Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins’ offseason problems in free agency have been well documented, but now the Fins are facing a big problem with the team’s elite pass rusher, defensive end/outside linebacker Cameron Wake.
The former CFL star exploded into a sacking machine in the NFL is set to make roughly $650,000 and may not be happy with his pay. Wake was absent from the first day of voluntary workouts with the Fins on Tuesday, according to NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora.
Wake has been the key cog in the Dolphins’ defense over the last three years. He has pulled down 32 sacks in the past three seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 2010 with 16 sacks.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Wake had an aggregate of 90 sacks, quarterback hits, quarterback pressures, and holding penalties drawn of any player in the league. Julius Peppers of the Chicago Bears, was second and makes $14 million a season.
One of the richest contracts signed over the offseason was for defensive end/outside linebacker Mario Williams with the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo will pay Williams $16 million per season and guaranteed $50 million as part of the contract.
Wake will be playing a more hybrid position under new Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. The Dolphins had been playing a 3-4 alignment the past four years, but this year will incorporate more of a 4-3/3-4 hybrid defensive alignment.
Wake will line up as an outside linebacker during some points in the game and will also line up on the end of the line with his hand on the ground in other formations.
If Wake holds out for an extended period of the offseason, it could push the Dolphins to draft a pass rusher with the number eight overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. But, if quarterback Ryan Tannehill is available when the Dolphins are on the clock, he is likely to be the Fins’ pick.