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One day after the Miami Dolphins took care of a few running backs of their own in Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, they re-signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Nik Needham.
Needham has agreed to a one-year deal to return to Miami in 2023 worth just under $2 million, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Needham was playing great football as a fourth-year defensive back following a tough-road-traveled to the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019.
The Dolphins fought off a number of teams, at least six, including one that employs his former head coach, as the Minnesota Vikings and new defensive coordinator Brian Flores were very much after Needham.
A top-tier slot corner in 2021, Needham, unfortunately, was hurt last season during a Week 6 game, ironically against the Vikings, when he tore his Achilles.
Ahead of schedule, running and aiming for normal participation in training camp, Needham will come back to the team that took a chance on him in 2019.
Needham is part of a deep cornerback room in Miami, with depth players like Kader Kohou and Trill Williams. He could be a valuable piece in Vic Fanigio’s defense, as he’s an originally-trained boundary cornerback and could also resume work in the slot. He could even be a candidate to help out with safety duties.
Of course, following a massive splash trade on Sunday, when the Dolphins sent a 2023 third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for superstar cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, their secondary is as deep as ever.
Ramsey now pairs with Xavien Howard for arguably the league’s most fearsome duo, as the pending release of Byron Jones doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore.
In his four seasons, Needham has tailed 192 tackles, six interceptions including a “Nik-6” touchdown, as well as 25 passes defended. You can also add in three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
A player who earned the respect of teammates, coaches and Dolphins fans, Needham will no doubt continue to work and rehab his way back to the field, and back to form.