The NFL season hasn’t started yet for 2022 but the gate is open for teams to begin their pre-2022 work and the Miami Dolphins have decisions to make.
Now between March 8th NFL teams can use their Franchise Tag or their Transition Tag on in-house impending free agents. The Dolphins have 23 players that could potentially hit the market but none of them are likely to get tagged outside of two.
The biggest decisions Miami will make is how they value Mike Gesicki and Emmanuel Ogbah. The two stand out as the biggest questions heading into the free agency period. Mike McDaniel uses TEs often but he also needs them to be more than a pass catching option. He needs them to block.
Mike Gesicki is ranked in the top 10 of NFL TEs as a pass catcher but not as a blocker.
Emmanuel Ogbah has been very good for the Dolphins since arriving from Kansas City. He has done everything and more that Miami has asked him to do and he pairs well with the young Jaelan Phillips.
Losing Ogbah creates a huge hole on the defensive front and Miami does not have anyone on the roster right now that can step in and immediately replace him. Ogbah has 36 sacks in his career but 18 of those, half, came in the last two seasons with the Dolphins.
Miami wants to maintain the same style of defense and if that is the case, then keeping one of your most productive players is imperative. Despite that fact, is he worth a tag? It might be Miami’s only option.
There has been speculation that Ogbah wants to test the market and get an idea of what his actual value outside of Miami is. If he dips into that water he may bring back his best offer to see if Miami will match. If he is blown away, he will leave. Tagging Ogbah keeps him in Miami but it won’t be cheap.
Mike Gesicki, if tagged would cost Miami $10.8 million in 2022. That is an easy number to absorb provided Gesicki doesn’t file a contesting notion that he is really a WR. Something he maintains given his role in Miami’s offense.
Tagging Gesicki is a cost Miami can absorb but tagging Ogbah will be a lot more expensive. Almost twice as much. The 2022 projection for defensive ends and the franchise tag is $20.19 million according to SportsNaut.com. That is very costly and likely will not be something Miami would want to do.
The irony to this is that if Miami tags Gesicki, they will pay him less than they likely will on a new contract and if the tag Ogbah, they will likely pay a considerable amount more than they would with a new deal.
Outside of those two, there isn’t a player that should be valued by the Dolphins. Not on that level. Honestly it is hard to believe that Miami will use the tag on either player and while they can rescind the tag once it is signed they are on the hook for it.
One other option would be to tag one of them and then attempt to trade them with the hopes of getting something in return. For the Dolphins, that value may be higher with Gesicki but it is a razors edge and one that might not turn out to be the best value.
The Dolphins and other NFL teams will have from today until the 8th of March to make their decisions.