This is a sneaky important week for Chris Grier and the Miami Dolphins.
After Tuesday, they can sign any free agent they want without affecting their 2020 compensatory picks.
But they don’t need to wait that long to sign Nick Perry, the edge-rushing linebacker who spent his first seven years in the league with the Packers.
Since the Packers cut Perry in March, the Dolphins could sign him at any time with no penalty.
And there seems to be a real chance they do just that.
They have made overtures to the former first-round pick about coming to Miami and shoring up what on paper is a lackluster pass rush, the Miami Herald has learned.
It is unclear how serious those talks are, or if a signing is imminent.
But aside from Ziggy Ansah — who is still recovering from shoulder surgery — Perry is the best of the remaining bunch.
The Packers cut Perry just two seasons into a five-year, $60 million contract that included an $18.5 million signing bonus. He recorded seven sacks in Year 1 of the new deal, but a knee injury wrecked Year 2. He finished the shortened season with just 24 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
“We want to thank Nick for his contributions to the Green Bay Packers and the community over the last seven seasons,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said at the time of Perry’s release. “He did a tremendous job on the field, was a great teammate and a true professional. We wish Nick, his wife, Audrianna, and their family all the best.”
But CBSSports.com reported in March that Perry is “fully healthy for the first time in a while,” and given the late date in the NFL calendar, probably would not bust Miami’s intentionally tight budget to sign.
Connecting the dots: Perry’s position coach in Green Bay last year was Patrick Graham, who is now the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator.
The Dolphins surely need him. They lost Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn from a defense that recorded the league’s fourth-fewest sacks a year ago (31). And while they hope first-round pick Christian Wilkins can create pressure up the middle, the Dolphins need someone who can generate pressure off the edge.
Perhaps Charles Harris makes a quantum leap forward in Year 3. But signing Perry would be a hedge against that unlikely bet.
How are the Dolphins addressing their other big need — right tackle? Jared Veldheer is probably the best available option, but a source tells the Herald that Miami is not in the running for his services.
Keep an eye on Jordan Mills, however. After starting every game for the Bills the past three years, Buffalo let him walk as an unrestricted free agent. He would count against the Dolphins’ compensatory pick formula if he signs before Tuesday, but don’t be surprised if they ramp up interest after that deadline passes.
▪ The Dolphins are bringing in Western Illinois quarterback Sean McGuire for this weekend’s rookie minicamp, according to a source. McGuire threw for 2,894 yards last season, with 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and completed 59.9 percent of his passes.
Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.