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As if things could get any worse for the Miami Dolphins, their best defensive player has decided to skip the team's voluntary offseason workouts, potentially setting up a pricey contract holdout.
Cameron Wake was absent from Dolphins camp Tuesday when the team's offseason workout program started. ESPN.com reported that he is seeking a contract extension, and will not report to any team activity until such a deal is in place.
NFL.com asked Wake's agent, Paul Sheehy, for comment, but Sheehy declined to say anything about the situation.
Wake has one year and $650,00 left on his contract. He has spent the last three seasons with the Dolphins after beginning his pro career in the Canadian Football League. Starting all 16 games in 2010, he established himself as one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL, logging 14 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and a Pro Bowl selection.
His production dropped off in 2011 as opposing offenses adjusted their preparation and blocking schemes for him. Wake notched 8.5 sacks, and his tackles fell from 57 in 2010 to 42 in 2011.
However, according to Pro Football Focus (via NFL.com), Wake had the highest accumulation of sacks, QB hits, QB pressures and holding penalties drawn in 2011 with 90.
To put that in perspective, the next best performance using that metric came from Chicago's Julius Peppers, who had 74. He is the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, making $14 million a year.
Wake won the Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award with the CFL's BC Lions in 2007 and 2008, recording 39 sacks during those two seasons. Wake was also named CFL Rookie of the Year in 2007. He was undrafted as a college senior in 2005.
The Dolphins have not hit many home runs in personnel development during general manager Jeff Ireland's tenure with the team, and Wake surely represents his biggest success thus far. Having proved his value to the Miami defense, Wake will surely earn a hefty pay raise from someone in the next year.
It is now up to the Dolphins whether they will be the team to give him that raise.