Miami Dolphins re-sign Nik Needham adding quality depth to the defense

Undrafted free agent comes back for sixth season with Dolphins. Versatile defensive back can play both safety and cornerback.
Nik Needham is coming back for a sixth season in 2024 after agreeing to terms with the Dolphins on Saturday and bypassing free agency.
Nik Needham is coming back for a sixth season in 2024 after agreeing to terms with the Dolphins on Saturday and bypassing free agency. / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Nik Needham, perhaps the best undrafted free agent in recent Miami Dolphins history, will return for a sixth season as he agreed to terms with the team, per a report from Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Needham, from UTEP, was part of the original rebuild process in 2019 and has been a versatile member of the secondary ever since, despite rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon that he suffered in October 2022. Needham played sparingly in ten games last season, with only 71 reps, but with another year under his belt, he should get more repetitions in 2024. During his last two healthy seasons, he amassed 607 and 617 reps respectfully, not including special teams.

Needham was the primary nickel corner in 2020 and 2021 before the injury. Last season Kader Kohou replaced him at the nickel spot. Expect Needham to fight, scratch and claw his way back in the lineup.

He has lined up against the slot receiver and on the boundary and has even lined up at safety. He is also a quality special teams performer that adds value to his roster spot. Needham has appeared in 61 games over his career and started in 27 of them. He has totaled six interceptions and returned one for a touchdown against New Orleans.

Needham, with experience on the boundary, will be a likely candidate to fill in for Xavien Howard who is going to be released at the start of the league year on Wednesday. Needham will join Jalen Ramsey, Cam Smith, Elijah Campbell and Kohou as the only corners on Miami's roster as of today. Campbell agreed to terms earlier this week.

Needham is the third unrestricted free agent to agree to terms this week, in addition to Campbell, the Dolphins also agreed to a two-year pact with punter Jake Bailey. Miami has also expressed interest in resigning Braxton Berrios, Salvan Ahmed and Andrew Van Ginkel, along with several others.

Starting Wednesday, teams can officially sign players as the free agent frenzy begins. How the 2024 Dolphins roster shakes out, will remain to be seen. Miami is at least $25 million over the salary cap and will have to cut players and renegotiate cap-friendly contracts with certain players so they have the room to sign new players and offer new contracts.

Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, they need to clear out about $40 million in space to have the capacity to make competitive offers at several critical need positions when teams can legally begin speaking with other teams’ free agents at noon on Monday. They can start talking Monday, but cannot sign anyone until Wednesday afternoon.