Dolphins’ Impressive Offseason Among Best in League on Rookie Deals

Christian Wilkins

Getty Christian Wilkins celebrates his selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

As of the signing of Malcolm Perry last week, the Miami Dolphins are officially further ahead of all but three teams in the league in getting their rookie players contracted. Of the 11 Dolphins 2020 draftees, Perry’s signing marks the eighth to have inked a deal with the team.

Remaining to be signed are offensive tackle Austin Jackson, cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, and tackle/guard Robert Hunt—the team’s second, third and fourth selections in this year’s NFL Draft.

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2019 vs. 2020

If the first rounds are any indication, by this time last year, 21 of the 32 first-round draft picks had signed or agreed to contract terms. Included in those completed agreements of last year was Dolphin Christian Wilkins, who signed his contract on May 9. This year, only two first-rounders have been signed as of June 9—Tua Tagovailoa and Derrick Brown of the Panthers.

Needless to say, things are moving far more slowly this year, likely a function of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put much of the league’s activity on hold. Just as minicamps have been sidelined for the time being, the lack of signings this year suggests the same of contract negotiations.

This year, only 58 of the 255 have signed their rookie deals, according to Spoctrac.com. And with recent reports that team facilities could open to rookies and veterans who need physicals as early as June 26th, if not earlier, there’s a whole lot of work to be done. 16 teams have not signed a single pick.


Ahead of the Curve

As of Malcolm Perry’s signing on June 3, the Dolphins have officially contracted 72.7 percent of 2020’s eleven selections. To rank the 32 NFL clubs based on how complete these signings are would be to put the Dolphins in fourth place, as New England has signed all 10 rookies, Buffalo has signed six of their seven, and Indianapolis is just ahead at seven of their nine.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Dolphins walked out of the draft having made the third most picks, behind only the Vikings (15) and the Jaguars (12). The Jaguars have only signed one of their selections, and the Vikings have failed to get any of their selections to pick up the pen. The Ravens, Broncos, Patriots, Giants, and Eagles all drafted 10 rookies. The only of those teams not to have signed any is the Broncos.

Despite the slow nature of a league recovering from the pandemic, the Dolphins appear to be in solid shape, in comparison to most other franchises. Solomon Kindley inked his terms first, on May 7, followed by Tagovailoa, Raekwon Davis, Curtis Weaver, and Blake Ferguson on May 12, and Brandon Jones the following day. Perry’s signing is a signal that the Dolphins are back in the business of getting these deals done.

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