Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins skipped team drills on Wednesday due to his ongoing contract negotiations.
The 2019 first-round draft pick (13th overall) has started every game the past two seasons and is entering the final year of his rookie deal. He is set to earn $10.75 million this season on his fifth-year option but is seeking a long-term contract.
Wilkins, 27, has been attending practice this week but has remained on the sidelines during team drills.
“Christian is such a good player, such an important person in the locker room who has made it clear he feels that his play is deserving of a contract,” head coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday, per ESPN. “We would agree, as the Miami Dolphins organization. Henceforth, we are in negotiations, as a result, he has not participated in team [drills]. When he next participates, that’ll be up to him.”
McDaniel said he is “comfortable” with the situation and has remained in constant contact with Wilkins throughout the negotiation process.
A team captain the past two seasons, Wilkins has recorded 290 tackles, 11.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries and one interception in 64 games (60 starts).
Many of his NFL contemporaries have signed lucrative deals this offseason. The Washington Commanders’ Daron Payne signed a four-year, $90 million extension, and the New York Giants’ Dexter Lawrence will earn $87.5 million over his four-year pact. The Tennessee Titans’ Jeffery Simmons got a four-year, $94 million deal, and the New York Jets signed Quinnen Williams to a four-year, $96 million contract.
–Field Level Media