Emmanuel Ogbah

Dolphins To Release DE Emmanuel Ogbah

Seeing his playing time reduced last season, Emmanuel Ogbah became needed as the Dolphins saw their top edge rushers go down with major injuries. With Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips expected back before or during the 2024 season, Miami will make an expected cap-driven move.

The Dolphins intend to release Emmanuel Ogbah, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Although Ogbah was a regular presence before Vic Fangio‘s one-and-done season as Dolphins DC, the former starter’s demotion made him a release candidate.

Friday’s $255.4MM salary cap reveal brought good news for cap-strapped teams, but the Dolphins still have plenty of work to do. Before this Ogbah move is calculated, Miami sits more than $38MM over the 2024 cap. Releasing Ogbah will $13.7MM in cap space for the Dolphins. Ogbah was attached to a four-year, $65.4MM deal agreed to in 2022; he was set to carry a $14.93MM base salary next season. Considering his Miami trajectory, that proved unrealistic for the team.

Ogbah, 30, had been a productive pass rusher for the Dolphins on his previous contract. The Dolphins re-signed the former Browns second-round pick in free agency two years ago, but a torn triceps sustained midway through that season — a development that came shortly after the team traded a first-round pick for Chubb at the trade deadline — changed the previous starter’s trajectory.

Between the 2020 and ’21 seasons, Ogbah cemented his case for a significant raise by registering nine sacks in each season. He totaled 45 quarterback hits in that span. After the Dolphins had Ogbah on a two-year, $15MM deal, the raise did not go as planned. Ogbah will hit free agency on a downturn, and while he could still profile as a rotational rusher somewhere else, the veteran is unlikely to fetch much on the open market given his minimal production over the past two years.

The Chiefs used Ogbah primarily as a rotational player during their 2019 Super Bowl-winning team, acquiring him that year via trade from the Browns. But a torn pectoral muscle shelved him midway through that season. Ogbah did not play during that playoff run, and after missing Miami’s 2022 wild-card game due to injury as well, his only postseason contest came back at Arrowhead Stadium on a frigid night — a 26-7 Dolphins loss. Ogbah only started because of the injuries to Phillips, Chubb and Andrew Van Ginkel. The Dolphins had brought in veterans Melvin Ingram, Bruce Irvin and Justin Houston to help Ogbah in that emergency circumstance, but Chubb and Phillips will be expected to anchor new DC Anthony Weaver‘s edge-rushing corps next season.

Miami has Chubb signed through 2026, and should the team pick up Phillips’ fifth-year option by May 2, he will be locked down through 2025. Van Ginkel is on track for free agency, seeing his contract expire shortly after an injury. Following Phillips’ Achilles tear and Chubb’s ACL setback, Van Ginkel suffered a foot injury in Miami’s regular-season game.

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.

Largest 2023 Cap Hits: Defense

While the NFL’s top 2023 cap hits go to players on offense, a number of pass rushers are tied to lofty figures as well. None check in higher than Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Williams and Chiefs D-tackle Chris Jones carry high contract-year cap hits, while the Steelers’ two front-seven cornerstones each are set to go into training camp with cap figures north of $20MM. As the salary cap climbed to $224.8MM this year, here are the top defensive cap figures as camps near:

  1. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $32.26MM
  2. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $29.37MM
  3. Myles Garrett, DE (Browns): $29.18MM
  4. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $28.29MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DL (Rams): $26MM
  6. Arik Armstead, DT (49ers): $23.95MM
  7. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $22.26MM
  8. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $21.48MM
  9. Jonathan Allen, DT (Commanders): $21.44MM
  10. Shaquil Barrett, OLB (Buccaneers): $21.25MM
  11. Grady Jarrett, DT (Falcons): $20.63MM
  12. Marlon Humphrey, CB (Ravens): $19.99MM
  13. Shaquille Leonard, LB (Colts): $19.79MM
  14. Kevin Byard, S (Titans): $19.62MM
  15. Adoree’ Jackson, CB (Giants): $19.08MM
  16. Harold Landry, OLB (Titans): $18.8MM
  17. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.15MM
  18. Jamal Adams, S (Seahawks): $18.11MM
  19. Matt Judon, DE (Patriots): $18.107MM
  20. Quandre Diggs, S (Seahawks): $18.1MM
  21. Nick Bosa, DE (49ers): $17.9MM
  22. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $17.25MM
  23. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE (Dolphins): $17.19MM
  24. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE (Cowboys): $17.11MM
  25. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $17.1MM

The Chiefs are working toward a second extension agreement with Jones, who is in the final season of a four-year, $80MM contract. A new deal with the star inside pass rusher would free up cap space, and DeAndre Hopkins is believed to be monitoring this situation.

As for Williams, the Giants had wanted to adjust his deal to reduce his eye-opening cap number. As of mid-June, however, no extension appeared to be on the team’s radar. The previous Giants regime signed off on the 2021 Williams extension (three years, $63MM). The Giants are also uninterested — for the time being, at least — in extending Jackson, who was also a Dave Gettleman-era defensive addition.

Donald is in the second season of a three-year, $95MM deal. The Rams gave Donald a landmark raise last year, convincing the all-everything D-tackle to squash retirement talk. A no-trade clause exists in Donald’s contract, which pays out its guarantees this year. Mosley remains tied to the $17MM-per-year deal the Mike Maccagnan regime authorized with the Jets. That contract, which reset the off-ball linebacker market in 2019, still has two seasons remaining on it due to the deal tolling after Mosley’s 2020 COVID-19 opt-out call. The Jets restructured the deal last year.

Washington now has two D-tackles tied to deals of at least $18MM per year. While Daron Payne‘s pact is worth more ($22.5MM AAV), higher cap hits on that deal will come down the road. Three years remain on Allen’s 2021 agreement. At safety, no team is spending like the Seahawks. In addition to the big-ticket deals authorized for Adams and Diggs, Seattle gave ex-Giants starter Julian Love a two-year, $6MM accord in March.

New Titans GM Ran Carthon attempted to give Byard a pay cut. That request did not go over well, but the standout safety remains with the team and has not requested a trade. Tennessee re-signed Landry on a five-year, $87.5MM deal in 2022; the veteran edge rusher has yet to play on that deal due to the ACL tear he sustained just before last season.

The 49ers can bring Bosa’s number down via an extension, which has long been on the team’s docket. As San Francisco extended Deebo Samuel just after training camp began last year, Bosa received back-burner treatment due to the fifth-year option. The star defensive end’s price undoubtedly went up during the waiting period, with the former No. 2 overall pick earning Defensive Player of the Year acclaim in the fourth year of his rookie contract.

Emmanuel Ogbah Receives Full Clearance

Emmanuel Ogbah reeled off back-to-back nine-sack seasons to start the 2020s; those showings earned the veteran pass rusher a second Dolphins contract. Year 1 of Ogbah’s new deal did not go well, and it ended early due to a torn triceps injury.

The former Browns and Chiefs edge defender tallied just one sack in 2022 and suffered the season-ending injury in mid-November, shortly after Miami acquired Bradley Chubb at the trade deadline. Ogbah is aiming to rebound, and he will now have a chance to play alongside Chubb for a full season.

Although the Dolphins are not rushing Ogbah back to full work, the eighth-year sack artist said (via the Miami Herald’s Daniel Oyefusi) he has received full clearance for football activities. The Dolphins are not quite as deep as they were at the point when Ogbah went down, when Melvin Ingram was in the fold along with Chubb and 2021 first-rounder Jaelan Phillips. But the Chubb-Phillips-Ogbah-Christian Wilkins pass rush presents promise ahead of Vic Fangio‘s first season running Miami’s defense. While Ingram remains a free agent, ex-Fangio Broncos pupil Malik Reed is also now with the Dolphins.

Fangio ran into bad luck in terms of pass rusher availability during his HC stay in Denver. Chubb missed nearly all of the 2019 season — Fangio’s first as Broncos HC — and much of 2021 due to injury. Von Miller missed all of 2020 and was off the Broncos’ roster, via the deadline deal with the Rams, by the time Chubb returned to action late in the 2021 season. Miller and Chubb finished just three games together in Fangio’s three-season tenure. The Dolphins are paying up — in the neighborhood of $4.5MM per year — for Fangio’s bounce-back opportunity and will outfit the well-regarded defensive coach with an interesting D-line contingent.

The Dolphins gave Ogbah a four-year, $65.4MM deal in 2022. This provided the former second-round pick a nice raise from his initial Miami terms (two years, $15MM). Coming off a season as Frank Clark‘s bookend for the Super Bowl LIV-winning Chiefs outfit, Ogbah totaled 45 QB hits from 2020-21. The Dolphins reduced Ogbah’s workload in 2022, however, and he will now begin work under another DC.

Had the Dolphins upset the Bills in the wild-card round, Ogbah was readying for a potential return at less than 100% in the playoffs. It did not come to that, but he will attempt to re-establish himself under Fangio this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/14/22

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Mitchell has been out of the mix for the Jets since suffering a dislocated knee early last month. Although Mitchell was carted off the field because of that injury, he appears on track to come back. The Jets also have George Fant on IR, but he has not yet been designated for return. The Jets have used Duane Brown and journeyman Cedric Ogbuehi at tackle over the past two games. Gang Green has six injury activations remaining.

The Giants four activations left. A 2021 sixth-round pick, Williams ran into a bone-spur issue during training camp. The Giants claimed Layne off waivers from the Steelers after cutdown day. The former third-round pick has worked on special teams throughout the season.

Dolphins DE Emmanuel Ogbah Out For Rest Of Season

Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah suffered a torn tricep in today’s win over the Browns and will require season-ending surgery, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Ogbah hadn’t produced to the level that the Dolphins had hoped for this year, but the team will still miss one of its most talented pass rushers.

In a down season, Ogbah only had one sack, one tackle for loss, and seven quarterback hits through nine games. Ogbah has led the Dolphins in sacks and quarterback hits in each of the last two seasons, tallying nine sacks in both years and 45 quarterback hits over that period. Those numbers are career highs for the 29-year-old, showing that Miami was a perfect place for the pass rusher to develop after average stints in Cleveland and Kansas City.

This year, the Dolphins expected an elite pass rush. With their reigning sack-leader in Ogbah paired up with second-year outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips, who nearly matched Ogbah’s production last year as a rookie, and free agent addition Melvin Ingram, who had shown an ability to reach double-digit sacks during his time with the Chargers, Miami didn’t anticipate having any issues getting to the quarterback. The three players have combined for only 8.5 sacks, though, as Ingram has 4.0 and Phillips has 3.5 so far this season.

The team was apparently concerned enough about the lack of pressure that they addressed it just before the trade deadline, acquiring former fifth-overall draft pick Bradley Chubb from the Broncos. Chubb has had his own injury history but, in his last full season of play, was able to accumulate 12.0 sacks. Unfortunately, that last full season of play was his rookie season in 2018. Since then, Chubb has missed 23 games but has yet to miss a game this year. He had 5.5 sacks in eight games before leaving Denver this season.

The arrival of Chubb, who earned a half-sack in his Dolphins debut today, should soften the blow of losing Ogbah for the year, even though it’s still a tremendous loss for the Dolphins’ defense. On the defensive line, in Ogbah’s absence, Zach Sieler should continue to get plenty of playing time alongside Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis. Sieler’s pass rush hasn’t nearly been as effective as Ogbah’s over his career, but the team can still turn to Chubb, Phillips, Ingram, and Andrew Van Ginkel to provide a pass rush.

AFC Free Agency Rumors: Pats, Ogbah, Texans, Broncos

After an anomalous offseason that saw the Patriots rank fourth in the NFL in total spending, New England fans have seen a bit of a return to the norm in 2022 with the team currently ranking 21st. Whereas last year saw the Patriots sign Matt Judon, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, and Jalen Mills, this offseason for New England has mainly consisted of a few re-signings, a few trades, and fewer additions of players like Terrance Mitchell, Ty Montgomery, Malcolm Butler, and Jabrill Peppers.

According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, next year could see the Patriots return to a higher priced offseason. Attractive names on the market, along with guarantees from last year’s signings coming off the books, could lead to New England pursuing the strategy of surrounding a young quarterback on their rookie deal with tons of talent.

Here are a few more free agency rumors from around the AFC, starting with a note from Dade County:

  • Emmanuel Ogbah‘s new dream deal to stay in Miami was dangerously close to not happening, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Ogbah signed an enticing four-year, $65MM deal with $32MM guaranteed in mid-March. While the Dolphins always planned on pursuing Ogbah, the offer they originally had in mind wasn’t quite that lofty. Rumors claim that another team was looking to offer Ogbah a deal close to the contract he ended up with in Miami. The Dolphins upped their offer moments before the start of free agency and were able to keep Ogbah in his home of the past two seasons.
  • In a press conference with new Texans head coach Lovie Smith, a question was raised about the team’s cornerbacks room. Smith’s reply was that the play from last year’s group was not good enough. If players were brought back from last year, Smith claims that the team has faith in them to play a role, but that the team is definitely looking to improve their cornerback room. If the team is looking to free agency to do so, there are still some veteran names available on the market such as Joe Haden, Kyle Fuller, and Chris Harris.
  • According to Mike Sando of The Athletic, while the Broncos obviously improved their quarterback room with the addition of Russell Wilson, an executive in the NFL claims that the move should still be considered a miss as the team obviously would’ve preferred Aaron Rodgers. It’s no secret that most teams in the NFL would prefer Rodgers over Wilson and Wilson clearly improves the Broncos’ offense as the best back up plan after missing on Rodgers. Yet the quoted executive seems to believe that the Broncos deserve a little less credit for the move, since it’s essentially the result of missing on Rodgers.

Dolphins To Re-Sign Emmanuel Ogbah

The top pending free agent for the Dolphins will be staying in Miami. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the pass rusher is signing a four-year, $65.4MM deal (Twitter link). The deal includes $32.7MM in guarantees, Pelissero adds (via Twitter).

What the team would do with Ogbah, 28, was one of the biggest remaining questions for the Dolphins. As expected, they placed the franchise tag on tight end Mike Gesicki rather than Ogbah – something which was far less expensive.

That led many to believe the former second rounder would test the open market, where he would have landed a similarly lucrative deal. Instead, the Dolphins have secured their top pass rusher for less than what the franchise tag would have cost ($16.25MM annual average as opposed to $17.859MM on the tag).

Ogbah has proven his worth during his time with the Dolphins. With nine sacks in each of the previous two campaigns, he established himself as the team’s top pass rusher and an integral part of the defensive unit as a whole. It also earned him a significant raise from the $15MM he made in total after signing in Miami.

While this deal will eat up a significant portion of the Dolphins’ cap space, the team will still comfortably be under the limit. That flexibility will give them the option to make at least one significant signing when free agency opens later this week, as many expect them to.

Dolphins Use Franchise Tag On Mike Gesicki

Another tight end has been named his team’s franchise player. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Dolphins are tagging Mike Gesicki

The 26-year-old was considered one of this year’s top candidates for the tag, given the increasing role he has taken on within the Dolphins’ offense over his career. In the past three seasons, he has totalled 177 catches, 2,053 yards and 13 touchdowns. He would have been one of the most sought-after TEs on the open market.

The tag value for tight ends is set at $10.93MM, though that positional label could be problematic in Gesicki’s case. Rarely used as an in-line blocker, the former second rounder primarily lines up in the slot to maximize his skillset. As a result, the possibility exists for him to file a grievance to be listed as a receiver, an issue some had thought to be likely in the weeks leading up to today’s tag deadline. A compromise paying Gesicki somewhere in between the TE and WR values (the latter being $18.42MM) is also an option.

With that said, the tag is widely seen as a placeholder for a long-term extension. If the two sides can agree on a new pact, the issue of tag value would become moot. Meanwhile, this news points further to the Dolphins’ other big-name free agent, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, hitting the open market. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, recently indicated he is preparing for free agency, though remaining in Miami is on the table (video link). The 28-year-old had 41 tackles and nine sacks in 2021. At a minimum, though, the Dolphins have secured one of their key offensive players for the immediate future.

Dolphins GM Talks Watson, Payton/Brady Rumors, Howard

THURSDAY: Set to pursue a media gig, Payton indicated to veteran NFL reporter Jason Cole (via Twitter) he would “probably not” have been interested in this Dolphins setup had he been given the chance to speak with the team. Once Payton lands with a network, the subject of his next coaching stop figures to come up fairly frequently.

WEDNESDAY: It’s already been a busy offseason for the Dolphins. The team hired a new head coach in Mike McDaniel, dealt with the fallout of former HC Brian Flores‘ lawsuit, and brushed off continued rumors regarding their quarterback position.

While speaking with reporters today, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier addressed many of the major story lines surrounding the organization. Most notably, the GM acknowledged that “the door is shut” on acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Texans. The organization has been continually connected to Watson over the past year, but the team’s decision makers seem focused on moving forward with Tua Tagovailoa.

Grier also addressed a recent report that indicated the organization pursued Sean Payton as their head coach and Tom Brady as their starting quarterback. While the GM discussed the team’s brief pursuit of the coach (which we detail below), he said the Dolphins “never had a conversation” with the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

The Dolphins general manager provided a handful of additional thoughts on the state of the Dolphins, which we’ve compiled below (h/t to Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com):

More on the Dolphins’ commitment to Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback:

“Mike and the staff have come in to do a lot of work, studied a lot of Tua and they feel good about his developmental upside, what he can be and then the fit in the offense. I think we’re good with Tua.”

On the Dolphins pursuit of Payton:

“[We called the Saints] to see if he is done with football or does he want to coach. … They told us no, they weren’t going to grant permission. So that was it.

“We stopped to see if he would have interest at all. So, I don’t even know if he would have interest.”

On cornerback Xavien Howard, who is seeking a new contract following back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons:

“My anticipation is that Xavien will be here next year. We made the promise to him — after the season, we’ll make the adjustment … just to be truthful with him and do it, that’s the right thing to do.”

On impending free agents Mike Gesicki and Emmanuel Ogbah:

“Mike knows how I feel about him. I drafted him and have had separate conversations with Mike. We’ve had limited talks with his agents.”

“As it got to the end of the season with free agency, both of those guys get to this point, they want to be able to see what their options are. They both told us they want to be back in Miami. They both love it here, they want to be back. We’ll see what happens.”

On Flores’ class-action lawsuit against the NFL and three teams (including the Dolphins):

“(At) some point when it’s done [i can discuss], maybe in the future, but I can’t comment on this right now.