Factors Working Against Stills Return
Kenny Stills has two factors working against his return to the Dolphins in 2017.
Kenny Stills had a rough beginning of the season in 2016. But, after that, Stills quickly turned it around and became a big play threat and clutch performer. His contributions turned games around, and he was a major contributor in the Miami Dolphins making the playoffs.
Unfortunately, there are factors working against his return.
Price in relation to talent, combined with need at a position, is the rough formula on whether a player is retained or moves on.
Miami loves Stills talented and a leadership. They don’t want him to walk.
But, due to the high talent level at the position with Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Leonte Carroo, who was acquired with multiple draft picks, the price they are willing to pay for his services has a ceiling of only moderate height.
The first issue that will drive up his price, and possibly out of Miami’s range, is the strong interest of the Philadelphia Eagles in 24 year-old Stills, as reported by NJ Advance Media.
Also, let’s be realistic. As we creep closer to March, there will be more teams interested. In 4 seasons, Stills has accumulated 20 touchdowns and a whooping 16.7 yards per catch. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s take ’em home to mom material.
Stills plays a position that commands big bucks
The desire of Stills to test the waters of Free Agency was hinted at by general manager Chris Grier. Miami Herald reported, “We’d like to have him back. It’s his right to test the market and see what he can get, but we’d like to have him back.”
While the Eagles have limited cap space with 7 million, they have several high-priced players they can cut to make plenty of room.
Also, as stated earlier, other teams will be interested in a young, play-making wide-out, even if the Eagles aren’t.
A bidding war will happen scenario, no doubt.
This first problem of competition for Stills services, when combined with the second factor, will likely have #10 wearing another jersey, unless he is willing to forgo a lot of money — a lot!
According to ESPN, “Salary cap expert and former agent Joel Corry believes Stills will try to vault past the deal the Rams gave to Tavon Austin ($10.5 million average, $28.5 million in guarantees) last summer.”
“That’s a benchmark for any receiver that’s not a number one receiver that’s a free-agent now,” Corry said. “That’s one of those deals that I expect teams to try to say, ‘That’s an anomaly in the marketplace and we don’t count that deal.’ I’m expecting teams to try and dismiss it, but agents are definitely going to try and use it.”
Young, deep threat Receivers are a rare commodity in Free Agency
This is what will happen:
Stills will hit the Free Agency, even if for some rare, magnanimous reason he intends to take less to wear aqua.
Once he does hit that market, a couple of teams, flush with cash and huge expectations for 2017, will raise the bar to some ridiculous level similar to what happened last year with Vernon and Miller.
And when that road paved with gold stretches out before him, Stills will take the deal, and Carroo will be responsible to fill the void.
I hope otherwise.
I really, really do.
But, Miami can’t extend Landry and make a huge pay-out to Stills — especially with Parker and Carroo on the roster.
Early in the season there was the thought that Stills would command a contract similar to what Rishard Matthews received with the Titans.
That was a pipe dream.
Maybe the move to get Carroo had a farther reaching rationale than most thought? Maybe Mike Tannenbaum is a little brighter than given credit? We’ll see very soon, either way. I don’t begrudge the kid from getting the most of his hard work, but hopefully a miracle happen. Go Fins!!!