Dolphins in talks to extend Cameron Wake's contract

The Miami Dolphins are trying to make moves to free up salary-cap space.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday the Dolphins are in talks to extend defensive end Cameron Wake's contract before the new league year, according to two sources informed of the situation.

The 34 year old -- coming off an Achilles injury -- is set to count $9.8 million against the cap in the final year of his contract. Per Rapoport, the Dolphins have made it clear they want Wake as part of their team, as a face of their defense and one of the faces of the franchise. They've talked about a new deal, and the two sides will dig in at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next week. The hope is to get a deal before the league year begins March 9.

Lowering Wake's cap number would help enable Miami to possibly franchise tag defensive end Olivier Vernon -- the deadline to tag a player is March 1. The Dolphins' focus in recent weeks has been on clearing enough cap space to lock down Vernon, one of the top defensive players set to hit the open market. Restructuring Ndamukong Suh's mega-deal is another possibility that has been reported.

Miami is currently slated to have under $9 million in cap space, per The estimated franchise tag for defensive ends is $15.4 million.

Extending Wake and franchise tagging Vernon would enable Miami to keep its star-studded defensive line in tact for 2016.

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