Fins sign Williams, remove Vernon's tag

Posted at 10:52 AM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 10:52:11-05

MIAMI (AP) -- Defensive end Olivier Vernon's transition tag has been removed by the Miami Dolphins, allowing him to become a free agent hours after the team signed Mario Williams as a replacement.

The transition tag was for $12.734 million, but the Dolphins withdrew the offer Wednesday, making it likely Vernon will depart after four seasons in Miami. He's expected to land one of the most lucrative deals in free agency this offseason.

Williams, a four-time Pro Bowl end, signed a $17 million, two-year contract a week after being released by the Buffalo Bills.

Last year, Vernon led the Dolphins with 7 1/2 sacks and 36 quarterback hits. His departure makes it more likely Miami will retain defensive end Cameron Wake, who is 34 and recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.