Andrew Van Ginkel

Extensions For OLB Andrew Van Ginkel, RG Robert Hunt On Dolphins’ Radar

Much of the Dolphins’ success this season has been attributed to a roster featuring a number of high-profile players. Less heralded contributors have played a role as well, though, and a few of them could have new contracts in place down the road.

In a breakdown of potential extension candidates, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald identifies edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel and right guard Robert Hunt as names to watch. Both players are set to reach free agency in the spring, with the former having inked a one-year deal this past March to remain in Miami and the latter playing out the final season of his rookie contract.

Van Ginkel signed for $2.65MM to stay in South Beach, but he will be in line for a raise on his next deal. The 28-year-old has fit in well in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio‘s scheme, and it has him on track to put up career-best numbers. While logging a defensive snap share of 62% this year, Van Ginkel has posted 35 tackles, 10 quarterback hits and four sacks. His personal best in the latter department is 5.5, so a new mark should be established soon.

Pass rush efficiency has been a contributing factor in Van Ginkel’s impressive 89.8 PFF grade, by far the highest of his career. The former fifth-rounder has been credited with 22 QB pressures, making him an integral part of a Dolphins edge contingent led by Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips. The latter two have term remaining on their contracts, so it will be interesting to see how willing Miami is to make a lucrative investment in Van Ginkel during the offseason.

Hunt, 27, has thrived since being moved from tackle to guard following his rookie season. The former second-rounder played over 1,000 snaps in 2021 and ’22, and he has delivered a strong showing in pass protection along with his usual consistent performances in the run game this year. Hunt has earned a top-10 PFF grade (73.4) amongst guards in 2023, in part due to allowing just one sack and four pressures in eight games so far.

The Louisiana alum is thus a logical candidate for a multi-year deal in the near future. Miami has faced a number of questions and injuries along the offensive line, so securing a full-time starter at any spot for the long term would be a welcomed development. Miami has a number of important financial decisions to make over the coming months, however, and both quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins are in need of new pacts for 2024. Contract talks for that pair will not take place until after the season.

As Jackson notes, nothing is imminent for either Van Ginkel or Hunt. Given their high level of play to date, however, it would come as little surprise if an agreement were to be reached with at least one of them before the start of the 2024 campaign. The Dolphins are currently projected to be over the cap ahead of the new league year in March, so their financial plan will be worth watching closely over the coming months.

Latest On Emmanuel Ogbah’s Future With The Dolphins

It sounds like Emmanuel Ogbah‘s stint with the Dolphins will end after the 2023 campaign. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, the organization is expected to release the edge rusher following the season.

The Dolphins are eyeing a cap crunch next offseason, and they’ll need to make some difficult decisions up and down their roster. Fortunately for the front office, moving on from Ogbah’s untenable cap hold is one of the easier decision to make.

The veteran is currently attached to a $17.8MM cap hit in 2024, and the Dolphins would be left with only $2MM in dead cap if they let him go. Ogbah inked a four-year, $65MM extension with the Dolphins during the 2022 offseason.

The former Browns second-round pick had two productive seasons to begin his Miami tenure, collecting 18 sacks between the 2020 and 2021 campaign. His 2022 season was limited to only nine games thanks to a triceps issue, but he wasn’t very productive before suffering the season-ending injury, compiling just one sack. He’s seen time in all four games this season but has been limited to only 27 percent of his team’s defensive snaps.

With Andrew Van Ginkel also set to hit free agency, the Dolphins are eyeing a 2024 edge corps that consists of former first-round pick Jaelan Phillips and veteran Bradley Chubb. After trading a first-round pick to Denver for Chubb, the Dolphins inked the star edge rusher to an $110MM extension. However, the Pro Bowler hasn’t lived up to his deal during his time in Miami, with Chubb collecting only 3.5 sacks in 12 games with the organization. As Jackson notes, the Dolphins would have a tough time moving off Chubb’s contract thanks in part to his fully-guaranteed $19.75MM base salary.

Dolphins Sign LB Alexander Johnson

Coaching ex-Bronco defenders Bradley Chubb and Malik Reed once again, Vic Fangio will reunite with another of his former Denver cogs. Alexander Johnson signed with the Dolphins on Thursday.

Like Chubb and Reed, Johnson, 31, was a regular throughout Fangio’s Denver stay. Fangio’s arrival soon led to a regular role for Johnson, who played alongside Josey Jewell for three seasons in Denver. A 2021 pectoral injury, however, stalled the off-ball linebacker’s momentum.

[RELATED: Dolphins Meet With CB Bryce Callahan]

Coming into the NFL at 26 due to an off-field issue, Johnson played in just one game as a rookie in 2018. Early in the 2019 season, Fangio inserted the Tennessee alum into the starting lineup to spark the Broncos’ run defense. Pro Football Focus graded Johnson as that season’s third-best off-ball ‘backer. In 2020, Johnson totaled a career-high 124 tackles. Between those two years, Johnson forced four fumbles.

Prior to his October 2021 pectoral tear, Johnson received a second-round RFA tender to stay in Denver. However, this injury and having turned 30 just before his first free agency bid effectively scuttled Johnson’s market. The Seahawks signed the former UDFA late last year but only used him in one game. The Dolphins will provide a late-summer opportunity. Teams must finalize their 53-man rosters by 3pm CT on Tuesday; they can begin assembling their practice squads the following day. Clubs can keep up to six vested veterans on their 16-man taxi squad.

The Dolphins signed David Long to play alongside Jerome Baker at linebacker. Duke Riley and Andrew Van Ginkel are likely locked into backup jobs, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. Channing Tindall, a third-rounder last year, has not enjoyed a quality training camp, per Jackson, though it is unlikely the Dolphins give up on him after two offseasons. Though, Tindall only played nine defensive snaps last year.

In addition to the Johnson signing, the team waived linebacker Mike Rose and waived safety Myles Dorn with an injury designation Thursday.

AFC East Notes: Allen, Van Ginkel, Patriots

This offseason has already seen two mega-deals signed at the quarterback position, and more are expected to follow. The Bills already have their signal-caller on the books, with Josh Allen having signed a six-year, $258MM deal in 2021.

[RELATED: Each Team’s Largest QB Investment]

That deal came not long after the Chiefs inked Patrick Mahomes to his 10-year, $450MM extension, and it represented a measuring stick for talks surrounding Allen and the Bills. To no surprise, the Mahomes deal was a topic of conversation with the Buffalo star due for his own extension.

“He and I talked a little bit about the pros and cons of that [Mahomes] deal and just some broad strokes of it,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said of Allen, via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “And we talked about Tom Brady and the championships he won, and so that’s where it gets tough, because, yes, you want to be fairly compensated and it’s not good for the team to get you on some deal that’s not fair to you… Josh was very adamant about — ‘I’ll work with my people and yes I want to be recognized — there’s a respect thing — but I also [want] to win and I want to be able to keep player X, player Y.”

With Allen on the books through 2028, the Bills’ window for contention should remain open for many years to come. As is the case with his peers, though, Allen’s cap hits are scheduled to become burdensome later on in the deal, ranging between $41.5MM and $56.5MM starting in 2024. It will be interesting to monitor how the team is able to retain other key players once their quarterback begins taking up such a sizeable portion of their available funds.

Here are some other notes from around the AFC East:

  • The Bills exited this year’s draft with two new defenders, but none along the defensive front. That was not the plan, however, as noted by The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia (subscription required). Buffalo wanted to add a defensive tackle on either Day 2 or Day 3, given the uncertainty at the position beyond the coming season. Former first-rounder Ed Oliver is entering his walk year, as is fellow starter DaQuan Jones. Adding a rookie to develop behind those two (and potentially replace one of them next year) would have given the team more flexibility, but adding at the position will instead increasingly become a priority in 2024.
  • The Dolphins‘ defense faces increased expectations this season given the team’s recent additions on the field and the sidelines. One incumbent member of the unit who could be in line for a rebound in playing time is linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel. The veteran was convinced to remain in South Beach by new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, as detailed by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Van Ginkel, 27, was set to depart in free agency after seeing his defensive snap share drop from 71% in 2021 to 29% last season. Instead, the former fifth-round pick re-signed on a one-year deal in anticipation of being used in a hybrid role which will see him used both on the inside and outside. A strong season under Fangio will have Van Ginkel well-positioned in free agency next year.
  • The Patriots were hit with the loss of some OTA time last week after they were found to have violated the league’s rules on time spent in meetings, but not on-field work. As a result, the league’s fine handed down to Bill Belichick was $50K instead of the maximum $100K, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. The NFL also elected not to fine the organization, likely in large part because the Patriots cooperated in full with the investigation. From the players’ perspective, the most important element of the discipline is the fact that they will not be allowed to work out at the team’s facility during the days in which the violation is served.

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.