The Miami Dolphins announced Saturday that they have signed Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake up to a two-year contract extension. The deal is reportedly worth $19 million, with $11 million guaranteed.
Wake, 35, came back from an Achilles injury last season to lead Miami with 11.5 sacks and help the club reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
This Pro Bowl was his fifth appearance and it was a big one for him personally after missing much of the 2015 season to a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.
“Just getting back here from where I came,” Wake said in December when his Pro Bowl selection was announced. “Obviously being injured and coming back and the year we had, it’s very rewarding and memorable. And to cap it off with a Pro Bowl doesn’t hurt, either. The season was a step in the right direction, and now I get to enjoy some time with the best players in the world. To me, that’s a good way to end the season.”
Wake was due $6.9 million in 2017 base salary before signing the new deal.
The Dolphins signed Wake before the 2009 season out of the Canadian Football League and in his time in the league he has been one of the best pass rushers. He has played 116 games for Miami, and recorded 81.5 sacks. Only Demarcus Ware has more in that time.
Wake, who celebrated his birthday in January, has a chance to join an elite group a pass rushers next season. According to ESPN Stats and Information, only 10 players in NFL history have recorded double-digit sacks beyond the age of 35. Five –Reggie White, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, Rickey Jackson (Pahokee High) and Bruce Smith – are in the Hall of Fame.
The signing of Wake was the latest move in a busy week for the Dolphins. Besides paving the way for the departure of veteran left tackle Branden Albert – a move that will save the franchise $7.2 million – they waived defensive end Mario Williams, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Other than Albert, those departures won’t hurt much. Williams was dead weight, Ekpre-Olomu never saw the field last year and Mitchell made five starts.
In total the moves created $20.1 million in salary cap space heading into free agency and the draft. The Williams move had been a forgone conclusion for months. Speculation grew that Albert, too, had played his last game as a Dolphin, and recently, Albert himself told associates he was bracing for such a move. Albert has begun training for next season and does not plan to retire.
The Dolphins also are expected to discuss contract extensions with top wide receiver Jarvis Landry and starting safety Reshad Jones. Both have one year left on their deals.