The NFL off-season has officially gone into limbo. Free agency started with a bang, especially with the Miami Dolphins making the trade for Jalen Ramsey, but now, with the draft just three weeks away, the team seems to be working on the “behind the scenes” moves. These moves usually consist of minor contract restructures or contract extensions. For your Miami Dolphins, extension season they started with a seemingly unexpected move, extending tight end Durham Smythe. 


Durham Smythe was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, just two rounds after the Dolphins selected now New England Patriot Mike Gesicki. Since 2018, Smythe was primarily used as a blocker while Gesicki reaped the benefits in the passing game. However, in the 2022 season, Smythe saw 557 snaps on offense, while Gesicki only saw 478. This was mainly due to the installation of Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme and how he uses blocking to open up opportunities for running backs and pass catchers. The Dolphins want to revamp the tight-end room and view Smythe as someone they want in it. Per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, with the extension of Durham Smythe, the Dolphins have lowered his 2023 cap hit from $4.2M to $3.1M and now sit at $3M total cap space until June 1st when the $13.4M from Byron Jones’ release becomes available. Let’s explore a few more players that the Dolphins could extend in the coming weeks or months. 


Christian Wilkins 

I believe this is one extension that every Dolphins fan eagerly awaits and would wholeheartedly agree with. Since being selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft with the 13th overall pick, Wilkins’ energy was palpable. Dolphins and NFL fans still remember him jumping on top of Commissioner Roger Goodell and nearly knocking him over; at that moment, Dolphins fans knew what kind of player they were getting. Wilkins has been consistently improving each year and has been on the field for all but two games in his 4-year career. In 2022 Wilkins finished with 98 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. In the eyes of many fans, he was a shoo-in for the Pro Bowl, but he was listed as a defensive end instead of a defensive tackle, so he faced tougher competition and ultimately missed out. Wilkins has a $10.75M cap hit for the 2023 season, which could easily be lowered with a well-deserved contract extension. McDaniel and Grier have openly stated that an extension for Wilkins is one of their top priorities, as it should be. 

Connor Williams 

The Dolphins signed Connor Williams before the 2022 season to a 2-year $14M contract, and although he was a left guard on the Dallas Cowboys, the Dolphins opted to have him play center, and they reaped the benefits of that decision. Per, Williams will have an $8.4M cap hit in 2023; although an extension isn’t necessary, it might be in the Dolphins’ best interest. Williams started all 17 games at center, one consistency the Dolphins had on an offensive line ranked 21st. Williams allowed only three sacks the whole season, a stat the Dolphins would like to remain the same or lower in 2023. With an extension for Williams, the Dolphins could lock down the center position and focus their attention on left guard and right tackle, which are viewed as the weakest positions on the line. 


Zach Sieler 

A fan favorite, and for a good reason, because the man can ball. An extension for Sieler would be less about cap space since his cap hit is only $3.2M for the 2023 season and more about locking down a hidden gem. Sieler was claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins in December 2019. Zach Sieler is easily likable and someone known to make big plays when his number is called; Sieler finished with 70 tackles which were good enough to have him tied for 5th with defensive linemen. Wilkins and Sieler also have a strong friendship, and they complement each other well on the field. Locking down Sieler along with Wilkins would solidify a strong interior on the defensive line and continue to show the Dolphins’ commitment to bolstering the defense as a whole. 


Either way, there is still a lot of off-season left, and depending on how the draft goes and if there are any other trades or releases made, the Miami Dolphins still have plenty of time to free up cap space and make a few more moves before the 2023 season kicks off.