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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Dolphins defensive standout expected to hit free agency

The logo of the Miami Dolphins at midfield

Sep 20, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; A general view of the Miami Dolphins logo painted on the field at Hard Rock Stadium prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Miami Dolphins’ defensive standouts is expected to hit free agency in the coming days.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano reported on Sunday that the Dolphins are not expected to use the franchise tag on Christian Wilkins. The defensive tackle is expected to hit free agency.

The 28-year-old Wilkins has stood out on the field ever since being picked No. 13 overall by the Dolphins in 2019. Wilkins had a career-high 9 sacks and 23 quarterback hits last season, to go along with 65 tackles. The season before, he had 98 tackles.

Wilkins has played in every game over the last three seasons and has only missed two games in five seasons.

The market for top defensive linemen like Wilkins is probably in the $20-$25 million range per year, with something around $23 million per season the most likely amount for Wilkins.

The Dolphins are already paying big money to Tyreek Hill, Bradley Chubb and Jalen Ramsey. The team needs to create space for Tua Tagovailoa’s impending contract extension. Miami already is cutting Xavien Howard, and it seems they are reluctantly deciding not to retain Wilkins.

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