The Miami Dolphins have several critical decisions to make over the next few days as we head into Monday’s legal tampering period. One of those decisions was whether or not to keep restricted free agent Nik Needham. A decision that, in my opinion, was a no-brainer.
Here’s what I said in my 2022 NFL Free Agency | Dolphins should franchise tag Mike Gesicki; re-sign Ogbah, Hollins, others article:
In short, the Dolphins should match whatever a team offers for restricted free agent Nik Needham—unless it’s like a rocket ship to play for the Mars international space team or something unprecedented.
Needham has been an asset since joining the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019, but most importantly, he’s improved year after year. He’s also a proven commodity in the slot, arguably one of the most challenging positions to play in today’s game.
At the very least, Miami should place a right-of-first-refusal tag on Needham, but again, I think his value is worth even more than that.
General manager Chris Grier must have felt similar because the team recently placed a second-round tender on Nik Needham, according to the Miami Herald’s Daniel Oyefusi.
The Dolphins are placing a second-round tender on restricted free agent Nik Needham, per league source. The cornerback had 59 tackles and two interceptions in 2021.— Daniel Oyefusi (@DanielOyefusi) March 11, 2022
Last season, Needham recorded 53 total tackles (42 solo), five pass breakups, and one sack. Needham also recorded two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. If a team wants to pry Needham away from South Florida, they will need to pay Miami a second-round draft pick.
Could a team give up a second-round draft pick for Needham? It’s certainly possible and something I’d consider if I was the general manager of a cornerback hungry team. However, in today’s NFL, teams may prefer to draft a cornerback in the second round, then pay a 25-year-old, pretty damn good veteran the salary he will warrant.
Speaking of salary, the tender will pay Needham roughly $3.9 million in 2022 according to the Miami Herald.
Nik Needham receiving a second-round tender from the Dolphins is only the first domino to fall in what’s sure to be a wild and crazy week ahead.
What are your thoughts on the Miami Dolphins placing a second-round tender on Nik Needham? Do you think a team will trade a second-round pick for the 25-year-old slot corner? What other players would you like to see tendered or retained over the next few days?
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!