DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron had a tough decision to make this offseason. The Dolphins wanted Cameron to take a $1.5 million pay cut from his projected $7.5 million salary in 2016 or risk being released.
Cameron did his research to help decide if staying in Miami for less or examining other options was best for his NFL future. One of the first calls came from a good friend in Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas, who played under new Dolphins head coach Adam Gase with the Denver Broncos.
“He called me immediately and said you have to play for this guy,” Cameron said of Thomas. “It was one of those ... it was kind of like a no-brainer. I’ve had a lot of conversations about him and what he can do. It was kind of the things I heard about Coach Gase (that helped make my decision), and I think I made the right decision.”
Thomas' words were helpful in convincing Cameron to accept a pay cut to stay with the Dolphins. Gase, who has been an offensive coordinator for the Broncos and Chicago Bears, is well-known for having success with tight ends. Last season, Bears tight end Martellus Bennett recorded 53 receptions under Gase. Thomas caught 24 touchdown passes in two seasons (2013-14) with Gase as the offensive coordinator in Denver.
Cameron is hoping to have similar production with the Dolphins. The former Pro Bowl tight end with the Cleveland Browns didn’t have much of an impact in his first season in Miami, with 35 receptions for 386 yards and three touchdowns in 2015.
“It’s one of those things, it doesn’t feel good, but at the same time I didn’t do much to deserve [the higher salary],” Jordan said of his pay cut. “Last year, if you want to talk about last year, here’s what I’ll say about it: I didn’t do much to deserve a raise. I’ll tell you that much. For me, this year, having a year with Adam Gase and knowing what he’s done with tight ends, I’m looking forward to it.”
It's important for Cameron to improve his chemistry with fifth-year Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The two were not always on the same page last season, which led to Cameron’s low production and made it easy for Tannehill to look to other targets such as receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker.
“I mean, if his timing’s on and mine is off, it looks bad on him but it’s my fault,” Cameron said. “It’s one of those things we both have to be on the same page, and it’s just all about going full speed.”
Cameron, if used properly, could be a dynamic threat to add to Miami's deep group of skill players.