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Top Team Fits For Recently Released 40-Sack Pass Rusher

The Miami Dolphins released pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah, but it shouldn't be long before the veteran finds a new job.
Emmanuel Ogbah

The NFL salary cap jumped to an unprecedented $255.4 million, but that wasn’t enough to save Emmanuel Ogbah. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Miami Dolphins have decided to part ways with their veteran pass rusher.

Ogbah originally entered the league with the Browns, spending three seasons with them and one with the Kansas City Chiefs before signing with the Dolphins in the 2020 offseason. At first, his two-year, $15 million deal seemed like a bargain, as Emmanuel Ogbah recorded 18 sacks over those two seasons. Now set to hit free agency again, the Dolphins signed him to a new four-year, $65 million contract.

This deal didn’t work out as well for the Dolphins. The pass rusher only played in nine games in 2022 before a triceps injury ended his season. While he returned to the field in 2023, Emmanuel Ogbah wasn’t the same dominant force as before. Ultimately, Miami decided he wasn’t worth the cap hit and cut the veteran.

Several Teams Could Sign Recently Released Pass Rusher Emmanuel Ogbah

Emmanuel Ogbah was set to carry a $17.7 million cap hit, and the Dolphins freed up $13.7 million by parting ways with the veteran. Ogbah is no longer a $16 million per year type of player, but he still belongs on the football field. The former second-round pick has recorded 42.5 sacks throughout his career, including 5.5 in 15 games last year.

While he might have lost a step defending the run, his 67.1 PFF pass rushing grade implies he can still beat offensive tackles and get to the quarterback. In today’s pass-happy NFL, there is no such thing as too many good pass rushers, so Emmanuel Ogbah should be able to land a job with some other team.

Best Free Agent Destinations

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars had the fewest sacks in the league last year, and that was with Josh Allen recording 17.5 on his own. This team desperately needs to find someone else capable of getting after the quarterback, as former first-overall pick Travon Walker is starting to look like a lost cause. Allen is expected to receive the franchise tag, which will take up most of Jacksonville’s cap space. Seeing as they probably can’t afford to spend big on the open market, they might as well take a low-risk, medium-reward dart throw on Emmanuel Ogbah.

Kansas City Chiefs

Emmanuel Ogbah helped the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl back in 2019, so he might as well help them go for a three-peat in 2024. Kansas City had one of the best defenses in football last year, but that could change in the upcoming season. Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed are both set to hit free agency, and Kansas City could be in trouble if they have to choose between those two. Jones was easily the Chiefs best pass rusher last year, and they’ll have trouble getting after the quarterback if he leaves for greener pastures. Ogbah isn’t nearly as good as Jones (nor is he an interior defender), but he will help the Chiefs rack up sacks.

Detroit Lions

If the Detroit Lions want to take the next step as a contender, they’ll need to bolster their defense. Last year, the team made it to the NFC Championship Game strictly because of their offense. Now that they have $65.7 million in cap space, they should have plenty of resources to invest on the defense. Emmanuel Ogbah shouldn’t be their only big add, but he will help a pass rush that desperately needs more playmakers.

New Orleans Saints

Nobody needed the salary cap increase as much as the New Orleans Saints. Thanks to the unexpected rise in cap space along with Derek Carr’s restructure, the team is now just $38.8 million over the salary cap. That’s nothing for this team, and while they probably won’t be able to break the bank in free agency, they should be able to free up enough money for Emmanuel Ogbah. Second-round pick Isaiah Foskey didn’t show much as a rookie, and while it’s too early to completely give up on him, New Orleans should invest in a Plan B in case the youngster can’t make the second-year leap.

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens had the most sacks in football last year, but a lot of that talent is set to leave the building. Justin Madubuike, Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy, and Patrick Queen are all unrestricted free agents, and Baltimore won’t be able to bring them all back. Instead of trying to keep the band together, the Ravens could prioritize Madubuike and hope that a low-cost free agent like Emmanuel Ogbah can step up.

Main Photo: Denny Simmons – USA Today Sports


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