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Retain, Tag, or Walk? - Sylvester Williams

A look at Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Sylvester Williams ahead of free agency.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018-2019 NFL season is officially in the rearview mirror. The Miami Dolphins officially have a new head coach. It is officially the offseason. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made over the next few months by new head honcho Brian Flores and the recently promoted Chris Grier. Among those decisions includes the question: what should the team do with its own soon-to-be free agents?

Our beloved Managing Editor Kevin Nogle and I have been working our way through the list of pending free agents for Miami, taking a closer look at each player and giving you the chance to vote on whether the Dolphins should retain the player, tag them, or let them walk. So far, we have yet to find a player who should be franchise tagged, and today’s addition to the list will be no different. Today, we bring you defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.

Fact Check

Position: DT

Age: 30

Experience: Entering 7th season

Height/Weight: 6’2”, 328 lbs

College: North Carolina

Expiring Contract: 1-year, $790,000 ($418,235 base salary)

2018 Review

Williams started out the 2018 season as a member of the Detroit Lions, where he played in six games and started four. Over that span, he accumulated six total tackles. After being released midway through the season, Williams joined the Dolphins to help fill the void of injured youngster Vincent Taylor. Over the course of eight games, Williams recorded eight total tackles while rotating with Davon Godchaux and Akeem Spence in the trenches.

2019 Outlook

After four productive seasons as a key member of a fearsome defense on the Denver Broncos and a solid year with the Tennessee Titans, Williams was much more of a role player this past year than a reliable starter. One could argue that his track record is reason enough for a team to pay him as a valuable veteran that can plug a whole on the d-line, but players entering their age 30 campaign usually don’t get better out of nowhere.

I have little doubt Williams will find a home somewhere, but given his short history in Miami, his lack of production, the team’s change in coaching staff, and the front office’s desire to give younger players a change to develop, his chances of staying with the Dolphins are slim.


With the presence of rising studs in Godchaux and Taylor, with Spence still under contract, and given the fact that the Dolphins are very likely to bring in some d-line help through the draft, I don’t see a spot for Williams on the roster.

My vote: Let walk


Should the Dolphins retain Sylvester Williams or allow him to walk in free agency?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    (74 votes)
  • 87%
    Let walk
    (530 votes)
604 votes total Vote Now

I did not include the tag option for Williams, because there is no realistic reason to use a franchise tag on him.