Free Agents Dolphins Should Pursue After 2022 NFL Draft

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 11, 2022

Free Agents Dolphins Should Pursue After 2022 NFL Draft

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    Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

    The Miami Dolphins made their biggest offseason splashes on the offensive side of the ball.

    Miami has an offense that can contend for a playoff spot, as long as Tua Tagovailoa progresses with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and a slew of running backs around him.

    Miami's focus on offensive improvements left it with few chances to bolster depth during the 2022 NFL draft.

    The Dolphins did the best they could with their four selections, but their roster is not finished yet.

    Miami should take some time over the next few weeks, or months, to assess which defensive holes can be filled on the free-agent market.

    There are still some decent pass-rushers and linebackers available who could help Miami's pursuit of a playoff berth in Mike McDaniel's first season as head coach.

Jadeveon Clowney

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    Nick Cammett/Associated Press

    The Dolphins do not need Jadeveon Clowney or any other free-agent edge-rusher to be their top player at the position.

    Clowney resided in a supporting role in 2021 with the Cleveland Browns and produced nine sacks.

    The nine-sack season has to be intriguing to the Dolphins, who need as much help on the defensive interior as possible to deal with Josh Allen, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones in the AFC East.

    Of course, Clowney comes with an injury history, but he proved in 2021 that he could still get to the quarterback.

    Despite the injury issues, Clowney missed over half of the season just twice in his NFL career.

    Miami could go after the 29-year-old on a one-year deal to help its pass rush before it tries to get younger there next offseason.

Jerry Hughes

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    Joshua Bessex/Associated Press

    Jerry Hughes’ name does not pop off the screen as much as Clowney’s, but he could have a similar impact if he were to sign with the Dolphins.

    Hughes put together a solid career with the Buffalo Bills. He barely missed a game, and he had at least four sacks in eight of his nine seasons there.

    Hughes would be asked to fill depth off the edge in Miami. He could pay off because of his lengthy experience playing in the AFC East.

    Emmanuel Ogbah would still headline the pass-rush, but an experienced player like Hughes could be worth it on a one-year deal.

    Miami would not have to spend an egregious amount of money on Hughes, or most experienced edge-rushers still available, so it is worth adding at the position.

Anthony Barr

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    Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

    Anthony Barr comes with more risk than the two players previously mentioned.

    Barr only played 13 games in the last two seasons for the Minnesota Vikings.

    However, he was effective when he was on the field in 11 games last season. Barr made 72 tackles, had three tackles for loss and produced 2.5 sacks.

    Miami tried to improve the second layer of its defense by drafting Cameron Goode and Channing Tindall, but it may take a year for those prospects to become regular contributors.

    Barr could provide some needed depth behind Elandon Roberts, Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel in third-down or red-zone situations.

    Barr’s tackling ability could help the Dolphins in those situations that may turn touchdowns into field goals.

    The linebacker’s demands might be more than Miami would want to pay a 30-year-old linebacker with some injury concerns, but he would be a decent addition to the linebacker corps if the right deal came to fruition.