Why bad contracts may decide the fate of Miami Dolphins' Christian Wilkins

The Miami Dolphins have to figure out what to do with Christian Wilkins but a look at the team's recent past may be the reason nothing has been done yet.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) sack Las
Miami Dolphins linebacker Jaelan Phillips (15) and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) sack Las / JIM RASSOL/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA

Christian Wilkins' future with the Miami Dolphins is uncertain. He is a free agent but the Miami Dolphins have options.

The Dolphins could tag Wilkins and try and get a new contract extension done, something they failed at doing last year. They could negotiate an extension. They might let him test free agency and then decide to match the offer, something Wilkins would probably do. But why hasn't the needle moved yet?

The Dolphins don't have to do anything right now and they have their hands full with other areas of the team. Miami has some difficult decisions to make this offseason but Wilkins' situation may be a reflection of Chris Grier's past.

Grier hasn't exactly hit any home runs when it comes to getting players extensions. Yes, Brandon Shore handles a lot of the contracts but Grier is the man in charge. Two big mistakes are glaring and he is paying for them now.

Emmanuel Ogbah had a fantastic season in 2021. It earned him a 4-year $65 million contract. The structure of the deal was great for Miami in year one but then they had to pay for the mistake. Ogbah's production slid after an injury-plagued 2022. Last year, Miami's expensive DE started one game.

Ogbah isn't the only one. Grier stumbled twice with Xavien Howard. Howard earned an extension and in 2019 the Dolphins gave him a 5-year $75 million extension. That wasn't a bad deal for Miami but Grier turned around and gave Byron Jones more as a free agent the following year. That didn't sit well with Howard.

Miami went back to the table with Howard and he signed what amounted to a reworked deal that would pay him $90 million over 5 years, according to Spotrac.com.

Despite being named to the Pro Bowl in two of the last three years, Howard isn't the same player he was when he got his first big money extension.

When it comes to Wilkins, is Grier being gun-shy about handing out another deal that will be in the $80-90 million range with about $50 million guaranteed? He might be, he probably should be as well. Grier has thrown a lot of money around the last few seasons. Jalen Ramsey, Bradley Chubb, and Terron Armstead all stand out.

Grier also has to make a decision on Tua Tagovailoa and that is going to cost his team around $200 million over the span of 4-5 years. All this money adds up. Miami may move on from Howard this year, it will cost them $23 million to do so unless they designate him a June 1st release.

The Dolphins will move on from Ogbah this offseason because he doesn't warrant the $17 million cap hit. Grier already moved on from Byron Jones who will cost the Dolphins $10 million in dead money this year.

Then there is Wilkins. Hasn't missed a game, plays with the same intensity every snap, and has emerged as a team leader. Wilkins has a great attitude, puts the team first, and now wants to get paid what he is deserved. He is the type of player you want to retain but he may not be one Chris Grier will.