I know Dalvin Cook has been on everyone’s mind, but let’s talk about Christian Wilkins’ contract extension. It might seem like a bit of a financial stretch to give Wilkins a huge bag considering we have some other expenses on the horizon. But if we put his performance under the microscope, I think you’ll agree that extending Wilkins is a good call.

Let’s start with the numbers. Wilkins has been trending up since he joined the Dolphins in 2019. Over his four-year career, he has amassed 290 combined tackles, 11.5 sacks, 33 tackles for loss, and 27 quarterback hits. That’s not just consistent; it’s impressive.

To put these numbers into perspective, let’s compare Wilkins with the top defensive tackles in the league, players like Chris Jones, Jeffery Simmons, and Quinnen Williams. Jones, the hybrid pass rusher from the Chiefs, finished 2022 with 77 pressures, the highest of any primarily interior rusher. Although Simmons from the Titans saw a slight dip in production, he still managed to rank in the top 10 in most defensive interior stats, with his 53 pressures and 7.5 sacks ranking seventh and eighth in the league, respectively. Williams of the Jets had a standout year in 2022, with his 12 sacks ranking second in the NFL and his 52 pressures placing him eighth.

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If we compare these figures with Wilkins’, he’s right there in the mix. His 2022 performance saw him make 98 combined tackles, 3.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hits. While he may not have had as many sacks as Williams or as many pressures as Jones, he’s proven to be a reliable and consistent force on the Dolphins’ defense, contributing significantly to the team’s overall performance​1.

Moreover, let’s not forget the intangibles that Wilkins brings to the table. He’s a locker-room presence, a player who inspires his teammates and brings energy to every game. He’s also a leader on the field, someone the younger players, can look up to and learn from. These qualities don’t necessarily appear on a stat sheet but are invaluable to a team’s success.

Extending Christian Wilkins isn’t just about rewarding one of our own, but it’s a strategic move toward securing our defense’s future. While we have other financial considerations to think about, retaining a player of Wilkins’ caliber and character seems like a smart investment for the Dolphins. Hopefully, Chris Grier sees it the same way.