A new report notes that the Miami Dolphins are making a determined effort to sign defensive tackle Christian Wilkins to a contract extension before the start of the upcoming regular season.
“He’s a guy that Miami wants to re-sign, they had interest in doing it,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said Sunday on SportsCenter. “So, there could be some movement sometime this summer. Only 11.5 sacks in four years but he’s a leader on that team, highly productive in all areas. So, they want to get that done, watch for money in that area.”
Wilkins is set to begin the final year of the rookie deal he signed in 2019. He was the Dolphins’ top pick in that year’s draft. His salary for the upcoming campaign will be $10.8 million, though any extension could potentially double that amount.
One of the reasons for that expected bump in pay is because of Wilkins’ ability in stopping opposing runners. During his first three seasons, Wilkins was on both sides of the defensive line as a defensive end before shifting to the interior last season.
In his past two seasons, Wilkins has made 26 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He’s also been effective on pass plays, with 17 passes defended during his four NFL campaigns.
Last season, Wilkins recorded a career-high 98 combined tackles. That contribution helped play a part in the Dolphins’ return to the postseason.
Wilkins has also willingly embraced his status as a role model by doing things off the field, including a football fundamentals camp in his native Massachusetts.
Just a few months ago, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel offered an update on extension talks, saying that the discussions toward a new deal were a priority for the team.
The arrival of new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio could be interesting in relation to Wilkins. The defensive tackle’s role may change under Fangio, who’s known for his innovative concepts that have delivered major results on the field.
Those results help explain why the Dolphins were lucky to hire him, as they faced strong competition from other teams.
Wilkins is just 27 years old and won’t turn 28 until December. The Dolphins are clearly seeking to make sure that the Clemson University product spends the prime of his career with the team.
By getting a deal with Wilkins done, the team will help quell any uneasiness on both sides, allowing the focus to simply be on winning games.