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2022 Miami Dolphins free agents: Walk, tag, re-sign - Durham Smythe

Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Cliff Hawkins/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?

NFL free agency begins in eight days as the league year officially moves to the 2022 season. The Miami Dolphins have begun their preparations for the new year, planning their targets in free agency as well as working to determine what they are going to do with their own soon-to-be free agents. On Tuesday, just ahead of the deadline, the Dolphins placed the franchise tag on Mike Gesicki, essentially ensuring the team will have their top tight end for at least another season.

But, what of the other players from the club with an expiring contract? Should Miami re-sign the players, eating into their league-high salary cap space? Should they let the player hit the open market, creating a hole on the roster but allowing the team to potentially fin upgrades? Annually, we work our way through the list of upcoming free agents from the Dolphins, trying to answer those questions.

We continue our “Walk, tag, re-sign” series today with tight end Durham Smythe.


Position: Tight end

Age (at start of 2022 season): 27

College: Notre Dame

Experience: 4 years

Expiring Contract: 4 years, $3.1 million

2021 Review

Smythe appeared in all 17 games for the Dolphins in 2021, starting 12 times. Comparing that to the 17 appearances with nine starts for Gesicki demonstrates just how highly the Dolphins think of Smythe. He caught 34 passes for 357 yards on the season, giving him career highs in receptions, yards, and average (10.5). He is the team’s all-around tight end, staying in line to block while also serving as a receiving threat.

2022 Outlook

With Gesicki set to return on either a long-term deal or playing the season on the franchise tag, the Dolphins have their top tight end back for the year. They also have Hunter Long, selected in the third round last year, on the roster. While Long has potential, Smythe is the perfect second tight end, providing the all-around play that can compliment Gesicki as a receiving threat and would seem to fit into new head coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme. Plus, Gesicki clearly wants Smythe back:

“I thought to myself ‘Wow, Durham went over his career yardage yesterday, has a new career-high,’” Gesicki told the media back in November. “‘I’m going to wear his jersey to my press conference today. Start an initiative to get him paid here by the Miami Dolphins. He’s a good player, has a lot of success, does a lot of things, special teams, blocking, receiving.’”

He continued, “He’s not even on the Pro Bowl ballot. That’s another thing. Just get him on there. I gotta get in touch with maybe we can get him on there, and I’ll vote for him.”

Gesicki was not done there. In February, when the Dolphins highlighted Smythe’s season on Twitter, Gesicki replied to the tweet:

Seems like Smythe fits in the tight end group.

Walk, Tag, or Re-sign?

Smythe makes sense for the Dolphins and he fits perfectly with Gesicki. The Dolphins should bring him back and keep the group together, especially as Long develops into being an NFL tight end.

Kevin’s verdict: Re-sign


Durham Smythe - Re-sign or let walk?

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