Now that the NFL combine is officially over, teams can focus their attention on getting ready for free agency and making their final moves to get under the salary cap or create more room. The Miami Dolphins have the most money under the cap in the league but will either create more space or stand pat.
The biggest decision teams have to make is whether to use the franchise tag to keep a player for at least one year on a top 5 salary. With that tag, they can work out a long-term contract or make a trade with another team. There’s also the Transition tag, in which a team can use on any of their unrestricted free agents and are given a right to match any offer. If the team doesn’t match the offer, then the player leaves, and the team gets no draft pick compensation. If the player doesn’t get an offer, then he returns to the team at the salary under the transition tag for one year.
As of now, writing this article, the Dolphins haven’t used either tag on any player. The two players most likely to get either are defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and tight end Mike Gesicki. It sounds like the Dolphins have had more discussions with Ogbah than Gesicki, but those things are fluid. Both players are important to the team, even though there are questions about whether Gesicki can fit into new coach Mike Mcdaniel’s scheme. It will be interesting if they will let either walk, use the tag, or come to a new contract.
The Dolphins, like other teams, will look at players on their roster to try to trim pay role. This year there are some interesting candidates that could get cut. Offensive lineman Jesse Davis is coming off a bad season, and the Dolphins could save 3.5 million. Eric Rowe is coming off a down year, and with the emergence of Javon Holland and Brandon Jones, the team could save 4.5 million. Those are just a few examples, but there also could be a surprise cut. Last year, I was stunned when the team cut Kyle Van Noy after one year removed from his big contract. Is there a move no one sees coming?
Also, will the team make a trade like they did last year, trading Shaq Lawson for Bernardrick Mckinney? Teams are always doing some back-channel work on players and expressing interest in possible trades. Do the Dolphins potentially have a trade in the works?
This time of the year is exciting and nerve-racking for fans because their teams make moves on players in free agency. They also get heartbroken with players getting released or traded. It’s an exciting time as a fan, and I want to see what plans the Dolphins have to start the off-season. We will soon find out with free agency a week away.