The Miami Dolphins reportedly could not agree to terms on a contract extension with defensive tackle Christian Wilkins on Tuesday.
Wilkins, who is in the final season of his rookie deal, has been a key part of Miami’s defense. ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed that Wilkins and his team were not agreeable to the guarantee structure of the Dolphins’ contract proposals.
Despite the Dolphins clearing salary-cap space today, DT Christian Wilkins and Miami could not agree to terms on an extension. Wilkins’ team was not agreeable to the guarantee structure of the contract proposals, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2023
It’s certainly disappointing for Miami, as the team would have loved to lock down Wilkins for the long term, especially since he had arguably the best season of his career in the 2022 campaign.
Dolphins fans shouldn’t be too worried, as the team reportedly isn’t interested in trading Wilkins, who doesn’t want to be anywhere else, despite interest from around the league.
Update: NFL teams have called the #Dolphins about trading for star DT Christian Wilkins but Miami isn't interested in trading him and he isn't interested going elsewhere this season, per @AdamSchefter pic.twitter.com/8bxqGJmaWH
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 29, 2023
The former first-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft recorded a career-high 98 combined tackles in the 2022 season including 16 tackles for loss (another career-high mark). Wilkins also had 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in the 2022 season.
With the Dolphins putting together a solid edge rushing duo with Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips, Wilkins is one of the main players who wreaks havoc on the inside for Miami.
Even though Wilkins has never made a Pro Bowl, he’s still a really solid player for the Dolphins and one that is homegrown.
On the bright side, the Dolphins could still guarantee that Wilkins has at least a one-year deal in the 2024 season by franchise tagging him next offseason. That may not be what the defensive tackle wants, but it would avoid the chance of Miami losing him in free agency.
Since being drafted back in 2019, Wilkins has appeared in 64 games for the Dolphins and made 60 starts in four seasons. He’s never played less than 14 games in a single season, and he’s played in all 34 of Miami’s games in the last two seasons.
That kind of durability is hard to find, and it’s a reason why the Dolphins should hope they can retain Wilkins in the future. For his career, the former Clemson University star has recorded 290 combined tackles, 11.5 sacks, 33 tackles for loss, 27 quarterback hits and three forced fumbles.
If Wilkins can play as well as he did last season in the 2023 campaign, the Dolphins should be right back in the playoff race in the AFC.
Miami finished the 2022 season with a 9-8 record, good for second in the AFC East division. It lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Buffalo Bills.