NFL agent thinks Miami Dolphins should prioritize Christian Wilkins over Tua Tagovailoa regarding extensions

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have some significant contract decisions to make this offseason, and one NFL agent said he thinks they should first focus on a long-term deal for defensive lineman Christian Wilkins over one for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

“Well, I would say right now, because they still have Tua under contract and his fifth-year option year, and Christian Wilkins is not under contract, I would think the greater timing would be to get Wilkins done,” Drew Rosenhaus said.

“At the end of the day, the Dolphins should sign both guys. And they’re both very important. And I would say they’re equally important to the team. Timing-wise, they might work on Wilkins first. And I believe if a deal is not in place, the Dolphins will use the franchise tag on that stud. He’s an unbelievable talent and an All-Pro defensive tackle.”

After the Dolphins failed to get a contract extension done with either player prior to this past season, Wilkins is now without a contract while Tagovailoa’s option for the 2024 campaign was picked up by the team last March.

That means, as Rosenhaus said, there is a greater sense of urgency when it comes to determining Wilkins’ future. The deadline to place a franchise tag on a player is March 5. Doing so would guarantee the player a one-year contract, but the sides have until July to hammer out a longer-term deal.

The Dolphins – and the rest of the teams in the league – got some good news last week when the NFL announced that the salary cap for the 2024 season would increase by more than $30 million to exceed $255 million per team. It is the largest one-year increase since the cap was instituted in 1994. Miami was reportedly thought to be entering the offseason about $50 million over the cap.

The team also has decisions to make on wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and others. The Dolphins are now able to exercise a contract option to secure him through the 2025 NFL season while also considering a more lucrative extension at some point. His status has led to some trade speculation that drew a reaction from fellow receiver Tyreek Hill.

Miami also reportedly is set to part with cornerback Xavien Howard, and the status of oft-injured offensive lineman Terron Armstead also is a bit uncertain.

This past season, Wilkins played all 17 games for a third straight season. He recorded a career-high nine sacks and made 65 combined tackles, including 10 tackles for loss.

Tagovailoa had arguably his best NFL season, playing all 17 games for the first time and leading the league with 4,624 passing yards. He also had a career-high 29 touchdown passes, helping the Dolphins finish with an 11-6 record and make the playoffs for a second straight season.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.