One of the most interesting ventures into free agency this year will be that of Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. He was one of the most impressive pass rushers in the league prior to injuring his right hand in a firework accident in 2015 and still thinks he can play at that level.
The Dolphins, potentially in the market for a defensive line addition, could give him a look.
Pierre-Paul, 28, is coming off a two-year stretch in which he totaled eight sacks in 20 games. He was out after blowing a finger off of his right hand in 2015 and with a sports hernia last season. Nonetheless, according to an SNY report, he is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of $85 million for five years.
Arizona’s Calais Campbell had the highest salary cap number of any defensive end in the league last year at $15.3 million. Pierre-Paul played on a one-year, $10.5 million deal for the Giants this season, and Spotrac projects his market value at $73.4 over five in the upcoming free agent period.
Miami has Cameron Wake locked in as one defensive end, and there’s little reason to doubt him after 11.5 sacks and a Pro Bowl start this season. There’s a decision to make at the other end spot, though, with Andre Branch set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Branch began the season coming off the bench before starting the final 11 games. He was second on the team in sacks with 5.5.
Branch played for $2.7 million this season and is expected to get a significant raise in his new deal. He said at the end of the season he wanted to return to Miami, though that will certainly hinge on the offer. Spotrac estimates his value at $36.6 over five years.
Defensive line is already Miami’s biggest expense at $38.9 million, which was 25.4 percent of its salary cap. Ndamukong Suh is playing on one of the richest deals in league history, and Wake has two years, $14.9 million remaining.
Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.