clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Phinsider Question Of The Day: Christian Wilkins Edition

NFL: JAN 07 Bills at Dolphins Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By now every Miami Dolphins fan knows a couple of things. First is that the team is almost 52 Million over the cap going into the offseason and that our star DT Christian Wilkins is a free agent who is reportedly set to receive a “market-setting contract” in free agency. I know that most fans think that the cap is not real and in some ways that’s true but eventually it will keep you from signing one of your big names, especially if he’s set to make 25 Million plus a season.

There is no doubt that the Dolphins would like to keep Wilkins on the team for the foreseeable future. It also seems as if they might be in doubt that they can ultimately keep him long-term. When I heard Chris Grier state that Wilkins had “earned the right to be a free agent” I couldn't help but be reminded that the last player that he essentially said the same thing about was Mike Gesicki. As it turned out the New England Patriots signed Gesicki as a free agent with every report stating that the Dolphins made exactly zero effort to keep him.

Wilkins has also become a big fan favorite but even as a fan you know that these things happen. We draft a guy, develop a guy, and then can't afford to keep the guy once his first big contract comes due. So what are the options? The Dolphins could bite the bullet and just let a lot of other players who are due new contracts walk leaving a lot of big holes in the roster. They could just let him walk and sign with someone else in free agency earning them a compensatory pick. The issue with that is that Wilkins is worth way more than a late 3rd pick, the highest compensatory pick you can earn and that would not come until the 2025 draft. Then there is the tag and trade option.

There is a way to sign a player to the franchise tag and then trade them, which they could do with Wilkins. In order for this to happen the team would have to designate Wilkins with the franchise tag at some point between February 20th and March 5th. They could then trade him on that tag but Wilkins would have to sign it to facilitate the trade. While Wilkins could refuse to sign thus scuttling any trade the Dolphins could find out which team(s) he’s willing to be traded to, find one of those teams that is willing to trade for him and his agent, and the trade partner could have a longer team deal already worked out before the trade goes down.

There are a lot of other caveats that go along with the tag but it does give the team some leverage. Wilkins for sure wants to get paid and has earned it but once he’s tagged he can’t just decide to not sign it and then play for someone else so he’s then stuck. Also, the team can at any point pull the tag and that would immediately make Wilkins a free agent. This option also gives the team some leverage if Wilkins doesn’t sign and then the team waits until after free agency and the draft to drop the designation. This would most likely cost Wilkins money on the open market as teams that are now looking at Wilkins as a top target free agent possibility will have by then likely gone in a different direction in free agency or via the draft.

So in your opinion what would you realistically like to see happen with Wilkins this offseason?

Please give us your thoughts in the comments section below-