Christian Wilkins wanted to be paid as close to the top echelon of NFL defensive tackles but through 8 games he isn't giving the Miami Dolphins reason to grant his demands.
Wilkins is my favorite player on the Dolphins roster which makes this even less thrilling to say, Wilkins isn't playing like the best DT in the league and frankly, it isn't close.
There is a lot that Wilkins does on the field that isn't noticed. He can shrink the pocket, get to the running back, play 100%, and physically every single play. He is disruptive at the point of attack, and he can handle just about everything thrown at him. But Wilkins isn't putting up the statistical numbers that the top-paid DTs are putting up.
Don't get me wrong, Wilkins is going to get paid and I'm all for the Dolphins extending him but I think that he has overplayed his own value and as a result, I wonder if maybe he may have been smarter to take the offer, unknown exactly, that was offered by the Dolphins last off-season.
If Wilkins believes that he should be the highest-paid defensive tackle, or at the very least in the top three or four, he needs to be making a bigger impact.
After posting 98 combined tackles last season, Wilkins is on pace for around 70-80 this year. His 11 hits on QBs are two short of the 13 he managed in the 2021 season.
It was reported in the off-season that the big hang-up for the Dolphins giving him more money was he simply wasn't creating sacks. If that is the metric the Dolphins want to see, then Wilkins is doing his part to prove to them he is that good.
Through half a season, Wilkins already has 4.5 sacks which matches his career single-season high, again, in 2021. Is that enough?
It might be and at least should be enough for the Dolphins to keep talking this off-season.
Wilkins is a big part of Miami's defensive success but in the end, it may be up to Vic Fangio in terms of his future importance to the team.
When March rolls around, Wilkins is going to get a big paycheck whether it is from the Dolphins or someone else.
Make no mistake, Wilkins is having another really good season but is "really good" worth a monster contract or just a really good one?