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Christian Wilkins’ message following the 2023 season: Most fun I’ve had since I’ve been in the league

The Miami Dolphins ended back-to-back seasons with losses in the Wildcard Round

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins face challenges after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 26-7 in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, starting with more than 25 players slated to reach free agency in March.

Christian Wilkins, who the Dolphins selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, is arguably atop the list of looming free-agent decisions after finishing the regular season with nine sacks and 65 tackles. Considering that Miami sits roughly $40 million over the salary cap, last weekend’s game in Kansas City could’ve been the final time we see Wilkins in a Dolphins uniform.

“Love y’all,” Wilkins said to the locker room following the loss. “Keep fighting — remember this feeling when you’re training in the offseason. Take it with you for real. Have the right mindset when you come back next year.

“You know, just be ready to kill everything man — love y’all.”

Spotrac projects Wilkins to receive a contract of around $20.2 million per year, but that number could be closer to the $22 or $24 million range — comparable to the contracts of Quinnen Williams, Jeffery Simmons, and Daron Payne.

“I told the guys in the locker room that this is the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been in the league, since I’ve been a Miami Dolphin,” Wilkins told reporters following the game. “It’s because what the guys do every day, what they bring, how much it means to them. I think we’ve definitely made big strides.

“There’s still room to improve as a team, as an organization. I think the formula is there, and that is what will happen in the years to come.”