When veteran players report for training camp on Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins will have their best defensive tackle on the field. Christian Wilkins has made it clear he intends to be there. The question is will Conner Williams?
After a long off-season that saw several defensive tackles around the NFL get new deals, Christian Wilkins who set a record for combined tackles in 2022 for DTs sat quietly waiting for his. That didn't come despite the outward notion that both sides wanted to get a new deal.
Now with the season about to get rolling, Wilkins isn't going to sit this one out and will instead enter the season on his 5th year option that will pay him $10 million for the season.
Wilkins didn't have a lot to stand on if he wanted to sit out. He is subject to fines that can't be summarily handed back to him should a new deal be reached. The Dolphins have his rights for this year and that's that. Beyond the 2023 season is a completely different story and this is a movie what will play out for the forseeable future.
On the other hand, it is unclear if Williams will attend camp. He sat out the mandatory off-season sessions wanting an extension. He is entering the final year of his contract with the Dolphins. While he too doesn't have a leg to stand on, he could opt to sit out the first week, take the fines and try and get a new deal done.
With Wilkins saying he is attending camp and will not hold out, it may have an indirect impact on Williams' decision to go to practice or not. To be fair, I have no idea what Williams' intentions are and I would assume his off-season holdout will not enter camp, nor am I saying that Wilkins decision should be motivation or a message to Williams. I only imply that with Williams making it clear he will not sit out, perhaps that might be a reason Williams opts not to as well.
The Dolphins are entering an exciting season but with expectations going through the roof as far as fans are concerned. It will be interesting how camp translates to higher expectations or if there is a return to a more realistic feel. By the end of this week, the Dolphins will be back on the practice field.