Trade or No, Miami Dolphins Need To Address Wide Receiver in Free Agency

Even in the likely event Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are both back in 2024, the Miami Dolphins need wide receiver help in free agency.

Even across the pond, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill doesn’t miss a thing on social media.

Cheetah took time out of his Greek vacation this week to weigh in on a bunch of Dolphins trade conjecture, including our observation that if Chris Grier were to move one of his two wide receivers, Hill makes more long-term sense than Jaylen Waddle.

What’s Next for Miami Dolphins WRs Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle?

Let’s just say that Hill didn’t love our idea.

Good for him — seriously. Reporters who dish it out have to be able to take it, and players shouldn’t hold their tongue. Sports are less fun when they do.

But it’s foolish to think that the Dolphins haven’t at least discussed whether it’s in their best long-term interests to have both Hill and Waddle on their roster this year — considering Hill, who turns 30 next week, is due $87 million over the next three seasons and Waddle will want to get paid soon too.

Certainly, if the Dolphins move one of the two, they will need to sign at least one wide receiver in free agency.

But even if it’s the Hill and Waddle Show again in 2024, they need a third option in the passing game. The only other receivers currently under contract for next year? Erik Ezukanma, Anthony Schwartz, Braylon Sanders, and Mathew Sexton.

Fortunately for Miami, there should be options at every price point in NFL free agency.

Potential Dolphins WR Targets in Free Agency

All rankings and commentary are courtesy of PFN NFL Analyst Dallas Robinson, who compiled PFN’s Top 100 list.

Tee Higgins | Cincinnati Bengals

  • Age: 25
  • Seasons: 4
  • Last contract: Four years, $10.1 million ($2.5 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $74.4 million ($18.6 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 5
  • Position Ranking: 1

Robinson’s Take: While Tee Higgins could be a WR1 on myriad rosters, he’ll always sit behind Ja’Marr Chase in Cincinnati. With a mega-extension for Chase on the horizon, the Bengals will likely franchise tag Higgins for $21.67 million while gearing up for another run at the Super Bowl.

Injuries limited Higgins to 12 games and 656 receiving yards in 2023, but he’d gone over 1,000 yards in each of the prior two seasons.

Mike Evans | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Age: 30
  • Seasons: 10
  • Last contract: Five years, $77.4 million ($15.5 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $95.3 million ($23.8 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 12
  • Position Ranking: 2

Robinson’s Take: Mike Evans’ age is the only thing holding him back from becoming one of the NFL’s highest-paid wideouts this offseason. Evans has famously cleared 1,000 receiving yards in each of his 10 pro seasons and led the league with 13 receiving touchdowns in 2023.

It’s hard to imagine Evans leaving Tampa Bay at this point in his career, but a short-term deal with a high AAV could convince him to join a no-doubt contender.

Michael Pittman Jr. | Indianapolis Colts

  • Age: 26
  • Seasons: 4
  • Last contract: Four years, $10 million ($2.5 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $90.9 million ($22.7 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 13
  • Position Ranking: 3

Robinson’s Take: While Michael Pittman Jr. isn’t the flashiest receiver, he’s posted 3,500+ yards and 15 touchdowns over four NFL seasons. Think about the offenses and quarterbacks Pittman has dealt with, and his track record as a reliable receiver becomes even more evident.

Pittman was the centerpiece of the Colts’ offense, as his 28.5% target share ranked sixth-best in the NFL.

Calvin Ridley | Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Age: 29
  • Seasons: 5
  • Last contract: Five years, $22.2 million ($4.4 million)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $68.2 million ($17.1 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 14
  • Position Ranking: 4

Robinson’s Take: Calvin Ridley might not have been the WR1 the Jaguars were hoping for when they acquired him at the 2022 trade deadline, but he still put up the second-best receiving line (76-1,016-8) of his career.

MORE: Top OT Free Agency Options for the Miami Dolphins 2024

Jacksonville’s franchise tag is likely spoken for by Josh Allen, and the terms of the Jags’ 2022 Ridley pickup might force the club to wait until the new league year to re-sign the veteran wideout.

Marquise Brown | Arizona Cardinals

  • Age: 26
  • Seasons: 5
  • Last contract: Five years, $25.4 million ($5.1 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $59.3 million ($14.9 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 30
  • Position Ranking: 5

Robinson’s Take: Marquise Brown has been banged up over the past two seasons while playing in a Cardinals offense that wasn’t exactly operating with peak efficiency. An average 2022-23 line of 59-642-4 isn’t the best platform for Brown’s free agency, but NFL teams are constantly looking for explosive plays in the passing game.

Brown offers speed on the outside and could become a weapon in a better offensive environment.

Darnell Mooney | Chicago Bears

  • Age: 26
  • Seasons: 4
  • Last contract: Four years, $5.6 million ($1.9 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $42 million ($10.5 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 44
  • Position Ranking: 6

Robinson’s Take: Darnell Mooney looked like an obvious extension candidate after his breakout 2021 campaign, when he posted 81 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. But his production has taken a downturn over the past season and a half.

With DJ Moore already under contract, will the Bears re-sign Mooney, draft an early-round wideout, or both?

Gabe Davis | Buffalo Bills

  • Age: 24
  • Seasons: 4
  • Last contract: Four years, $5.8 million ($1.5 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Four years, $54.5 million ($13.6 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 45
  • Position Ranking: 7

Robinson’s Take: One of the league’s most mercurial wideouts, Gabe Davis has scored 27 touchdowns over four seasons with the Bills. But he’s nearly as likely to go without a catch — something that happened five times in 2023 — as he is to enter the end zone. If Buffalo retains Stefon Diggs, it’s not easy to see Davis coming back.

Curtis Samuel | Washington Commanders

  • Age: 27
  • Seasons: 3
  • Last contract: Three years, $34.2 million ($11.4 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Three years, $34.6 million ($11.5 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 56
  • Position Ranking: 8

Robinson’s Take: Curtis Samuel flashed during his time in Washington (just as he did with the Carolina Panthers), but he probably hasn’t lived up to the three-year, $34.5 million deal he signed with the Commanders before the 2021 season.

Injury issues will always be a concern for Samuel, who missed 10 games from 2017-18, 12 more games in 2021, and was banged up this year.

Odell Beckham Jr. | Baltimore Ravens

  • Age: 31
  • Seasons: 10
  • Last contract: One year, $16 million ($16 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: One year, $11.9 million ($11.9 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 70
  • Position Ranking: 9

Robinson’s Take: Odell Beckham Jr. flashed when healthy and still offers juice in the passing game. But his age and injury concerns mean he’s unlikely to make even half the $15 million salary he earned with the Ravens in 2023. A reunion with Baltimore could make sense, depending on how it addresses its receiving corps this offseason.

Tyler Boyd | Cincinnati Bengals

  • Age: 29
  • Seasons: 8
  • Last contract: Five years, $44.1 million ($8 million AAV)
  • Spotrac Estimated Market Value: Three years, $26.1 million ($8.7 million AAV)
  • PFN Top 100 Overall Ranking: 71
  • Position Ranking: 10

Robinson’s Take: Tyler Boyd probably won’t re-sign with the Bengals, who will likely franchise tag Higgins and may also extend Chase in the coming months.

KEEP READING: Tyler Boyd Free Agency Predictions

Cincinnati’s top wideout from 2018 to 2019, Boyd’s role has been diminished as the Bengals have added more talent around him. Following ex-Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to the Titans wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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