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Emmanuel Ogbah landing spots: Dolphins to save $13.7 million in cap space by cutting veteran DE, per report


The Miami Dolphins are currently projected to be way over the cap, giving general manager Chris Grier plenty of decisions to make in terms of cost-cutting measures. One of those decisions came this week, as the Dolphins are set to release veteran pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah, according to ESPN.

Releasing Ogbah prior to June 1 would save $13.7 million for Miami, according to Spotrac. A post-June 1 release designation would save the team $15.7 million. Prior to the 2022 season, Ogbah signed a four-year, $65 million deal after posting back-to-back nine-sack seasons for Miami. Since then, his production has dropped off considerably, producing just 6.5 sacks in the last two seasons combined.

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One potential move the Dolphins are most likely to pursue is bringing back star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who could receive the franchise tag or a massive contract extension as he’s eligible for free agency. They’ll need to create as much cap space as possible to be in position to retain one of their top players and team leaders. It won’t hurt that the NFL’s salary cap is skyrocketing to $255.4 million in 2024, which is up a record $30.6 million from a year ago.

Ogbah was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the No. 32 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State. After recording 12.5 sacks in three seasons, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. Ogbah recorded 32 combined tackles and 5.5 sacks before signing a two-year deal with Miami the following offseason.

Ogbah turned 30 in November, and recorded 20 combined tackles and 5.5 sacks to go along with his first career interception in 15 total games played in 2023. The additions of Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb pushed Ogbah to the bench, as he has started in just four games over the past two seasons. In 2023, Ogbah played just over 39% of defensive snaps once. 

Let’s take a look at a few potential landing spots for the veteran defensive end. 

Cleveland Browns

Maybe Ogbah could return to the team that originally drafted him. Defensive end Za’Darius Smith is a free agent this offseason, so Cleveland could replace one veteran with another — a veteran who should come cheaper at that. Jim Schwartz’s defensive line is especially important to his scheme, so upkeep is important. In 40 games played for Cleveland (all starts), Ogbah recorded 122 combined tackles, 12.5 sacks, 17 passes defended and 29 QB hits.

The 49ers are known for picking up semi-recognizable names on the defensive side of the ball, whether that’s Chase Young, Clelin Ferrell or Randy Gregory. By the way, all three of those players are free agents this offseason, so the 49ers may need a new starter opposite Nick Bosa. Ogbah may be older than players like Young or Ferrell, but he has some tread left on the tires. The 49ers are still seen as the best team in the NFC, making it an attractive landing spot for any veteran. 

The Cowboys have several free agents on the defensive line, including Dorance Armstrong, Dante Fowler Jr., Johnathan Hankins and Neville Gallimore. Dallas is undergoing a change on the defensive side of the ball with Dan Quinn now in Washington, but new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is still going to want to bring in experienced players who can get after the quarterback. 





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