The Miami Dolphins can buy one more year for Jaylen Waddle but 2024 is going to be a critical one.
Waddle has done everything the Dolphins have asked of him. Sure he drops passes from time to time and that can lead to inconsistent play but he is also explosive. 2023 wasn't his best season but that was more on Tua Tagovailoa for trying to force the ball to Tyreek Hill more than he should have.
For Waddle, the 5th-year option will likely get picked up and that will buy the Dolphins another year but it can be rescinded and the Dolphins may opt to not pay him over $ 10 million a year on the 5th. They could explore trade options or extend him outright.
I doubt the Dolphins do the latter and keep on year 5, if he doesn't regress at all in 2024. The problem with Waddle, however, is that we can't be sure if what we have seen is the best he has to offer. Is his ceiling higher? Does he have more room to develop further or is this all there is?
With Tyreek Hill likely gone after the 2025 season, Waddle has to show he can handle the number one WR job because he is going to be paid like he is a number one. The Dolphins may not want to do that if he doesn't show more consistency.