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Dolphins free agency grades 2022: ESPN gives Miami B+ for first two moves

Miami Dolphins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

ESPN is grading all the major free agency moves happening around the NFL as free agency begins. The first two moves for the Miami Dolphins were included in the initial publication, with Jeremy Fowler, Dan Graziano, and Kevin Seifert coming together to form the grades while Matt Miller provided some draft analysis. What does the group think of the Dolphins re-signing defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and adding running back Chase Edmonds?

They gave the Dolphins a B+ for both moves. Of the Ogbah re-signing, Seifert wrote:

It is good business to keep your pass-rushers off the market, especially when they fit Ogbah’s profile. He’s consistent, durable and still young. Moreover, the Dolphins have demonstrated a blueprint for maximizing his skills. Playing under a two-year, $15 million deal he signed with the Dolphins prior to the 2020 season, Ogbah recorded 18 sacks while playing in all 33 possible regular-season games, starting 23 of them. That’s the same number of sacks he recorded in four previous seasons with the Browns and Chiefs, and in 2021, he ranked No. 19 among NFL edge rushers in ESPN’s pass rush win rate (16.3%).

All of which is to say that Ogbah earned a hefty raise, and he pushed the Dolphins until the final moments before the negotiating period opened to get a pretty strong deal. He essentially secured two fully guaranteed seasons ($32 million fully guaranteed), and his average of $16.5 million puts him among the top 10 for NFL defensive ends. It’s true that the Dolphins have a new coaching staff, but all it will have to do is watch tape from the 2020 and 2021 seasons to see how to get Ogbah to be a consistent pass-rushing threat.

Miller took a look at the draft implications Ogbah’s return to the Dolphins could have:

After last year’s trades down and then up the board, the Dolphins’ only first-round pick for 2022 is the 49ers’ original pick (No. 29). As a result, they are expected to miss out on premium pass-rushing prospects in a very good defensive end class. Getting Ogbah secures one pass-rusher spot and keeps continuity for Mike McDaniel’s team with Josh Boyer retained as defensive coordinator. With my top six defensive end prospects all ranked in the top 25 overall, the Dolphins were looking at a best-case scenario of a project at the position if they waited until the draft. Now they can look for more of an upside player in a later round while using the first-round pick to address an offensive line that also needs attention.

Graziano explained the B+ for the Edmonds signing, writing:

A lot of people were waiting to see who Mike McDaniel’s running back would be, since he and Kyle Shanahan were able to make magic with so many different people at that position in San Francisco. Edmonds is a player who can do a lot of things McDaniel will want his running back to do, both as a runner and a pass-catcher.

He has never had more touches in a season than the 159 he had last year, when he missed five games due to injury. But he turns 26 in April, and the Dolphins could be getting a talented back who hasn’t been overused so far, and getting him at the beginning of his prime. I won’t be surprised if Edmonds becomes a star in a McDaniel offense.

Miller wrote of the draft impact:

The Dolphins’ lack of total draft picks and a draft class that doesn’t feature many Day 1 starters means investing in the offense via free agency. The Dolphins could still be players for a depth running back in the later rounds — especially one with a little more size and power — but the top end of the running back class won’t be disrupted by Edmonds’ signing.

How would you grade the Dolphins’ first two moves of the free agency period?

Poll

How would you grade the Dolphins re-signing Emmanuel Ogbah?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    A
    (2064 votes)
  • 28%
    B
    (893 votes)
  • 3%
    C
    (95 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (21 votes)
3092 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How would you grade the Dolphins signing Chase Edmonds?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    A
    (609 votes)
  • 59%
    B
    (1675 votes)
  • 15%
    C
    (440 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (50 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (19 votes)
2793 votes total Vote Now