HOUSTON — Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has barely practiced for more than a week, leading to questions about whether he was dealing with an injury or “holding in” for a new contract.
On Wednesday, head coach Mike McDaniel revealed it’s the latter.
Miami Dolphins DT Christian Wilkins Holding in for Extension
Wilkins didn’t play in the Dolphins’ preseason opener (which was hardly a surprise), but he’s been mostly uninvolved in practice sessions for the better part of a week.
On Monday, Wilkins was dressed in uniform, warmed up with the rest of Miami’s roster, and did individual work. But once the Dolphins began team-based drills, Wilkins parked himself on the sideline.
McDaniels confirmed today that Wilkins — due to earn $10.7 million in 2023 before his contract expires next spring — is holding in for a new deal.
“Christian is such a good player, such an important person in the locker room, who has made it clear that he feels that his play is deserving of a contract,” McDaniel said.
“We would agree, as the Miami Dolphins organization. Henceforth, we are in negotiations. And as a result, he hasn’t been participating in team.”
Mike McDaniel on Christian Wilkins. Says he’s “comfortable with the situation, how it stands.” pic.twitter.com/NhSxqWuazl
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 16, 2023
Wilkins could have staged a holdout and stayed away from training camp practices and the preseason, but he would have been subject to daily $40,000 fines. However, because he’s still on his rookie contract, the Dolphins would have had the right to waive those fines once Wilkins reported.
Instead, the fifth-year defensive tackle is sticking around the team while he and his agent attempt to work out a long-term contract extension.
Wilkins has spoken to reporters once this preseason — 11 days ago, after the team’s stadium practice in which he participated. He was asked at the time if securing an extension is still something that’s on his mind.
“I just try to focus as much on ball as possible and leave all that other stuff up to the organization and my representation and just control what I can control with my guys and with this team,” Wilkins said.
Christian Wilkins talk contract pic.twitter.com/pEuy3D7ZXZ
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 5, 2023
“I definitely feel like I’ve done enough and done a lot to earn a new deal and a new contract, but again, I’m just focusing on ball and improving every day and just giving my all to this organization, and hopefully, they’ll give their all back to me.”
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