Last season, the Miami Dolphins used their transition tag on tight end Charles Clay, but he signed with the Buffalo Bills when the Dolphins failed to match their offer. For the second straight offseason, the Dolphins will use their transition, this time on defensive end Olivier Vernon.
On Tuesday morning, the Dolphins placed their transition tag on Vernon. The transition tag is different than the franchise tag because any team can sign Vernon to an offer sheet, which the Dolphins will have five days to match the offer. If Vernon signs the Dolphins transition tag, he will be entitled to $12.734 million in fully guaranteed money in 2016.
Last season, Vernon led the Dolphins in sacks with 7.5 and quarterback hits with 36. 5.5 of those 7.5 sacks came after defense end Cameron Wake was lost for the season due to an Achilles injury. The former third-round pick and Miami native has not missed a game since entering the league in 2012. Vernon has a career total of 29 sacks in four seasons.
For defensive ends, the difference between the transition tag ($12.734 million) and franchise tag ($15.701 million) is almost $3 million dollars.
With the cap going up and teams obligated to spend at least 89 percent of their cap in 2016, there could be multiple teams that could give Vernon a huge contract. The Oakland Raiders, who are rumored to be major players this offseason, could be a team that could offer Vernon an offer sheet.
You can follow Antwan Staley on Twitter on @antwanstaley