Dolphins officially pick up 5th years on Waddle and Phillips; Grier can now address Holland

Nov 5, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) against the Kansas
Nov 5, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) against the Kansas / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have officially picked up the 5th year options for both Jaelan Phillips and Jaylen Waddle.

It was only a matter of time before Chris Grier made official what he had talked about prior to the draft. Now, both of Miami's young rising stars are under contract through at least the 2025 season.

Waddle will now be guaranteed around $16 million for the 2025 season, and that option will guarantee him the full amount should he be injured in 2024 and unable to play the 2025 season. The same goes for Jaelan Phillips who will be penciled in around $15 million for the 2025 season.

Both players fall into the "Tier 3" category. The system breaks down the 5th-year options into four tiers. The first-tier players that have made the Pro Bowl in two or more seasons fall into tier 1. They have to be first-ballot PBs and can not be alternates. Tier 2 is for players with non-alternate single Pro Bowl designations. Tier 3 is set for players who have participated in at least 75% of a team's plays in at least two seasons, and tier 4 is for the rest.

The pay can be considerable from tier to tier. With the Dolphins picking up both of their eligible players, they can now concentrate on long-term deals as well as another player.

First, the long-term deals. Miami would be smart to wait on Phillips. He is coming off an Achilles injury, and Miami should wait until mid-season before they start negotiating. As for Waddle, there is no excuse not to get a deal done sooner rather than later. DeVonta Smith was taken only a few selections after Waddle and was given an extension by the Eagles before the draft. The blueprint to an extension is staring Grier in the face. Waiting until next season would cost the Dolphins a lot more than it would this year.

The Dolphins will also need to turn their attention to Jevon Holland. Taken in the same draft, Holland was a second-round pick and thus not eligible for a fifth-year option. He will be an impending free agent after the 2024 season. The Dolphins could get him under contract this year for what would amount to a discount compared to the continued annual rise in salaries.

Chris Grier has stated that Holland is a big part of the Dolphins' future. We will see if that is the case. Miami will get $18 million in salary cap relief on June 2nd when the Xavien Howard June 1st designation cut kicks in.