Report: Christian Wilkins could get $25M per year amid interest from ‘several’ teams

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

There reportedly are several NFL teams that are hoping to land Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in free agency this offseason.

Wilkins will not receive the franchise tag from Miami, which will make him a free agent and allow him to sign with any team in the NFL.

According to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, there was buzz at the NFL combine in Indianapolis around Wilkins, with several teams interested in the star defensive lineman.

NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reported that Wilkins could receive around $22 million to $25 million annually on his next contract after he posted a career-high nine sacks in the 2023 season.

A first-round pick by the Dolphins in the 2019 NFL Draft, Wilkins has spent the last five seasons with the team. He’s started 77 of the 81 games that he’s appeared in, and the Clemson University product played in all 17 regular season games for Miami in each of the last three seasons.

There’s no doubt that Wilkins is an impact player on the defensive line, as he totaled 10 or more tackles for loss in each of the last three seasons. Wilkins has racked up 20.5 sacks, 355 combined tackles, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in his NFL career.

It was recently reported that the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans could be potential suitors for Wilkins this offseason.

The Dolphins would hate to see him land with either team, as both squads made the playoffs in the AFC last season.

Miami, who ended up as a wild card team in the AFC last season, certainly doesn’t want Wilkins to land with a team that could be competing with the Dolphins for a playoff spot in the 2024 season.

With the Dolphins likely needing to extend quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s contract in the near future (he’ll be in the last season of his deal in 2024), Wilkins may end up being a player that the Dolphins have to let go.

The team has already attempted to address some of its salary cap issues this offseason by moving on from cornerback Xavien Howard, but losing Wilkins as well would cause a major hole in the team’s defense that ranked 22nd in the NFL in points allowed per game last season.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Dolphins can compete with any of the offers that Wilkins eventually receives on the open market.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.