How Miami Dolphins’ Zach Sieler Contract Extension Impacts Christian Wilkins, Jonathan Taylor

Zach Sieler will be with the Miami Dolphins in 2024 after signing a three-year extension. But what does it mean for Christian Wilkins?

The Miami Dolphins and Zach Sieler have agreed on a three-year contract extension worth $30.8 million — including $20 million guaranteed, Pro Football Network has confirmed.

The deal rewards one of the team’s most underrated producers and one of its best developmental success stories of the Chris Grier era.

But it also further eats into the Dolphins’ salary cap — and could potentially make things even more difficult to get a deal done with their No. 1 defensive tackle, Christian Wilkins.

Miami Dolphins’ Financial Ramifications of Zach Sieler Contract

The Dolphins woke up Sunday with $12.3 million in salary cap space, per the NFLPA public report.

Sieler, prior to agreeing to the deal, was set to make upwards of $3 million in salary and bonuses. While we don’t know how his new deal has been structured, oftentimes extensions are to have a low cap hit in Year 1 and then an escalation after that.

So it’s fair to estimate that Sieler’s contract will add at least another $10 million of salary cap liabilities in 2024, when the Dolphins are between $32 million (OTC) and $48 million (Spotrac) over the cap.

While the Dolphins could lower that number with restructures, the Sieler deal makes it all the more likely that Emmanuel Ogbah and Jerome Baker are entering their final season in Miami, barring a significant pay cut.

But that’s just to get their books in the black with their current obligations. It doesn’t even account for potential contracts awarded to Wilkins (whose Spotrac market value is $19.4 million) and Taylor ($13 million).

MORE: Where Do Things Really Stand With Jonathan Taylor and the Miami Dolphins?

It’s a trope that the salary cap is fake. It’s not. The obligations in any one year can be shifted forward in time, but at some point, the bill comes due.

And by signing Sieler to this extension, it makes that bill even bigger.

This isn’t to say he doesn’t deserve it. We saw Saturday night how bad the Dolphins’ defense looks when Sieler and Wilkins aren’t on the field.

But what this does mean is by prioritizing him, something else will have to be sacrificed — either now or down the road.

“I’ll tell you what, we love playing with each other,” Sieler said during the game broadcast Saturday. “All camp we’ve been growing the bond between each other. [Bradley] Chubb and Jaelan [Phillips] on the outside, me, ‘Rae’ (Raekwon Davis), Christian on the inside. Baker and David Long now, an addition this offseason. It’s been great playing with these guys and learning how to play off each other.”

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