Miami Dolphins: 10 most important players for the future of the franchise
Most important player to Miami Dolphins’ future: Jaylen Waddle
The Miami Dolphins made some bold moves with their 2021 draft picks, ones that ended up in the selection of Jaylen Waddle in the 6th overall slot. The moves were scrutinized and continue to be, and the wide receiver will forever be linked to his college teammate DeVonta Smith due to the pick swap.
But Waddle lived up to the hype in his first year, setting the all-time rookie record for most receptions in a season and being essentially the only offensive bright spot for the team in 2021. He was reliable and as speedy as advertised and was involved in some of the biggest plays of the season for what was an otherwise anemic offense.
His situation may have gotten even better this off-season. With the addition of Tyreek Hill and other pieces including head coach Mike McDaniel, Waddle may see even more opportunities, both by being used in creative ways and by being a second priority for defenses that are focused on Hill. Don’t be surprised if he doubled back as the Dolphins’ leading pass catcher again in 2022.
He has three years left on his rookie contract, one that will pay him just $21 million over the life of it, so Miami will have some time before they need to think about extending Waddle. If he can continue to produce at a high level, he may become one of the best wide receiver bargains in a league with hyperinflated contracts at the position.
Because of his ability, his age, and very importantly his contract situation (and because I couldn’t make the decision between him and Tua and didn’t want you all at my neck), Jaylen Waddle becomes the most important player for the future of the Miami Dolphins.