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Retain, Tag, or Let Walk? - Vince Biegel

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It’s free agency season! Who stays and who goes?

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

It’s free agency season, and we’re brining back one of your favorite Phinsider offseason series!

It’s finally here. Miami Dolphins fans and media personalities alike have been chomping at the bit for the months as we’ve anxiously waited for when Chris Grier and Brian Flores would finally get to use their $100+ million in cap space and plethora of draft picks. With 2019 in the rearview, those moments are finally on the horizon.

Until NFL free agency opens on March 18th, myself and the esteemed Phinsider staff will be reviewing impending free agents on the Dolphins roster and will evaluate whether or not the team should retain them, tag them, or let them walk. When front offices decide how to handle their list of free agents, they take a variety of factors into account, including age, production, and value, so we will be doing the same. Today, we begin with 2019 standout Vince Biegel.

Do you have a suggestion for our next “Retain, Tag, or Let Walk?” Let me know on Twitter @HierJustin!

Fact Check

Position: LB

Age: 26

Experience: 3rd season

Height/Weight: 6’3”, 246 lbs

College: Wisconsin

Expiring Contract: 1-year, $645,000 (RFA)

2019 Review

2019 served as a breakout season for Biegel. After being selected by the in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, the former Wisconsin Badger spent just one year playing for his hometown team before moving to the New Orleans Saints, where he mostly sat on the bench for Sean Payton’s squad. Then, opportunity came knocking. With the Dolphins looking to shed veteran contracts and give unproven and younger players a shot at real playing time, Miami shipped Kiko Alonso to New Orleans in exchange for Biegel.

Now with the Dolphins, Biegel excelled. The 26-year old pass rusher played in 15 games, starting 10. He racked up 57 tackles, 13 QB hits, 2.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, one interception, and one pass defense. Though his production varied throughout the season, Biegel provided regular pressure against opposing quarterbacks and was one of Miami’s most dangerous defenders off the edge.

2020 Outlook

With room to grow in Brian Flores’ defense and Biegel just entering his prime, there’s little doubt Chris Grier would look for a way to keep the young quarterback hunter on the roster this offseason. Biegel played 80% or more of the team’s defensive snaps just once this year, though his snap count never dropped below 50% in a single game. Biegel was used as more than a situational pass rusher, but he certainly didn’t have an every-down role with the defense.

In 2020, the Dolphins roster is set to change immensely, meaning there’s no telling what the starting defense will look like come August. That said, it’s likely linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker continue to have an important presence on game-day, meaning Biegel will likely fill a similar role to that of last season if he were to remain in aqua and orange.

Contract Considerations

Given his status as a restricted free agent, the Dolphins will have the option of retaining Biegel at a relatively low cost for one more year if the team chooses not to extend him long-term. For reference, in 2018, restricted free agent tenders were as follows:

First-round tender: $4.149 million

Second-round tender: $2.914 million

Original-round tender: $1.907 million

Since Biegel was drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dolphins will have the option the place any of the above tenders on his free agency status. If the team places a tender, another team will have the option to sign Biegel to an offer sheet, after which the Dolphins will have the choice of matching said offer or of letting Biegel go in exchange for a draft pick at the level of the tender given.

For example, if Miami gives Biegel the original-round tender (he was drafted in the fourth round), the team will owe him about $1.9 million for the 2020 season. If another team signs Biegel to an offer sheet, the Dolphins will have the option of matching whatever contract that team offered, or Miami could let Biegel go in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.

Verdict

Since Grier has plenty of options through which to keep Biegel on the team for a cheap price, I think it would be prudent to retain a pass rusher who’s shown such promise. I also wouldn’t be opposed to signing Biegel to an extension given that his current resume would probably result in the deal being relatively cheap compared to the sky-high market for top tier edge rushers. Placing the franchise tag on Biegel is simply out of the question at this time given that he’s not one of the top players in the league.

My vote: Retain

Poll

Should the Dolphins retain Vince Biegel, or let him walk?

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    Retain
    (1800 votes)
  • 2%
    Let walk
    (43 votes)
1843 votes total Vote Now