The Miami Dolphins reportedly aren’t expected to exercise the fifth-year options on offensive tackle Austin Jackson and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene’s contracts by the May 2 deadline.
“It would be very surprising if the Dolphins exercise right tackle Austin Jackson’s $14.2 million option for 2024 by the May 2 deadline,” the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson wrote. “It would be unfathomable if the Dolphins exercised Noah Igbonighene’s $11.5 million option for 2024.”
Jackson and Igbinoghene were both first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and are under contract in the 2023 season. However, since they were first-round selections, the Dolphins could add another year to their deals by exercising the fifth-year option.
The Dolphins had three first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft (the other being quarterback Tua Tagovailoa), but Jackson and Igbinoghene have underperformed in their first three seasons in Miami.
Jackson has moved to right tackle since being drafted after the team added Terron Armstead in free agency prior to the 2022 season. He’s started 30 of the 32 games he’s appeared in for the Dolphins, but he played in just two games in the 2022 season.
The University of Southern California product had a ProFootballFocus grade of just 49.9 in the 2021 season, and he improved slightly in his two games in the 2022 campaign, posting a grade of 57.9.
Even though Jackson has been somewhat of a bust to this point in his career, he’s been astronomically better than Igbinoghene, which is not a good sign for Miami.
The Auburn University product has appeared in 32 games across three seasons, making just five starts. Igbinoghene has recorded 29 total tackles, five passes defended and two fumble recoveries in his NFL career.
Despite being a first-round pick, Igbinoghene has struggled to crack the starting lineup for the Dolphins, even with Byron Jones injured in the 2022 season. Igbinoghene appeared in just nine games in the 2022 campaign, making two starts. He did record his first NFL interception this past season.
It’s unfortunate for the Dolphins that Jackson and Igbinoghene have not panned out, but it makes sense that the team doesn’t want to commit to them financially beyond the 2023 season, especially at the salaries they would receive.
Both players should have one last chance in 2023 to prove that they can help the team for the long term, but if not, their time in a Dolphins uniform could be coming to an end.