American Football

Dolphins free agents 2024: Walk, tag, re-sign – Andrew Van Ginkel


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Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Our annual look at the Miami Dolphins upcoming free agents continues with a key member of the team’s defense. What should the Dolphins do with linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel?

The NFL free agency begins on March 13 at 4 p.m. ET, with the “negotiating period” or “legal tampering period” starting a couple of days before. As of that 4 p.m. start time, players with contracts that expired at the end of the 2023 league year will be free to begin signing with new teams. The Miami Dolphins have 29 players from their 2023 roster who will hit free agency if they do not make a move with the player over the next couple of weeks.

Some of the decisions for the Dolphins include depth player who could develop into key contributors for the team. But, some of the choices the team has to make between now and March 13 include key members of the roster, starters who could be demanding upper-level salaries on their next contract, and top-tier contributors. One of those top-level choices comes into focus today.

Annually, our “Walk, Tag, Re-Sign” series takes a closer look at each of Miami’s scheduled free agents, breaking down their performance in the past season and what could happen with them in the next year. We give you a chance to vote in the poll at the end of the article to give us your thoughts on what the Dolphins should do. Also, feel free to jump into the comments to discuss Apple’s future with the team as well.


Andrew Van Ginkel

Age (when season begins): 29

Draft: 2019 fifth-round pick (151 overall) by Miami Dolphins

Experience: 5 years

Previous Teams:

  • Miami Dolphins (2019-2023)

Pro Bowls/All-Pro: None

Expiring Contract

1-year, $2.65 million

2023 Review

17 games played (11 starts)
69 tackles
1 fumble recovery
8 passes defensed
1 interception (1 touchdown)
6.0 sacks

The Dolphins allowed Van Ginkel to hit the free-agent market last year before signing him a couple weeks into the process. He was signed to a one-year deal, giving him the ability to once again become a free agent this offseason, though Miami may need to work out a long-term contract to prevent him from leaving.

Van Ginkel began working as an inside linebacker in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s system, moving him from his previous role as an outside linebacker. He began the season in that role, but began rotating back to being an edge rusher as injuries mounted on Miami’s defense. Van Ginkel seemed to be the perfect chess piece in Fangio’s defense and could be moved to multiple positions.

Van Ginkel landed on injured reserve at the end of the season with a foot injury.

2024 Outlook

The problem for the Dolphins is Fangio is now the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. Van Ginkel should have a great 2024 campaign, but his fit in Fangio’s defense could lead him to want to head to Philadelphia. If he stays in Miami, he likely assumes a starting outside linebacker position as the Dolphins wait for the return of Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb from injuries. Van Ginkel seems to be happy in Miami, but the Dolphins will have to find a way to pay him for a strong 2023 campaign if they want to ensure he does not follow Fangio out of town.

Walk, Tag, Re-Sign?

Re-sign. Good things always seem to happen when Van Ginkel is on the field. He is a productive player who is finding his prime. Miami needs pass rushers, especially with Phillips and Chubb injured, and Van Ginkel provides them with that – as well as the flexibility to move around on the defense as needed. New defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver could see Van Ginkel as a key piece to the defense.

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