One reason the Dolphins are optimistic about their future is they pulled off last year’s breakout season with roster in which 77 percent of the players were 28 or younger.
But some of the more senior talent was crucial. Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, Branden Albert (expected to depart) and Matt Moore are all in their 30s, and Miami wouldn’t have made the playoffs without them. Wake figures to be around at least two more seasons after signing an extension through 2018 on Saturday, but who else from the current group will still be productive at that point?
The Dolphins currently have 32 players under contract for the 2018 season (that number will drop significantly as many of the players are on futures contracts), including Wake, Suh and Moore. Wake and Suh will turn 37 and 32 at the end of that season.
For the upcoming season, Miami is also counting on Ryan Tannehill (29), linebacker Spencer Paysinger (29), cornerback Byron Maxwell (29) and possibly right guard Jermon Bushrod (33). There’s also mainstay long snapper John Denney, who turns 39 at the end of this year.
There’s plenty of reason to believe Wake can still be a factor the next two seasons and possibly beyond. He put up 11.5 sacks last year (third-highest total of his career) despite being used in a limited role for five games. Many players have posted double-digit sack totals at 35 or older, including Bruce Smith (two), Reggie White (two), Kevin Greene (three), Chris Doleman (three) and Julius Peppers.
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