Zach Sieler

Dolphins Restructures: Ramsey, Armstead, Sieler, Ingold, Smythe

The Dolphins were in a dangerous situation working with quite a precarious cap number. In an effort to get within compliance, Miami reworked the deals of several players in order to lessen their respective salary cap impacts.

One of the biggest deals to get done was the restructure of star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the team converted $13.89MM of Ramsey’s 2024 base salary (now only $1.21MM) and an $11MM roster bonus into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the two already in existence at the end of his contract.

The work put in by both sides resulted in a cap clearance of $19.91MM.

Here are a few other restructured deals the Dolphins utilized to increase their available cap space:

  • We mentioned after the re-signing of offensive guard Robert Jones that an adjusted contract was on the way for left tackle Terron Armstead. Lo and behold, per Daniel Oyefusi of the Miami Herald, Armstead will accept a $4.25MM pay cut in 2024 while bringing in $10MM of guaranteed salary. His new deal includes a $7.29MM signing bonus, as well. The adjustments cleared another $10.29MM of cap space for the Dolphins.
  • It was Michael Ginnitti at who informed us of the remaining adjustments. Defensive lineman Zach Sieler contributed by agreeing to convert $7.01MM of his 2024 base salary (now only $1.13MM) into a signing bonus while adding two void years to the end of his deal, resulting in the clearance of $5.6MM of cap space. Fullback Alec Ingold chipped in by agreeing to convert $2.08MM of his 2024 salary (now also $1.13MM) into a signing bonus while adding two void years to the end of his contract, as well, resulting in $1.66MM of cap space clearance. Finally, tight end Durham Smythe agreed to convert $2MM of his 2024 base salary (now also $1.13MM) into a signing bonus while adding three void years to the end of his current deal, resulting in $1.6MM of new cap space. Oyefusi points out that the addition of all those void years speaks to the dire nature of the team’s salary cap position. They ended up finding cap compliance in time for the new league year, but the cap hits of those void years will find them eventually.

Dolphins, DL Zach Sieler Agree To Extension

The Dolphins and defensive lineman Zach Sieler have agreed to a three-year contract extension, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Per Schefter, the deal is worth up to $38.65MM and includes $20MM in guarantees. The NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe says that the contract has a base value of $30.75MM and can top out at $35.7MM via incentives, so we will need to wait for a little more clarity with respect to Sieler’s maximum earnings. The reporters are in agreement on the $20MM guaranteed money figure.

Sieler, a seventh-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, is the last player that longtime Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome drafted while at the top of the club’s personnel department. But like many Day 3 draftees, Sieler had a difficult time carving out a role for himself, and after appearing in just six games for the Ravens, he was waived in December 2019.

The Dolphins, who were in the midst of a rebuild at the time, claimed Sieler and gave him his first NFL start several weeks later. In that game, a victory over the Bengals, Sieler recorded his first career sack, along with seven total tackles and two passes defensed.

The Ferris State find built on that momentum the following year, and in November 2020, he landed a three-year, $8.58MM extension that ran through the 2023 season. That deal gave Sieler a little financial security, but it was also a buy-low transaction for the club, which was rewarded for its savvy waiver claim with over three years of a quality defensive lineman at a fairly modest cost.

In 2022, Sieler appeared in all 17 regular season games (15 starts). He set career-highs with a 77% snap share, 70 total tackles, four passes defensed, and two forced fumbles, and his 3.5 sacks matched his career-best total from 2020 (he also added two sacks, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown in Miami’s postseason loss to the Bills). Pro Football Focus’ metrics considered him the 21st-best interior defender out of 127 qualifiers, and while PFF did not think highly of his pass rush work last season, it assigned him elite grades across the board in 2021, when it ranked him as the third-best interior DL in the league.

It stands to reason, then, that Sieler wanted a raise on the $2.5MM he was due to earn in the final year of his first Miami extension. Indeed, we heard in June that the soon-to-be 28-year-old was actively seeking a new contract, and player and team were able to come to terms before the start of a season in which the Dolphins are again expected to contend for a playoff berth.

Sieler’s fellow defensive lineman, Christian Wilkins, is pushing for his own lucrative extension, and he has staged a hold-in as part of his efforts to secure it. One wonders what type of impact, if any, the Sieler agreement will have on negotiations with Wilkins. While the Dolphins’ short-term salary cap outlook is less than ideal, the team did not supplement its D-line with any free agent signings or draft picks this year, and Miami generally takes care of the talent that Drew Rosenhaus represents (both Sieler and Wilkins are Rosenhaus clients).

Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa On Contract Situation

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is extension-eligible, but he is also under club control through 2024 since Miami exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. Although GM Chris Grier suggested earlier this offseason — and before he picked up his QB’s fifth-year option — that an extension was on the table, Tagovailoa himself told reporters on Wednesday that there have been no long-term contract talks, at least not recently.

“I haven’t talked about any contract since what I’ve understood with my fifth-year [option],” Tagovailoa said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

Fellow 2020 draftee Justin Herbert recently landed a massive new deal from the Chargers, and Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick of that class, will likely score an even more lucrative pact in short order. Players like Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson have also put pen to paper on eye-popping extensions this offseason.

Tagoailoa, though, is content with his current status. “I don’t think that’s a worry of mine,” he said. “When things come, they’ll come because you either deserved it or it’s supposed to happen that way.”

The Fins’ apparent desire to let the 2023 season play out before committing to Tagovailoa on a long-term basis is certainly understandable. The Alabama product made great strides under rookie head coach Mike McDaniel in 2022, but his season was also marked by serious concussion issues. He displayed concussion-like symptoms in Week 3 against the Bills, and while he returned to action shortly after that sequence, an NFLPA investigation into the Dolphins’ handling of the situation led to an overhaul of the NFL’s concussion protocol. Tagovailoa entered the protocol four days later, after being stretchered off the field in Cincinnati, and he was placed in the revised protocol a day after sustaining an unspotted concussion against Green Bay on Christmas Day. He missed four full games last year, and the head injuries — to say nothing of the time he missed due to other maladies over the 2020-21 campaigns — have obviously created cause for concern. He even admitted earlier this year that he considered retirement.

Fortunately, doctors have told Tagovailoa that CTE is not a concern for him, and that no medical evidence proves that concussions are more likely eight to 12 months after suffering one (or two, or three). As such, he is back on the field and looking to build upon an otherwise promising campaign in which he led the league in quarterback rating (105.5), TD% (6.3%), and yards per attempt (8.9). If he can do that while remaining healthy, he will be a legitimate extension candidate next offseason.

“I think regardless of what it is, if [the Dolphins] wanted to do it now, if they wanted to wait, whatever,” Tagovailoa said. “I think for myself, I’m always a person that wants to prove to myself that I deserve whatever I get. So for me, I feel like this is something that I need to work for. It’s as plain and simple as that.”

In related news, two contract-year members of Miami’s roster — center Connor Williams and DT Zach Sieler — timely reported to training camp. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets, both players are nonetheless continuing their push for new deals. Williams skipped mandatory mincamp and OTAs, and Sieler attended minicamp after missing at least some OTAs.

Dolphins DT Zach Sieler Seeking New Contract

Dolphins defensive tackle Zach Sieler is set to earn an affordable $2.5MM this upcoming season, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he’s looking for a raise. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, “it’s no secret” that Sieler is seeking a new contract.

[RELATED: Dolphins Continue To Talk Extension With DT Christian Wilkins]

Back in 2020, Sieler inked a three-year extension with Miami that will last through the 2023 campaign. At the time, the defensive lineman didn’t have much of a track record. In the two years after being selected in the seventh round, he got into nine games with the Ravens and Dolphins. He inked the extension only a few months into his first full season in Miami, and he’s more than outperformed that pact since that time.

Over the past three seasons, Sieler hasn’t missed a game for the Dolphins, starting 32 of his 50 appearances. Over that span, the 27-year-old has compiled nine sacks, 24 tackles for loss, and 26 QB hits. This past season, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 21 interior defender (among 127 qualifying players), with the site giving him particularly high grades for his run defense.

Sieler was absent from optional OTAs but ended up showing up for this week’s mandatory minicamp. While Sieler and agent Drew Rosenhaus could have played hard ball with the Dolphins, there’s a chance they bide their time while the organization focuses on more urgent matters.

As Jackson notes, the Dolphins may have to make some tough decisions when it comes to re-signing Sieler. The front office has been negotiating with Christian Wilkins’ camp for weeks, and that final number will ultimately cut into the cash available for the rest of the defensive line. Wilkins is set to earn $10.7MM in 2023.

Dolphins Extend DT Zach Sieler

The Dolphins have been arguably the best story in football this season, and now they’re locking up one of their diamond in the rough finds. Miami has extended defensive tackle Zach Sieler through the 2023 season, the team announced Monday.

He had previously been set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. A seventh-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, the Dolphins claimed him off waivers from Baltimore in December of last year. He played in a few games for Miami down the stretch, and showed enough to earn a role in 2020. The Dolphins’ defense has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL as they’ve played at a very high level recently, and Sieler has been a big part of the turnaround.

He’s played in all nine games this season, starting three, while notching right around half of the defensive snaps. So far he has 26 tackles, four for a loss, 1.5 sacks, and eight quarterback hits. We don’t have the financial terms yet for the Ferris State D2 alum, but we’ll pass those along as soon as we get word.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/12/20

Today’s restricted free agent and exclusive rights free agent tender decisions will be posted below:





Minor NFL Transactions: 12/5/19

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

Ravens Claim C Hroniss Grasu

With Matt Skura out for the season, the Ravens gave the Week 13 center snaps to a player without much experience at the position. On Wednesday, they claimed a former starting center, Hroniss Grasu, off waivers from the Titans, Field Yates of tweets.

Patrick Mekari started for Baltimore against San Francisco and played all 65 offensive snaps, but the rookie UDFA out of Cal had not previously started an NFL or college game at center. Grasu provides some insurance.

The former Bears starter has made 13 NFL starts, including one with the Ravens last season, since being a 2015 third-round pick. The Titans waived him earlier this week after not using him in a game this season. The Ravens cut Grasu late last season, leading him to stints with the Dolphins and Titans.

The Ravens waived defensive lineman Zach Sieler to clear a roster spot for Grasu, Jamison Hensley of tweets.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/5/19

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: DT Aziz Shittu

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the RavensBengalsBrowns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

* = International Pathway Program player