Eagles give Miami Dolphins the blueprint to extend Jaylen Waddle this year

Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) runs with
Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) runs with / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins don't have to play Jaylen Waddle just yet and they may even pay him on a 5th year option next year but the Eagles sent a message to Miami's young WR.

The Philadelphia Eagles are not talking with the Miami Dolphins but they sent a loud and clear message to both the team and Jaylen Waddle today when it was announced they were extending wide receiver, DeVonta Smith.

Smith was drafted in 2021, the same draft class that Waddle was taking. The two were drafted four picks apart with Waddle at 6 and Smith at 10. Now, it is Smith who is getting a new contract while Waddle will wait for an offer from the Dolphins.

The good news is Waddle now has a starting point and the Dolphins now have an expectation of what a new contract might look like. The Dolphins might be smart to get a deal done now because next year will only cost them more money.

Smith is signing an extension that will pay him $51 million guaranteed with as much as $75 million earnable. The deal is for only 3 years which is quite surprising.

Waddle and Smith are quite similar statistically. Waddle has 3,385 yards compared to Smith's 3,178 yards. Smith has one more touchdown than Waddle, 19, and 11 fewer receptions. Waddle has 251 to Smith's 240.

Smith has started 49 of 50 games compared to Waddle starting 47 games. Both players have missed a few games. Waddle has missed 3 games in his three NFL seasons and Smith has missed one.

Overall, both players are quite similar and there is little that Waddle has shown to warrant a lot more than what Smith received. He may get a few more extra dollars or another year attached that will add more money to the deal.

The Dolphins should start working on a Jaylen Waddle extension sooner rather than later.

Chris Grier needs to realize that Waddle's value to the Miami Dolphins long-term should be shown this year. This has been a huge problem for Grier. He tends to wait a year and then pay more or even lose a player that he can not pay. In this case, the contract is practically done for him. So why wait?

Getting Waddle extended now makes the most sense and Grier can find the money pretty easily without having to do too much shifting of other contracts. Grier spoke at the owner's meetings earlier this year and said he expects Waddle to be an integral part of the Dolphins' future and that he will be here for a long time. Now, he can prove it by giving Waddle an early and earned extension. Grier, however, will probably wait until next year and then pay more than he needs to.