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Mario Williams could sign with Dolphins, will that let Olivier Vernon walk?

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The Dolphins could be closing in on Mario Williams, which means another defensive end could be free to walk.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The news on Monday was that there were potentially at least three teams in play for the services of recently released veteran defensive end Mario Williams; the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. Williams made an official visit with the Dolphins and was reportedly headed to the Giants for a visit, but recently a new report has surfaced that the Dolphins and Williams could be close to striking a deal in free agency.

Williams was expected to visit with the New York Giants on Tuesday, but that meeting was cancelled. The Jacksonville Jaguars are also expected to be interested in Williams, but the Dolphins appear to be the favorite to land the 2006 first overall draft pick.

The big news would be, if the Dolphins do end up signing Williams, it could make way for Olivier Vernon to hit the open market. Be it that the Dolphins rescind the transition tag or they just instantly decline the ability to match any contract offer sheet Vernon happens to get. It was likely the Jaguars would be aggressive in trying to price Vernon out of the Dolphins hands anyway, but it appears that the Dolphins are starting to make moves knowing they won't be able to keep the 25-year-old pass rusher.

Then again, signing Williams could also potentially give the Dolphins the security to be able to release 34-year-old pass rusher Cameron Wake, who only played seven games in 2015 and would free up nearly what Williams' asking price is in cap room.