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What's next for Dolphins? Addressing contracts of Ndamukong Suh, Cam Wake

The Miami Dolphins finally made the decision to give the transition tag to starting defensive end and sacks leader Olivier Vernon on Tuesday. It was the first of several dominoes that had to fall as the team prepares for free agency.

Here are three things that should be next on Miami’s docket:

No. 1: Restructure Ndamukong Suh’s contract

Currently the Dolphins are about $3 million over the salary cap after giving Vernon the transition tag worth $12.7 million, according to NFLPA records. But the team has an expected ace in the hole with the large contract of Suh, who signed a $114 million deal last year. The Dolphins can convert most of Suh’s whopping $23.4 million salary in 2016 into a bonus. That would give Suh his money up front in one lump sum, which he wouldn’t be against, and provide the team approximately $15 million in cap relief. This move alone will get the Dolphins well under the cap by the March 9 deadline and allow the team to make a couple signings in free agency.

No. 2: More roster cuts

The Dolphins made a few cuts last month to help their cap situation, but a few more moves could be coming within the next week. Veterans such as receiver Greg Jennings ($4 million) and tight end Jordan Cameron ($7.5 million) are two examples of high-salary players who are in danger of being released. This would create more cap space to fill holes in free agency.

No. 3: Restructure Cameron Wake's contract

The Dolphins need to come to a resolution soon with former Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake. He is 34, coming off a season-ending Achilles injury and has an $8.4 million salary. The team wants that number lower. The Miami Herald reported this week that talks aren’t going smoothly with Wake, who has been a leader and top player for years. The Dolphins must figure out the fine line of how to reduce his pay without being insulting to one of their best players of the past decade.