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?
We are down to just nine days until the 2022 NFL league year begins and brings with it free agency. The Miami Dolphins have work to do to get ready for next year and to mold the team into the vision of new head coach Mike McDaniel. The good news for Miami is they have the most salary-cap space in the league and will have the ability to target key free agents to add to the roster. But, what of their own players on expiring contracts?
We have been taking a look at each of the Dolphins’ soon-to-be free agents, trying to determine what we think Miami should do with each one. Will the team use the franchise tag to extend the negotiating period and make sure they keep the player for at least another year? Will they re-sign him to a long-term contract? Will they let him leave in free agency?
We continue our “Walk, tag, re-sign” series today with safety Jason McCourty.
Age (at start of 2022 season): 35
Experience: 13 years
Expiring Contract: One year, $1.2 million
Jason McCourty signed with the Dolphins in May, coming to South Florida after three seasons with the New England Patriots. He was paired in the secondary with Eric Rowe, ready to provide Miami with a veteran group at the back of the defense. Having primarily played cornerback in his career, the Dolphins moved him to safety, where he started four games and appeared in seven before a foot injury landed him on injured reserve and ended his season. He recorded 21 tackles and two passes defended on the year.
The Dolphins could still look to have a veteran presence in the safety group, but it appears the position underwent a youth movement in 2021. Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones seem to have locked down the top two spots on the depth chart, while the team still has Rowe under contract for the season. Miami could create $4.6 million in cap space if they released Rowe, but they could consider him a valuable option to serve as a backup and mentor to the younger players. If Rowe is released, there could be an open spot on the roster for McCourty, but it clearly would not be as a starter anymore.
Walk, Tag, or Re-sign?
Keeping Rowe makes a lot of sense for the Dolphins, who have a trusted backup and a player who does well in covering tight ends, even with the cap savings that could be had in releasing him. That would likely mean there is no space on the roster for McCourty.
Kevin’s verdict: Walk
(McCourty would not appear to be a franchise tag target, so that option is not included in the poll below.)
Jason McCourty - Re-sign, or let walk?
This poll is closed