Is This Christian Wilkins’ Last Week With the Miami Dolphins?

The Miami Dolphins appear to be leaning against using the franchise tag on Christian Wilkins, meaning he is seemingly 10 days away from free agency.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Miami Dolphins have a tool at their disposal to ensure that defensive tackle Christian Wilkins remains a Dolphin in 2024:

The franchise tag.

But based on multiple reports, Chris Grier and Mike McDaniel appear to be leaning against tagging Wilkins, which would guarantee the veteran DT $22.1 million this year.

Report: Miami Dolphins Unlikely To Tag Christian Wilkins

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano reported the following Sunday:

“Several league sources expect #Dolphins’ Christian Wilkins to avoid franchise tag. Miami source says keeping options open, but teams bracing for star DT to hit free agency. ”

They also suggested that the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns would be among the teams in the mix for Wilkins’ services if he avoids the tag and is allowed to hit the market.

The Dolphins have until Tuesday to decide whether they want to tag Wilkins. After that, they have his exclusive negotiating rights for another five days before the legal tampering window opens.

If not tagged or re-signed, Wilkins would be free to sign with whomever he wants at 4 p.m. on March 13, when the league year turns over. Spotrac estimates his market value for a long-term deal is $20.2 million annually.

This reporting comes just days after McDaniel, when asked by reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine if he expects Wilkins back in 2024, said the following:

“Yeah, I hope so. Don’t you? We’ll see. But I’m excited for Christian’s opportunity that he’s earned. Yeah, we love good players and we’d love to have him back.”

Grier, specifically asked a day later if the Dolphins were inclined to not use the tag on Wilkins, replied:

“No. I think all options are on the table for us. I’m going to meet here with Christian’s agent this week. David [Mulugheta] and I have always had good conversations. I’m just being very transparent with it. He has earned it. He’s had a great season. So we’ll see what happens here as we talk over the next couple of weeks.”

Grier also insisted that the Dolphins could afford tagging Wilkins, even though they are still an estimated $28.5 million over the cap with just a week and a half until they have to be under it.

If Wilkins leaves, the Dolphins would have options in free agency at the position. But it’s unlikely that whoever replaces Wilkins will be as good.

He had a career year in his contract year, with nine sacks, 23 quarterback hits, and 10 tackles for loss.

KEEP READING: Sorry, Miami Dolphins Fans — GM Chris Grier Hints At Limited Free Agency Action

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