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Shutdown Corner

Cameron Wake wants his money; stays home

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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Apologies if this sounds familiar, but the Miami Dolphins have an issue to deal with this offseason, and it's not going particularly well.

Cameron Wake, starting outside linebacker and nightmare to quarterbacks in the AFC East, opted to stay at home for the beginning of offseason workouts on Tuesday. He wants (and deserves) a contract extension, and the Dolphins, despite saying nice things about the situation, have yet to actually give him that contract.

In the grand scheme of things, it's just a voluntary offseason workout, so the actual absence is not that big of a deal. But if the Dolphins don't respond favorably, and Wake digs in his heels, it could end up being a big deal.

And a big deal is exactly what wake should have already. Over the last three seasons, he's produced 28 sacks while playing on a four-year contract with $2,318,000. This is the last year of that deal, and he's scheduled to make $565,000 in base salary.

How much should he be making? Here's some perspective from Jason La Canfora on NFL.com:

Wake has been effective as an edge rusher in both a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme. Similar pass rushers the past few years -- such as Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole and Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson -- have earned over $12 million per season, with Mario Williams recently setting the market with a Buffalo Bills contract that includes $50 million guaranteed and averages $16 million per season. Players with Wake's pedigree tend to do extremely well in free agency, though the Dolphins would hold the ability to apply the franchise tag in future years.

So if you believe that market value is fair, Wake should be making somewhere between 21 and 28 times his current salary this season. One could understand a bit of frustration on his part.

What's holding up the Dolphins, I couldn't tell you. It's certainly not an offseason of wildly successful ventures into free agency. They have the money, he deserves the money, they know he deserves the money, and there's probably a checkbook nearby. It seems like someone should take the next logical step.

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