The NFL offseason is here for the Miami Dolphins, which means it’s time to start planning for 2022. Before we reach the frenzy of free agency and the ceaseless stream of NFL Draft pick predictions, we need to take a look at the Dolphins’ own players with expiring contracts. We’re walking through all of the analysis for each Dolphins player set to hit the open market. Will Miami re-sign the player, place the franchise tag, or let him walk in free agency?
As we work our way through Miami’s free agents, we will consider where each player is in his career, what he did in 2021, what could be expected of him in 2022, and where the Dolphins stand at his position. From there, we provide our thoughts on what Miami should do with each player heading into free agency and give you a chance to vote on what you think the team should do. For our next entry, we take a look at edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah.
Position: Edge rusher
Age (at start of 2022 season): 28
College: Oklahoma State
Experience: Six years
Expiring Contract: Two-years, $15 million
Over his two seasons in Miami, Ogbah’s value has far exceeded that of the two-year, $15 million contract that he signed in the 2020 offseason. During the 2020 season, Ogbah quickly established himself as one of the most valuable players on Miami’s defense, and he retained that standing this past season. In 2021, Ogbah played all 17 games and racked up nine sacks, 41 combined tackles, 24 quarterback hits, 39 quarterback pressures, and a whopping 12 pass defenses. Ogbah played some of the best football of his career during Miami’s seven-game win streak, and he was a force against both the run and the pass.
At 28 years old, Ogbah will be entering his seventh NFL season come August. He is entering free agency at the optimal time considering the skyrocketing market for pass rushers. According to Spotrac.com, Ogbah’s expected market value is at an average of $10.1 million per year, a number that would make him the 34th-highest paid edge rusher in the NFL.
While that number would reflect a significant raise from the $7.5 million annually that Ogbah received over the past two seasons in Miami, I predict that Ogbah will receive closer to the $13.625 million per year mark that Matt Judon secured in free agency last offseason with the New England Patriots. Judon’s similar production, likewise ascending career arc, and near-identical age provides a good template for what Ogbah should expect on the open market. With Miami relatively thin at the position outside of impressive rookie Jaelan Phillips, and with pass rushers being paid a premium around the NFL, Ogbah has some leverage in his negotiations with Dolphins general manager Chris Grier.
Walk, Tag, or Re-sign?
Go out and poll front office personnel, analysts, and fans, and ask them which positions are most important to lock down when building an NFL team; I guarantee you that pass rusher will be one of the top-three answers nearly every time. Since joining the Dolphins, Ogbah has been the team’s most consistently productive pass rusher, and with Phillips set to start on one edge of the defensive line for the foreseeable future, the team would be smart to secure a talented tag-team partner for the former Miami Hurricane. There’s no reason why Ogbah can’t be that guy. Despite the need for a substantial pay raise, Ogbah should be at the top of Miami’s priority list of impending free agents.
I’m not considering Ogbah a candidate for the franchise tag because the $20.186 million franchise tag value for defensive ends (per overthecap.com) is likely out of Ogbah’s price range.
Justin’s verdict: Re-sign
Should the Miami Dolphins re-sign Emmanuel Ogbah or let him walk?
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