The Miami Dolphins are expected to have more cap space in 2022 than any other football team, or at least close to it. They also have a lot of free agents.
Miami won’t re-sign all of their free agents but some should be priorities for the off-season. Once the 2021 season is over, it will be time for Chris Grier to get to work on his FA class. And hopefully, he won’t overspend.
In all, almost half of the Dolphins current roster will be free agents after the season. 24 players to be exact. Of those 24, four are restricted free agents and two are exclusive rights free agents. The rest are all unrestricted.
We can expect the Dolphins to put tenders on Sam Eguavoen, Preston Williams, Trill Williams, and Nik Needham. All four are restricted FAs. Salvon Ahmed is an ERFA and will likely get tendered but Safety Elijah Campbell may not.
This brings us to the remaining 18 players.
- Mike Gesicki – should be an off-season priority to re-sign but it’s unclear what the Dolphins intentions are. Gesicki should see a deal in the neighborhood of $50 million with around $35 guaranteed.
- Emmanuel Ogbah – He too should be a priority and he has helped Jaelan Phillips develop off the edge. Another player who should see $30 mill guaranteed.
- Durham Smythe – Hard to say if he will be back but he will be a lot cheaper than Gesicki and the Dolphins should make him a priority. In fact, both should be re-signed even though Hunter Long is in the wings.
- Mack Hollins – Hollins could draw interest on the market but it won’t be as a top tier WR. The Dolphins should be able to get him relatively cheap before he hits the market.
- Phillip Lindsay – Lindsay will have the rest of the season to prove he has value to the club and deserving of an extension.
- Elandon Roberts – Roberts is a quality depth player and shouldn’t be too expensive on another one or two year deal.
The six listed above are the only players that I believe should be priorities over the other impending free agents. I think some of the other guys are likely to be re-signed but if the Dolphins lose them, I don’t see it as a big deal. Here is the next group I would look at after the above six.
- John Jenkins – You can’t have too many defensive tackles and he adds depth and is cheap.
- Brennan Scarlett – Scarlett was making some plays before he got hurt and there is room to improve. He should be inexpensive depth.
- Austin Reiter and/or
- Greeg Mancz – Take a pick of which one you prefer. Reiter has a better resume that includes a Super Bowl with K.C. but Mancz has been more consistent. Either of them will suffice as a cheap option to play behind Michael Dieter.
It’s a bitter pill when you start talking about players that shouldn’t be back and their contracts should not be discussed further but the Dolphins should let most of these guys hit the market and not look back.
- Will Fuller – He isn’t reliable and doesn’t want to be here.
- Jacoby Brissett – I’ll just leave this at “He isn’t a starting NFL QB”.
- Albert Wilson – He is more involved in the Dolphins offense but is still too inconsistent to be reliable.
- Malcolm Brown – He wasn’t very good early in the season and the Dolphins should prioritize Lindsay more if Lindsay can prove it over the remaining weeks.
- Duke Riley – I would be fine if the Dolphins signed him to another one-year deal but if he goes, I’m fine with that as well.
- Jason McCourty – He has had a long career but he is also at that stage where injuries will kill what remains of it.
- Michael Palardy – Palardy isn’t bad but he isn’t great either. If they re-sign him they need to have competition in camp.
- Justin Coleman – I don’t think the Dolphins really need to keep him around. He is serviceable but he isn’t going to take away anyone job at the position.