With the Miami Dolphins season coming to a close after Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, here are 5 players the Miami Dolphins need to retain this offseason.
TE Mike Gesicki
There have been a lot of struggles for the offense this season and a lack of “star” pass catchers for Tua to throw to; but Gesicki is 2nd in receiving yards, receptions, and targets for Miami this season (according to ESPN.com) and he has played in all 16 games for Miami and barring anything crazy will be playing in the 17th game on Sunday so he is very dependable injury wise.
Also, in today’s NFL tight ends have become a huge part of successful offenses (Kelce, Kittle, Gronkowski, and Waller just to name a few) and having a reliable one no matter who the QB is next season is huge to have. If the offensive coordinators get him even 10% more involved in the offense next season there would be significant improvement in the offense.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah
As many of you know the defense has been the strong suit of this team all season long and has arguably been the main reason for success during our 7 game win streak. Well, Ogbah has been a leader on that defense both on the field and off of it. His ability to get after and put pressure on opposing QBs has not only gotten him his team leading 9 sacks (according to ESPN.com) but has gotten him a couple tipped passes that have lead to crucial interceptions such as Nik Needham’s INT against New Orleans
A lot of Ogbah’s affect to the game is also things that aren’t seen on the stat sheet such as his versatility to be on either side of the defense line which makes it easier for Coach Flores to get him onto the field and affect the game in multiple ways.
LB Elandon Roberts
Linebacker is going to be a pretty big need this offseason as the Dolphins need a big body linebacker alongside Jerome Baker in the secondary. The most ideal thing would be to pick one up in the draft and develop him based on what our draft position is going to look like this year and Roberts has played in this league for a while and could mentor the next LB.
Not only do I see him as a mentor but he can produce on the field as well (was 3rd in total tackles for the Dolphins according to ESPN.com) and Coach Flores loves having multiple competent linebackers because he can play them basically anywhere on the field and they are able to succeed in his defense. So not only will Roberts being back affect the growth of the next new linebacker that comes in whether it be through the draft, free agency, or trade in a mentorship role but he will also be able to put the learning to use with the playing time he will get alongside Elandon.
RB Duke Johnson
The run game this year has been absolutely horrific this season to say the least and some could say it’s due to the play of the offensive line; but Duke Johnson showed us in his amazing game against the Jets that with the right player in the backfield it can be done and even if he would’ve gotten more carries against the Saints he would’ve had a much bigger impact on that game as well.
To take some pressure off of young QB Tua Tagovailoa’s shoulders a good run game is detrimental for him. Although even if we re-sign Duke I do see us needing to pick up another running back this offseason and having Johnson in the running back committee alongside another back is a really good combo to have.
CB Nik Needham
Defensive backs are huge and a crucial part of defenses in today’s NFL which is why for my final spot it was a toss up for me between Nik Needham and Justin Coleman. Although Nik isn’t your Xavien Howard or Byron Jones, Needham has done the dirty work. QB’s don’t throw to your top lockdown corners they will try and go away from them and attack your 3rd and 4th guy like Nik Needham or Justin Coleman and Needham has been up to the challenge this season and has matched up with some pretty good receivers and has 2 crucial interceptions this season.
Having depth in the secondary is huge to be successful and Needham is a decent corner with a lot of potential still being pretty young at 25 years old. Also with either the Flores coaching staff not believing in Noah Igbinoghene or him just not being good enough if we don’t bring back one of our CBs there will be a serious lack of depth at the CB position for the Miami Dolphins.