Jaylen Waddle is fast, Jevon Holland can hit, and the Miami Dolphins will need to make decisions on both players next year. Why wait?
Chris Grier and the Dolphins will have to decide whether to pick up the 5th year option on Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips. Both former first-round draft picks will enter their final year in 2024. Jevon Holland has no 5th-year option and will be a free agent following the 2024 season.
Our hearts say we need to keep them but realistically, it may not be that easy. Miami isn't up against the proverbial wall this year. They have the 2024 season and potentially the 2025 season for Phillips and Waddle but they could opt to get something in return sooner rather than later.
Trading any of those three wouldn't be met with fan applause but it might be the smarter pay. Miami has a lot of money tied up in Tyreek Hill and Waddle, while fun to watch, hasn't shown that he is elite. In fact, he can be inconsistent at times. Don't get me wrong, Waddle is a very good football player but is he worth a big contract? Probably not.
If the Dolphins were offered a first round draft pick for Waddle, they should take it. If they were offered two day-two picks, they should strongly consider it.
Holland continues to show signs of being an elite safety but he hasn't reached that level yet. If the Dolphins view him as a long-term solution, they should extend him now. His value will only go higher next year. If they are not sure, they should consider trade offers for him as well.
Miami's "core" players from their drafts haven't become elite. Even Christian Wilkins remains on the cusp of being so. Miami should have worked harder to get him under contract last season. Now, they will either let him walk, pay him more, or tag and trade him.
Chris Grier doesn't look to the future well. He doesn't plan for the ebbs and flows with draft classes. When the CB market is deep, he tends to draft someone else, that kind of "crystal ball" thinking.
When the Dolphins start digging into this off-season mess of personnel contracts and free-agent decisions, they shouldn't simply believe any player on the roster is safe. The Dolphins are close but they are not there yet.
The reality is, Holland and Waddle are expendable whether we like it or not. Their replacements will likely cost a lot less as well. It isn't an ideal thought but it is one that the team should at least consider before making a decision on either of them long term.