabilities last week by cutting defensive end Quinton Coples and cornerback Brice McCain, just the beginning of an expected purge that should clear some $40 million.
Most rushing yards in NFL past two seasons