One day before free agency officially began, Gase and the Dolphins appear on track, re-signing wide receiver Kenny Stills (four years, $32 million) and pass rusher Andre Branch.
Unwilling to lose an edge rusher for the second offseason in a row, the Dolphins elevated their offer to Branch on Wednesday, keeping him from the open market.
Branch received a three-year, $27 million contract, an average of $9 million per season and more than the team was willing to pay Olivier Vernon in free agency last March. Vernon signed a whopper of a deal ($70 million) with the New York Giants in 2016.
Gase, who last week cited his very close personal relationship with Stills as motivation for the two sides to strike a new accord, wanted to retain the speedy outside receiver to pair with Jarvis Landry and Devante Parker.
Stills will receive $20 million guaranteed and was drawing interest from the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. Stills was acquired in 2015 from the New Orleans Saints and averaged 17.3 yards per reception with nine touchdowns last season in Miami.
Branch had only 5.5 sacks but started the final 11 games for the Dolphins. He has 19.5 career sacks and spent his first four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Keeping Branch became a higher priority when the Dolphins released Mario Williams, one of their big-ticket signings in 2016.