It’s the 2021 offseason, and that means it’s time for speculation aplenty! Before the Miami Dolphins head brass sets its eyes on the 2021 NFL Draft, the front office must first navigate the tumultuous waters of NFL free agency, a time where superstars break the bank and journeymen veterans find new homes. For the Dolphins, this period of the team’s offseason requires general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores to make tough decisions about the team’s impending free agents. Today, we’re moving onto the fifth article of our annual “Retain, tag, or let walk?” series here at ThePhinsider.com: what should the Dolphins do with defensive tackle Davon Godchaux?
Age (at start of 2021 season): 26
Height/weight: 6’3”, 311 lbs
Expiring contract: Four-year, $2.601 million (UFA) - per Spotrac.com
Games played: 5 (5 starts)
Tackles for loss: 1
QB hits: 2
Godchaux was in line to be a full-time starter for the Dolphins going into a contract year, a situation that appeared to put the former 5th-round pick in prime position to have his best season to date. Unfortunately for the team and player alike, Godchaux’s 2020 campaign came to an abrupt end in Week 5 when the reliable defensive tackle tore his bicep during the team’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He was quickly replaced at the nose tackle position by rookie second-round pick Raekwon Davis who filled in admirably for his veteran counterpart.
Godchaux should be ready to return for 2021 training camp barring a setback in his recovery. As one of the better run-stuffers in the game, there’s no question that one of Chris Grier’s best value draft picks in recent years will see plenty of interest on the open market, though Godchaux’s inability to consistently put pressure up the middle on opposing quarterbacks (3 sacks, 11 QB hits in 32 games in 2018-2019) could see him earn less in free agency than he might expect.
With the emerging Davis and former first-round pick Christian Wilkins manning the interior, it’s unlikely Grier and the Dolphins are ready and willing to pony up top dollar for a player that will siphon snaps away from younger and equally (if not more) capable defenders. Godchaux will likely command a deal along the lines of Grover Stewart’s three-year, $30.75 million ( $10.25 million avg.) pact with the Indianapolis Colts or Eddie Goldman’s four-year, $42.04 million ($10.51 million avg.) contract with the Chicago Bears.
This is probably the toughest decision I see Miami’s front office facing with regards to retaining its own impending free agents this offseason. As rewarding as it must have been for Grier to see a late-round pick blossom into a full-time starter, the roughly $10 million per year it’d take to keep Godchaux around can be better spent elsewhere given Miami’s current options at the position and needs elsewhere on the roster.
Hier’s verdict: Let walk
Should the Dolphins retain DT Davon Godchaux this offseason?
This poll is closed
“Tag” is not an option in this poll because Davon Godchaux is not a candidate for the franchise tag.
This article was written by The Phinsider Staff Writer, Justin Hier. Follow Justin on Twitter @HierJustin.