NFL teams face a lot of decisions during the off-season, and many of them involve player recruitment. The Miami Dolphins are a good example, and they have a question to answer with free agency approaching in a few weeks. Should the Dolphins bid significant money to tempt an elite veteran at a position that can be addressed in the draft at minimal cost?
If the cap is to be $180 million (it could rise to as high as $185 million), that leaves the Dolphins with only $26 million in cap space. It is possible Miami could create an extra $21.3 million in cap space, but that would involve restructuring the contracts of Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, and Ereck Flowers. So, there is plenty for the Dolphins to consider, and it does not end there.
It would be possible to create a further $15 million in cap space by releasing several players. Some of those who could be on their way out of the Hard Rock Stadium include safeties Bobby McCain and Clayton Fejedelem, plus receivers Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns.
If each of the moves highlighted above were completed, it would leave the Dolphins with $62.3 million in space. Doing this would allow the Dolphins to bid for both a high-end receiver and running back, including Green Bay Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones. However, Jones has several teams he is willing to consider, with the New York Jets one of the other leading contenders for his signature ahead of the new NFL season.
In fact, Indianapolis-based reporter Evan Massey has reported Jones “is expected to receive heavy interest from the Dolphins, 49ers, Steelers, and Bears. Plenty of other teams will have an interest, but those four are teams to keep a close eye on. Green Bay would like to re-sign him as well.” The Jets have since been added to the list of teams by Massey.
Why are so many teams, including Miami Dolphins, interested in adding Jones to their roster?
Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season and has a career average of 5.2 yards per carry. His average last season was the fifth-best in the league and the best among backs with at least 200 carries. Also, he ranked fourth for running yards last year, totaling 1,104 yards, and has recorded 25 rushing touchdowns during the past two seasons. So if you think Jones is a sure bet, view the list here of sportsbooks that back him.
It is worth remembering that Jones is only 26 years of age, and during his four-year career, he has caught 131 passes for 1,057 yards, at an average of 8.1 plus made six touchdowns.
With figures like that, unsurprising Jones will come at a high cost, with figures of a $46 million contract, with $25 million guaranteed for a four-year deal. According to PFF, “Jones was the 10th-most valuable running back of the 2020 season, generating 0.13 WAR. That made him just the ninth-most valuable player in Green Bay’s offense.
“Miami is just one of a few teams that will have the cap space and be willing to sign Jones to a deal of this magnitude. They fielded one of the least efficient rushing attacks of the 2020 season.”