9. Jaylen Waddle – 2022 cap hit: $6,155,908
Second-year wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is still in the midst of his rookie contract, and will cost the Miami Dolphins $6.1 million in 2022. Based on his 2021 performance and his potential in Mike McDaniel’s offense, he may wind up being one of the best receiver bargains in the league. Waddle’s cap hit will increase by about $1 million per year, but won’t be due a big pay day until 2025, giving Miami some time to build around him.
8. Tyreek Hill – 2022 cap hit: $6,485,000
Yes, he will be one of the highest paid players in the league eventually. But the cap hit for Tyreke Hill in 2022 will be another highly affordable one for such an explosive player. Hill will be just a shade more expensive than Waddle, coming in at $6.4 million. The Dolphins had better enjoy it now. There will likely be restructures down the road that could adjust his yearly cap hit, but Hill’s payout balloons to $31 million in 2023, before dropping to a more affordable $24 million in 2024.
There is a possible out after four years built in to the contract, meaning that Miami can avoid paying Hill a whopping $50 million in 2026 by taking just a $5 million dead cap hit.
7. Teddy Bridgewater – 2022 cap hit: $6,500,000
Having a starting quarterback with an injury history as extensive as the one for the Dolphins creates a glaring need for a backup. Miami tried with Jacoby Brissett last season, but it proved to be $5 million down the drain as he was able to achieve very little success as the signal caller.
The team has gone a different way for 2022, and it will be local kid Teddy Bridgewater who will be the next man up. He’ll be the 7th highest paid player on the team, earning $6.5 million to be one of the most reliable backups in the entire league. His contract will last just one season.