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2022 Miami Dolphins free agents: Walk, tag, re-sign - Elandon Roberts

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

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 never-ending NFL Draft pick predictions, we need to take a look at the Dolphins’ own players with expiring contracts. We’re walking through all the analysis for each Dolphins player set to hit the open market. Will Miami re-sign the player, place the franchise tag, or let the player walk away in free agency?

The NFL is just days away from the start of the new league year and free agency. As we get closer to Thursday’s start of free agency, we get closer to the deadline for teams and players to reach agreements on contract extensions. And, since deadlines always create action, we are starting to see some movement on contract extensions, restricted and exclusive rights free agent tenders, as well as players being released to create salary-cap space.

The Miami Dolphins are scheduled to have the most salary-cap space in the league this year, but a part of that cap space comes because they have several players scheduled to hit the free-agent market next week. We have been taking a look at each of the soon-to-be free agents from the Dolphins’ roster, trying to determine if the players should be re-signed or allowed to leave in free agency. Tight end Mike Gesicki already has had the franchise tag placed on him so that is not an option for any of the other free agents.

We will continue to work out way through the remaining potential free agents from the Dolphins over the next several days, breaking down their 2021 performance, what might be expected of them in 2022, then provide a verdict on what we think the Dolphins should do with that player. We also give you a chance to vote on what you think Miami should do.

We continue our “Walk, tag, re-sign” series today with linebacker Elandon Roberts.

Background

Position: Linebacker

Age (at start of 2022 season): 28

College: Houston

Experience: 6 years

Expiring Contract: 1 year, $2 million


2021 Review

The Dolphins signed Roberts to a one-year contract for 2022 after having him on a one-year deal for 2020 as well. He appeared in all 17 games for the Dolphins last season, starting 15 of them. He recorded a career-high 83 tackles, one interception returning it 85-yards for a touchdown, four passes defended, two forced fumbles, and a sack. The Dolphins initially looked to Jerome Baker as the team’s main inside linebacker, with Roberts complimenting him. Eventually, the team moved Baker outside, a more natural fit for him, with Roberts pairing with Duke Riley for much of the latter half of the season.


2022 Outlook

The Dolphins defensive system should remain the same despite a change in head coach this year as Mike McDaniel retained Josh Boyer and much of the defensive assistant coaches for the 2022 season. We, therefore, have an idea of how the current players will fit in the defense for 2022. Roberts is a solid run-stopping interior linebacker who can fit well in Miami’s defense, but he struggles in pass-rush and in coverage, so there are limitations to when and how the Dolphins use him, should he return. The issue is, Miami has several linebackers (some of whom are also scheduled to be free agents) that have similar limitations. Sam Egoavoen (restricted free agent) is a good pass rusher. Riley is strong in pass coverage. The Dolphins could look to find a good all-around linebacker this year and move on from the rotation that is needed right now.


Walk, Tag, or Re-sign?

Roberts provides a veteran presence in the middle of the defense and provides the Dolphins with a run-stopper on a defense that struggled to stop the run. Creating a bigger need in stopping opposing running backs does not make sense at this point. Bringing back Roberts on a cap-friendly, one-year contract would give the Dolphins a solid foundation around which to build the rest of the linebacker corps. If they can find a better fit in free agency or the Draft, then Roberts could end up being a roster cut later in the summer.

Kevin’s verdict: Re-sign if cap/team friendly

Poll

Elandon Roberts - Re-sign or let walk?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Re-sign
    (403 votes)
  • 22%
    Walk
    (116 votes)
519 votes total Vote Now