MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the annual NFL Scouting Combine begins, the Miami Dolphins are preparing to try and build off of their first playoff season since 2008.
One Dolphins player who is coming off a very successful year is wide receiver Kenny Stills.
Last season under Miami’s new head coach Adam Gase, Stills broke out for a team-leading 10 touchdowns while emerging as quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s favorite deep threat.
The timing is great for Stills, who will become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins on March 9th.
Top-end wide receiver talent is said to be worth north of $10 million per season, with some reports saying that number could be as high as $12 million.
News broke on Monday that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was getting a contract that averages $17 million per season, making him the highest paid wideout in the NFL.
For comparison, A.J. Green makes $15 million per year, Julio Jones gets $14.25 and Demariyus Thomas and Dez Bryant each earn $14 million a season.
Still has certainly earned his right to seek the largest contract he can garner, but if that’s what he is looking for then it’s not likely it will come from Miami.
The Dolphins have some glaring needs on their roster that need immediate attention, and wide receiver is not one of them.
Miami’s defense needs help at cornerback, linebacker and defensive tackle, all of which are more alarming needs than anything on the offense.
That being the case, the Dolphins won’t be the team offering Stills top dollar.
One team that has been mentioned in the same breath as Stills for a little while now is the Philadelphia Eagles.
Teams can’t officially begin talking to players about potential deals until March 7th but reports about the Eagles interest in Stills has been around for week, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
Miami has already made a move this offseason to improve their offense, trading for former Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas. The move can’t officially be announced until the new league year begins though.
Stills is part of a pending free agent group that includes tight end Dion Sims and defensive end Andre Branch.
The Dolphins would like to retain both Sims and Branch, and likely could do so without breaking the bank.
A lot can and will happen in the next two weeks, so consider all these situations fluid.
2017 DOLPHINS DRAFT PICKS
The NFL officially released the 2017 Draft order on Monday after the league’s 32 compensatory picks were awarded.
The Dolphins nabbed three of the 32 selections, including the highest awarded pick; the 33rd selection of the third round.
Here are Miami’s current picks for the 2017 NFL Draft, but keep in mind that their seventh round pick, the 240th overall, is the one they are sending to Jacksonville in the trade for Julius Thomas.
1st Round – 22nd – 22nd overall
2nd Round – 22nd – 54th overall
3rd Round – 33rd – 97th overall
5th Round – 22nd – 166th overall
5th Round – 34th – 178th overall
5th Round – 40th – 184th overall
6th Round – 22nd – 206th overall
7th Round – 22nd – 240th overall