Miami Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel has announced that extending defensive lineman Christian Wilkins is a top priority for the team during the owners meetings this week.
Wilkins is set to play the 2023 season on his fifth-year option after the Dolphins exercised it last offseason. However, the Dolphins are interested in signing him to a long-term contract.
Wilkins was drafted with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and has been a consistent performer for the Dolphins over the last few years. He has recorded 290 tackles, 33 tackles for a loss, and 11.5 sacks during his career so far. Despite being one of the older rookies of his class, Wilkins has steadily improved every year in the league.
Last season, Wilkins had a career year, recording five sacks, 31 pressures, and 56 tackles. He started as a primarily run-stuffing defender but took a significant step forward as a pass rusher in 2021. The Dolphins exercised Wilkins’ fifth-year option, which will see him earn $10.753 million for the upcoming season.
However, McDaniel has stated that the Dolphins would like to sign Wilkins to a long-term contract and make him a key part of their defense for the foreseeable future. He emphasized that extending Wilkins is a priority for the team, and they are currently in regular contact with his agent to ensure that both parties are on the same page.
A long-term contract for Wilkins could be beneficial for both the player and the team. It could potentially lower his salary cap hit for the upcoming season, allowing the Dolphins to create more cap space. Additionally, it would secure Wilkins’ future with the franchise and give him the stability he needs to focus on his game.