The Miami Dolphins are gearing up for the tough battles during the 2022 NFL season.
They’ve bolstered the protection around Tua Tagovailoa by adding offensive linemen Connor Williams and Terron Armstead.
The Dolphins upgraded with Cedrick Wilson, Raheem Mostert, Chase Edmonds, and All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the skill positions.
Throw Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle into the mix, and Miami should give opposing defenses headaches.
In contrast, Keion Crossen, John Jenkins, and Brennan Scarlett are their only free-agent signings on defense.
However, NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe shared a pivotal update for Miami’s defensive line.
The Dolphins are exercising the 5th year option on DT Christian Wilkins, per source.
Miami views Wilkins as a foundational player for their defensive identity with his energy and work ethic. A lot of steady improvement since being drafted including a strong 2021 campaign.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) April 28, 2022
Wolfe tweeted, “The Dolphins are exercising the 5th year option on DT Christian Wilkins, per source.”
He added, “Miami views Wilkins as a foundational player for their defensive identity with his energy and work ethic. A lot of steady improvement since being drafted including a strong 2021 campaign.”
Things Are Looking Up For Wilkins
The Dolphins drafted him in the first round of the 2019 draft, and he had 30 solo tackles that season.
Last season, he increased his production to 49 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks.
He only earned a base salary of $1.8 million in 2021.
In 2022, Wilkins will be playing the fourth year of his rookie contract, and he’s set to earn a $2.6 million base salary.
Giving him a fifth-year option worth $10.7 million allows the Dolphins to have him until 2023.
Two years should be enough to finalize a long-term extension between the two parties.
The Clemson alumnus is part of a good Dolphins defense with Emmanuel Ogbah, Jaelan Phillips, Jerome Baker, and Brandon Jones.
On the secondary, Miami also has Xavien Howard, who signed a five-year, $90 million extension.
Extending Wilkins’ stay will help the Dolphins end their playoff drought.
The move also allows the team to use their four remaining picks in the 2022 draft wisely.