While the Miami Dolphins defensive line is fine along the interior, the edge might be a little more of a problem. Signing Emmanuel Ogbah would help.
There is no bigger question along the defensive front than the future of Ogbah. He is an unrestricted free agent and is likely to test the open market. Applying the franchise tag would cost the Dolphins just over $20 million for the 2022 season so don’t expect it.
Miami has only Ogbah and Daeshon Hall on the roster listed as DEs. In Miami’s defensive scheme, they use the hybrid linebacker approach making a true DE not necessary. Jaelan Phillips, listed as a linebacker was Miami’s main edge rusher opposite of Ogbah last year.
The question is if Ogbah leaves will the Dolphins try to find a true DE to replace him or will they look for a young pass rushing OLB that can play off the line like Phillips?
If the Dolphins want to go the linebacker route in free agency, Chandler Jones would make a lot of sense and he is familiar with that style of play. On the plus side of 30, Jones will still be expensive to add to the team and Miami may want to get both younger and look cheaper.
The free agent market isn’t ideal for Miami’s potential youth movement. Many of the players will be close to or over the age of 30 but there are some names to keep an eye on.
- Nick Vigil – Vikings
- Jamie Collins – Patriots
- Randy Gregory – Cowboys
- Anthony Barr – Vikings
- Haason Reddick – Panthers
Turning to the true DE spot Miami will have options as well.
One name to keep an eye on is Arden Key. Key is 25 years old and is a potential free agent out of San Francisco. While he wasn’t coached by McDaniel, he knows the work ethic.
Most of the top free agents are going to want big money. Players like Calais Campbell who is 35 won’t command as much at his age but he would be more or less a stopgap at this point. Dante Fowler of Atlanta is 27 and could be an option.
Truth be told, the Dolphins should probably avoid the DEs on this years market list unless they see someone that is cheap that has shown potential. Otherwise, Miami is better off giving Ogbah what will amount to similar money and considering he knows the team and the scheme, he would be a better option. Of course if the Dolphins want to go the LB route, the draft may be the better option as well.
What we can say is that the Dolphins have a solid defensive unit and letting pieces walk will only create holes. As good as Miami’s team is, the depth isn’t as great across the entire team.