Andrew Van Ginkel

Dolphins Re-Sign LB Andrew Van Ginkel

Andrew Van Ginkel is returning to Miami. The Dolphins have agreed to a new one-year deal with the linebacker, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Per Jackson, the linebacker tested free agency a bit. In addition to taking a visit with the Patriots, Van Ginkel also talked with the Raiders, Vikings, and Steelers. Naturally, the Dolphins also made a push, with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio recently calling the player and expressing interest in bringing the linebacker back to Miami for the 2023 campaign.

The former fifth-round pick has spent his entire career with the Dolphins, collecting 181 tackles in 56 games (31 starts). He started five of his 17 appearances in 2022, finishing with 47 stops. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked him 34th among 119 qualifying edge defenders.

Van Ginkel will be a part of a linebackers corps that features Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips, and recent acquisition Malik Reed. Van Ginkel will likely continue to see a situational role on defense and a full-time role on special teams.

Patriots Host Free Agent Visit

Whether bringing them in or watching them walk away, the Patriots have been one of the most active teams this spring in free agency. They saw wide receiver Jakobi Meyers depart and currently still have 11 other players from their 2022 roster on the free agent market. They were able to bring back others who might’ve left like cornerback Jonathan Jones, safety Jabrill Peppers, linebackers Mack Wilson and Raekwon McMillan, defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale, and long snapper Joe Cardona. And they’ve been active bringing in new players like wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, running back James Robinson, linebacker and core special teamer Chris Board, offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson, and tight end Mike Gesicki.

The team continues to remain active as they hosted a large free agent visit this week, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. The visit, which resulted in the signing of Board, included former Rams safety Taylor Rapp, former Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, former Dolphins defensive end Trey Flowers, and former Vikings wide receiver Olabisi Johnson.

Flowers is an interesting prospect for New England. The former Patriots fourth-round draft pick priced himself out of New England back in 2019 after three strong seasons that saw him total a combined 21.0 sacks. He signed a free agent deal with the Lions and continued his consistency with a seven-sack season, but his health and production have dropped off in the last three years. Flowers only appeared in four games last season, but if he can get healthy, he can provide a cheaper option as a pass rusher in a familiar system.

The Patriots already have Matt Judon and Josh Uche, who combined for 27.0 sacks in 2022. They also have Deatrich Wise, who totaled 7.5 sacks last season. Wise, though, is set to have an $8.7MM cap hit in 2023, and the Patriots have an out built into his contract that would allow them to release him with only $4.4MM of dead money. The move would free up $4.3MM in cap space this year and $7.2MM of cap space in 2024. A healthy Flowers has the potential to replace Wise’s lost production at a cheaper, more team-friendly rate.

It will be interesting to see how Van Ginkel’s free agency plays out. The fourth-year linebacker out of Wisconsin has had an interesting career in Miami but is coming off a bit of a down year. Despite starting several games in 2020 and 2021, Van Ginkel’s usage last year was much like that of Board’s, playing mostly on special teams and coming off the bench a bit on defense. If that’s where Van Ginkel’s future on the field is, the Patriots already filled that role with Board. Regardless, Van Ginkel shouldn’t have trouble finding a landing spot. According to Jordan Schultz of the Score, shortly after his visit to New England, Van Ginkel flew to Las Vegas for a visit with the Raiders, who have five linebackers from their 2022 roster in free agency and have only brought in one free agent linebacker.

With the retirement of long-time safety Devin McCourty, Rapp is another viable prospect. The former second-round pick out of Washington had some injury trouble early in his career but only missed one game in the past two years. Following a year where he reeled in four interceptions, Rapp had arguably the best season of his career, ranking as the 13th-best safety in the league, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He’s a strong run defender, having begun his career as a strong safety for the Rams, but excels in coverage, as well. He’ll likely have other suitors, but I imagine he’s a top option to replace McCourty in New England.

The Patriots essentially went one-for-one after replacing Meyers with Smith-Schuster, but the team is also losing Nelson Agholor to free agency. Johnson would be an extremely cost-efficient option towards that end. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard Bisi’s name in a while, it’s because he has missed each of the past two seasons with two separate ACL tears. Over his first two years in the league, though, Johnson was able to catch 45 passes for 483 yards and three touchdowns. He won’t win any WR1 battles anytime soon, but coming off two separate season-ending injuries, Johnson would be cost-effective and have decent upside.

There’s plenty that will continue to develop over the next few weeks, but the Patriots continue to be one of the more active teams in free agency this offseason. What do you think about any of these players joining New England? Who do you think they should sign? Let us know in the comments below.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

  • Promoted from practice squad: TE Jesper Horsted

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins’ Andrew Van Ginkel To Return From IR

The Dolphins have designated rookie linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel to return from injured reserve, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Van Ginkel suffered a foot injury during the preseason that sidelined him until now.

Van Ginkel will become the second and final Miami player designated to return from IR this year, joining offensive tackle Julien Davenport, who was designated for return in late October but hasn’t yet officially returned to practice. Because NFL teams are only allowed to bring two players off injured reserve, other injured Dolphins like cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive end Jeremiah Ledbetter, are officially done for the season.

Van Ginkel, 24, spent the final two years of his collegiate career at Wisconsin after originally playing at both South Dakota and Iowa Western Community College. In his two years as a Badger, Van Ginkel appeared in 26 games, posting 98 tackles, 12 sacks, and two interceptions during that time. In Van Ginkel’s pre-draft profile,’s Lance Zierlein said the 6’4″, 234-pounder plays with “consistent energy” but can also be “manhandled” by opposing offensive tackles.

Because he was placed on IR shortly after initial 53-man rosters were set, Van Ginkel has yet to make his NFL debut. When he does, he’ll likely play in a reserve and special teams role behind Dolphins starting outside linebackers Charles Harris and Samuel Eguavoen.

Dolphins Sign Christian Wilkins, Two Other Draft Picks

The Dolphins have signed first-round defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, fifth-round linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, and sixth-round offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, the club announced today.

Entering a rebuild phase, Miami could have gone in any number of directions with the 13th overall pick. Some observers had the Dolphins pegged as landing spot for a first-round quarterback, but the club passed on Dwayne Haskins in order to land Wilkins. A high-effort player from Clemson’s fearsome defensive line, Wilkins brings excellent character to a Dolphins locker room that’s attempting to modify its culture.

Wilkins should see ample playing time during his rookie campaign, and Prince might, as well. The Dolphins’ offensive line performed like one of the worst units in the league last season, and their right tackle spot is currently manned by Zach Sterup. Prince should a decent chance at beating him put for the starting role.

Third-round guard Michael Deiter is now the only Miami draft pick left unsigned.