Dolphins must prioritize in-house free agents to stay competitive

Miami Has 26 UFA pending once league season ends; who should they throw money at and who should they let walk?

The Dolphins face a difficult negotiation with Christian Wilkins, but they must do everything that they can to keep the big defensive tackle in Miami for a few more seasons as they try to keep their pass rush intact in 2024, despite injuries to Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb.
The Dolphins face a difficult negotiation with Christian Wilkins, but they must do everything that they can to keep the big defensive tackle in Miami for a few more seasons as they try to keep their pass rush intact in 2024, despite injuries to Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb. / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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No other player is under the microscope this off-season than Christian Wilkins for the Miami Dolphins.

Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle

Christian Wilkins
Christian Wilkins must be a priority for the Dolphins to bring back next season. They could put the franchise tag on him which would give him a one-year deal at roughly $11 million for 2024 / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Between February 20 and March 5, the team will have the ability to place a franchise tag on one player, essentially giving him a one-year fully guaranteed contract that pays him as a top-five player at his position.

If they cannot sign defensive tackle Christian Wilkins to a long-term contract by the close of the open period, they must place the franchise tag on Wilkins and pay him the average of the top-five defensive tackles in the league. Re-signing the run-stuffing and pass-rushing monster is a priority for the Miami Dolphins.

Connor Williams, Center

Williams was signed by Miami in March 2022 and performed admirably as the starting center. The former guard made the transition to center and anchored the Dolphins' offensive line and built continuity with Tua Tagovailoa.

Unfortunately for Williams, he has been injury prone. In the 2023 season, Williams dealt with a nagging groin injury that kept him sidelined for four games. Against Tennessee on a Monday night game in December, Williams tore his ACL for the second time in his career. He will bounce back as rehab is going well and he will return to being one of the top centers in the NFL.

The Dolphins should look towards resigning Williams, but at a cap-friendly number based on his injuries. He is a priority to resign, but it must be done at the right price.

Connor Williams
Center Connor Williams went down with a season-ending ACL injury against the Tennessee Titans late in the season. He is a priority for the Dolphins to resign. / Megan Briggs/GettyImages