Christian Wilkins will smile to the bank after Justin Madubuike deal

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Miami Dolphins' soon-to-be free agent, Christian Wilkins has to be smiling big after the contract Justin Madubuike signed with Baltimore.

The Ravens franchise DT has a new contract that will likely come in under what Christian Wilkins will be seeking. The Miami Dolphins now have at least a baseline of where their negotiations will lead.

Madubuike agreed to a four-year deal worth $98 million with $75.5 million guaranteed.

The question is will Wilkins use this number to start or is this the ceiling? The Dolphins will likely point out that Madubuike went to the Pro Bowl last year and Wilkins has yet to reach that career mark. Wilkins' camp will argue that he has five years of consistent starting play that Madubuike does not.

In his four seasons, the former-round pick has started 47 of 59 games he has appeared in. He played 10 years in his rookie season, 15 in his 2nd before playing all 17 the last two years.

Comparing the two on shows Wilkins to be more productive albeit with a larger sample size. Wilkins has started 77 of 81 games and has 19 passes defensed compared to 5 for the Madubuike.

Where Madubuike rises is in total sacks. In less games, the Ravens DT has 21.5 sacks compared to Wilkins' 20.5.

This was a point of contention for Chris Grier last year per some rumors. Grier wanted to see more sacks from Wilkins and that seemed to be a hang-up with giving more money to their former first-round DT. Now, Grier has only two choices. Sign him to an extension that will either be equal to or likely more than what Madubuike is getting. The 2nd option is to let him go.

Free agency won't begin until March 13th but teams will start negotiating with players two days prior.