Despite reports stating the contrary for most of the offseason, the Miami Dolphins are doing an extremely good job at bringing back some of their bigger name free agents. Such moves will only serve to help the continuity of this team going forward, something that should allow Miami to once again contend for a playoff spot during the 2017 season.
Re-signing two key players already since the NFL’s tampering period opened up, Miami has inked wide receiver Kenny Stills to a four-year, $32 million contract — eight million per season — and defensive end Andre Branch to a three-year, $27 million contract — $9 million per season. The team is also working on signing Kiko Alonso to a long term deal this offseason.
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The return of Kenny Stills is probably the most shocking of these moves considering all the news in the lead up to free agency pointing towards a departure. Between news that he preferred the west coast to some rising salary demands, Kenny Stills looked to already have one foot out the door in Miami. His re-signing will allow the team to keep it’s talented trident of receivers together going forward.
Signing Andre Branch to a three-year deal is less surprising given the want from both sides to get a deal done. That said, Miami paid what they needed to in order to bring back one of the most talented under the radar defensive ends in the league today. Maintaining the talent along the defensive line, the unit looks ready to once again be the strength of this defense.
The final player the Miami Dolphins will be looking to sign to a long-term deal is restricted free agent Kiko Alonso. That said, I firmly expect a deal to get done sooner rather than later. Having a bounce back season with Miami last year, Alonso has roots in the Miami area. Given that is also a leader for this defense, it would make total sense for both sides to come to an agreement on a long term contract.
While these big name signings have dominated the news down in Miami, some lesser known but equally important deals have also been made. Returning to the team next season will be Mike Hull, Anthony Steen, and Michael Thomas. In short, the Miami Dolphins will have good continuity next season, something the team needs in order to compete for a playoff spot in 2017.