The Miami Dolphins on Friday released veteran linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah ahead of free agency, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN:

“Dolphins plan to release veteran LB Emmanuel Ogbah today, per source. Miami signed Ogbah to a four-year, $65 million deal after he posted back-to-back nine-sack seasons in 2020 and 2021.”

The move makes sense for Miami. Even with the higher-than-expected 2024 NFL salary cap, the Dolphins have a lot of work to do to get under the cap (and even more if they hope to retain some key free agents). Releasing Ogbah clears nearly $14 million in cap space.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Ogbah, as his playing time shrank significantly in 2023 as he struggled to stand out in a 3-4 scheme implemented by new Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Although Fangio has moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles, the linebacker will be searching for a new team as well.

Ogbah will likely have several suitors in free agency, as he's shown that he can still be a productive player although he isn't necessarily worth his previous $65 million price tag.

The linebacker recorded nine sacks in consecutive years for the Dolphins from 2020 through 2021 and has totaled at least 5.5 sacks in a single season for three separate teams throughout his career. Miami originally signed Ogbah after a 2019 season with the Chiefs that saw him register 32 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble despite only playing 10 games due to a torn pectoral muscle.

Ogbah, who played his collegiate football at Oklahoma State, was originally selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 32nd pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.