Emmanuel Ogbah’s decision to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2020 jump-started an underwhelming career. Now, the veteran defensive end is in line to make future-securing money as he approaches the second free agency of his career. Proving to be a formidable player in Miami’s defense and the stats to prove it, what type of contract could Ogbah expect to receive in the 2022 free agency cycle period?
Emmanuel Ogbah: Free Agency Overview
Ogbah had as many sacks in his two years with the Dolphins as he had total in his first four NFL seasons spent with the Browns and Chiefs. He was responsible for 40 quarterback hits between 2016 and 2019. He’s recorded 45 since the start of the 2020 season. In other words, Ogbah was a late bloomer, but now at age 28, he’s at the top of his game.
Ogbah’s body of work and tread left on the tires make him the No. 30 free agent on the Pro Football Network Top 50 Free Agent list and the No. 7 edge defender.
Recapping Ogbah’s 2021 season
Ogbah quietly had one of the most complete seasons of any AFC defensive player in 2021. Only eight players in his conference (and none on his own team) had more sacks (9.0). Ogbah’s 12 pass breakups led all NFL front-seven players. He was credited with 39 pressures, 24 QB hits, 15 hurries, 13 knockdowns, 9 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Ogbah’s contract estimate and salary cap implications
Ogbah’s days of playing on a discount are over. He just closed out a two-year commitment with the Dolphins that earned him $15.1 million, a sum that made him the 35th highest-paid edge defender in the NFL. He deserves more — and should get it.
The franchise tag is highly unlikely, considering the cost ($20.2 million). Spotrac calculates Ogbah’s market value is roughly half of that ($30.5 million over three years), which would rank 21st among defensive ends. The Dolphins, with a league-most $62.1 million in cap space (as of Feb. 22), have plenty of money to keep Ogbah.
Possible landing spots for Ogbah
And keep Ogbah the Dolphins should. He’s been a major reason the team has ranked in the top 10 in sack rate in each of the last two years. While Jaelan Phillips is an ascending talent, there would be a huge hole on Miami’s defensive line if Ogbah walks.
Nevertheless, if the two sides cannot agree on terms, he should have options. Half the league needs edge rusher help, but the Falcons, Texans, Rams, and Giants particularly need an infusion of talent.
What they’re saying
“I’ve always viewed myself staying here long term, but the job is not finished yet. We’ve still got one more game. We’ve got to go out there and handle business. But like I’ve said, I just let my agent handle his part while I handle my part on the field.” — Emmanuel Ogbah, January 2022
“The first thought that comes to my mind when you talk about Ogbah is he’s a selfless player. He puts the team first. He’s a hard worker. He’s a tough guy. I’m obviously glad we have him. He competes. Like all of us, he’ll come in and put in a good day’s work, try to put his best foot forward, and he’s been productive for us this year.” — Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer