Dolphins Want To Re-Sign CB Nik Needham

The Dolphins’ defense underperformed in 2022, and their struggles on that side of the ball have resulted in DC Josh Boyer being fired. The team is looking to retain at least one notable member of that unit this offseason, however.

When select injured members of the squad spoke to the media, cornerback Nik Needham indicated that Miami has communicated an interest in re-signing him (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). The 26-year-old has played all four of his NFL seasons with the Dolphins, and took on an increased workload in 2022 with a career-high 78% snap share.

However, his campaign was abruptly cut short by an Achilles tear in October. That halted a season in which he was counted on as a full-time perimeter corner, and likely hurt his free agent value as he approaches UFA status for the first time in his career. The former UDFA played on the second-round RFA tender this season, which gave him a one-year payout of just under $4MM. Now, he faces the possibility of another short-term pact keeping him in Miami, or the option of testing the open market to leverage a multi-year deal.

Needham failed to record an interception in his limited action this past season, after notching a pair of picks in each of his first three campaigns. He only added two pass breakups and 21 tackles, but also allowed a career-best completion percentage of 52.6%. That continued his general improvement over the past two years in particular in terms of PFF rating, which could help make him a viable candidate for a new deal from the Dolphins in spite of the injury.

That could especially hold true given the availability issues the team faced at the position. Byron Jones did not take a snap in 2022, underscoring his disappointing rehab from offseason surgery which was not expected to cost him time in the regular season. That led in large part to Needham’s usage rising to the level it did, and would leave Miami with a notable vacancy in the secondary if he were to leave in free agency. The Dolphins ranked 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed last year (235 per game), so improvement on that front is likely to be an offseason priority. If the team has its way, that will involve keeping Needham in the fold for 2023.

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