Kenny Stills Re-Signs with Dolphins on 4-Year Contract

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:   Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first half of a game against the San Diego Chargers  at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After a successful 2016 season with the Miami Dolphins, wide receiver Kenny Stills is returning to the team with a new contract, the Dolphins announced

NFL insider Rand Getlin first reported Stills was headed back to South Beach on Wednesday. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed the news and reported on the financial terms:

Stills had arguably his best season last year with the Dolphins, helping the franchise reach the postseason for the first time since 2008. He was a home run with 17.3 yards per reception, which ranked third in the NFL, and nine touchdowns on 42 receptions. 

It also marked Stills' first season as a full-time starter since coming to the NFL. He was largely unheralded coming out of Oklahoma in 2013, lasting until the fifth round in the draft before the New Orleans Saints finally scooped him up. 

After two successful years in New Orleans, including a league-leading 20 yards per reception as a rookie, he was traded to the Dolphins. Switching quarterbacks from Drew Brees to Ryan Tannehill didn't cause a decrease in his performance. 

Per Ryan Smith of Pro Football Focus, Stills finished 2016 tied with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for most receiving touchdowns on passes that traveled at least 20 yards in the air (eight). 

Stills isn't a great all-around wide receiver. He's the definition of an all-or-nothing playmaker who has only had more than 42 catches in a season once with a catch percentage of 47.9 since joining the Dolphins. 

The Dolphins have found a terrific offensive nucleus to build around, with Stills proving to be a key piece of the puzzle last year. They also have Jarvis Landry as Tannehill's No. 1 option and DeVante Parker still developing after being a first-round pick in 2015. 

Running back Jay Ajayi also had a breakout season with 1,272 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The Dolphins aren't far away from being a top-tier contender in the AFC, which was why general manager Chris Grier made a point of noting the team wanted to re-sign Stills in January. 

"It's important for us to bring him back," he told Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. "We'd like to have him back. It's his right to test the market and see what he can get, but we'd like to have him back."

Stills is just 24 years old, so there's a chance his game will evolve. He doesn't have to turn into an All-Pro to bring great value to his home for the foreseeable future. 

Every NFL team wants to have a big-play threat on the outside. Stills has been one of the NFL's best in that category for as long as he's been in the league and will continue to show that off in Miami's offense.