Any contract negotiations between the Miami Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins will be tabled until after the 2023 season, general manager Chris Grier told reporters Wednesday, so as to not cause a distraction.
The team picked up Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option earlier this offseason, and he’s entering the fourth year of his rookie deal. Grier, meanwhile, confirmed that the Dolphins made an offer to Wilkins but said the two sides amicably did not come to an agreement.
“We’ve had a lot of great dialogue with him and his agent. We made an offer that we thought was fair,” Grier said. “When you do things like that, it has to work for both sides. There was never any ill will from each side. I enjoy his agent; we have good conversations. So, for right now, we’re going to hold off until, in my mind, until the end of the season. I don’t think it’s fair to distract Christian from his goal of what he wants to achieve and for the team.”
Wilkins told reporters Tuesday that he’s focused on this season and seemed willing to accept the tabling of his contract negotiations. The 2019 first-round pick is entering the fifth year of his rookie contract but has made it clear he’s interested in an extension.
He spent the past two weeks “holding in” by participating in individual drills but not team drills at practice. Wilkins ended that hold-in Tuesday and expressed his undeterred interest in remaining with Miami. Sources told ESPN that teams called Miami to gauge interest in trading for Wilkins but that neither the Dolphins nor Wilkins entertained the idea of a trade.
“I’ll just say, at the end of the day, nobody wants to be a Miami Dolphin more than me. No one wants to work for this organization more than me,” Wilkins said Tuesday. “And that’s from Valerie at the front desk to the coaches on the coaching staff to Hubert who cleans up the building. Nobody wants to be a part of the organization more than myself. That’s how I feel, that’s what it is, that’s where I’m at with everything still.
“This is my home. I was drafted here; I love this place; and I put my all to be the best player, the best leader, the best teammate, the best Miami Dolphin I can be. That’s not going to change. The organization deserves that, my teammates deserve that, the fans deserve that and everything.”
In other roster news, Grier said cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who had meniscus surgery in July, will be placed on injured reserve. Ramsey will miss at least the first four games of the 2023 season, but, although there is no public timeline for his return, Miami expects him to play at some point this season.
“Jalen’s made an impact since he’s been here. He’s been fantastic in the room with the young guys, even the veterans,” Grier said. “He comes around still when he doesn’t have to, watching practice, standing on the sideline. His talent, obviously we miss, but it’s also an opportunity for these young guys to step up and make plays.”
Cornerback Keion Crossen will miss the entire 2023 season after suffering a “freak injury” Tuesday.