Christian Wilkins may not be a Miami Dolphins by the end of the day

Jan 7, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA;  Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94)
Jan 7, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

By the time Miami Dolphins fans start planning their dinner, Christian Wilkins may be a member of another NFL team.

The legal tampering period in the NFL, ahead of free agency, begins at noon and the Dolphins could know shortly afterward what Wilkins' value on the open market will be. For Chris Grier and the Dolphins, any hopes of retaining their best defensive tackle will come down to matching what another team offers.

If Wilkins agrees to a contract with another team, the Dolphins will for all intents and purposes have until Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. to counter or match the offer. Even if they do it will be up to Wilkins to accept it. He is not bound by any rules to keep him in Miami. The Dolphins could literally offer him more money and Wilkins is allowed to decline it.

While that isn't likely, what is will be the fact that Wilkins will test the market later today and he should get a lot of attention from other teams. Defensive tackle is not a deep position this year in free agency.

A record-setting deal for Chris Jones in Kansas City has set the bar far higher than the Dolphins will go with Wilkins. Wilkins is not on the Chris Jones level and some will argue that he is a hair below Justin Madubuike who re-signed with the Ravens.

Wilkins will likely get a deal closer to what the Ravens gave Madubuike and the only question is whether or not the Dolphins or another team will pay him.

One thing is certain. The more than two-year dance with Wilkins will come to a close this week. The Dolphins could have extended him two years ago but opted to pay him on the 5th year option. They failed to get a deal done last year and Wilkins bet on himself and played on that 5th year. Now, after a long break from the season's end, Wilkins is about to find out what other teams believe he is worth.