Dolphins Make Final 5th-Year Option Decisions on Waddle & Phillips: Report

Miami Dolphins, Jaelan Phillips, Jaylen Waddle

Getty Jaylen Waddle against the Jets.

General manager Chris Grier told reporters he feels comfortable saying the Miami Dolphins will pick up the fifth-year options on wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and edge Jaelan Phillips ahead of the May deadline, according to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network.

Waddle, a 2021 first-round pick, has put up more than 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons. In the 2023 season, Waddle had 1,014 yards with four touchdowns. His best season came in 2022 when he had 1,356 yards, eight touchdowns, and an average of 8.7 yards per reception.

Phillips, who injured his Achilles eight games into the 2023 season, has been a productive player for the Dolphins. In 2023, Phillips was on track to have a career-high in sacks, posting 6.5 in those eight games. In the 2021 and 2022 seasons, he combined for 15.5 sacks and 103 tackles.

DeVonta Smith’s New Contract Could Be Baseline for Waddle

The Philadelphia Eagles signed DeVonta Smith to a three-year $75 million extension on April 15. The deal was coupled with his fifth-year option. Waddle and Smith have had similar numbers throughout their careers.

Smith has 240 receptions, 3,178 yards, and 19 total touchdowns in 50 games. Waddle has played in 47 games and has 251 receptions, 3,385 yards, and 19 total touchdowns.

Brian Miller of Phin Phanatic writes that the Eagles gave the Miami Dolphins the blueprint to extend Waddle this year.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are not talking with the Miami Dolphins but they sent a loud and clear message to both the team and Jaylen Waddle today when it was announced they were extending wide receiver, DeVonta Smith. Smith was drafted in 2021, the same draft class that Waddle was taking. The two were drafted four picks apart with Waddle at 6 and Smith at 10. Now, it is Smith who is getting a new contract while Waddle will wait for an offer from the Dolphins.

“The good news is Waddle now has a starting point and the Dolphins now have an expectation of what a new contract might look like. The Dolphins might be smart to get a deal done now because next year will only cost them more money.”

Spotrac has Waddle’s market value at four years, $109.3 million, which would make him the third highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.

Phillips Expected to be Health Week 1

What the Miami Dolphins ultimately do with Phillips in terms of a future contract will be interesting to see. Coming off the Achilles injury, the hope is for him to return to the player he was prior to the injury.

Phillips and teammate Bradley Chubb, who tore his ACL, are working hard in their rehabs. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said during the NFL team meetings that he needs to tell them to take days off because of how hard they’re working, according to Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN.

“Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips are extreme versions of, ‘Hey, we need to make sure they aren’t chasing a timeline because as competitors, they will achieve that timeline and it might be at the worst for their bodies,’” McDaniel said. “So relative to timelines, we specifically don’t have those for those two. We’ve had to mandate that they have a week off of rehab just recently, both of them, because they literally live there.

“They have a pseudo-tape on the floor parking spots for their little scooters that they’ve graduated from. They’re both really doing exactly what you’d expect from those two individuals, which is absolutely attacking that process, but doing it from a perspective that they don’t want to get healthy for one week, they want to get healthy for the whole season.”

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that Phillips told ESPN during the University of Miami’s spring game that he’ll “definitely be back” for the season.

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