With the Green Bay Packers experiencing salary cap issues and contemplating what to do with their notable free agents, their 2020 All-Pro center Corey Linsley is expected to hit the free-agent market come March 17th.
It’s been reported that the Packers and Linsley have not been in any talks for an extension, and with the Packers already roughly $4 million over the cap, they have to decide who to let go and who to keep.
In effect, Linsley becomes an intriguing option for the Miami Dolphins at center during this free agency period.
That is partly because of the Dolphins’ current starting center, Ted Karras’s situation. He is a pending free agent, and according to Spotrac, Karras could command a new contract upwards of $10 million per season due to his market value.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) February 23, 2021
Linsley, however, is expected to have a market value of $9.7 million per season. Not much of a difference, but if Karras decides to test the free-agent waters to get a big long-term payday, then Linsley could become a nice short-term option for the Dolphins.
Originally a backup and spot-starter for the Patriots, Karras came to the Dolphins via free agency in 2020 after a strong year filling in at center for the injured David Andrews in 2019. However, the Dolphins’ strategy that particular free agency period was to sign players onto short-term “prove it” contracts. As a result, Karras was signed to a 1-year, $3 million contract.
Karras proved his worth, and the Dolphins would like him to return. But sometimes, a player needs to do what is best for him as an individual and for his family. As this coming free agency period would be Karras best chance in his career to make his money, Karras could be saying his goodbye’s to the Dolphins if they don’t offer him an enticing deal.
Linsley is 29, three years older than Karras, and will be turning 30 before the start of the 2021 regular season. The Dolphins shied away from players who were in their 30’s during 2020 free agency. However, due to Linsley’s relative durability (only missed 3 games in the past 4 seasons) and his quality of play (2020 All-Pro season. PFF overall grade of 89.9, compared to Karras’s 65.3), the Dolphins could very well make an exception.