Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins Agree to New Contract; Rumored to Be $84.75M over 3 Years

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Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins Agree to New Contract; Rumored to Be $84.75M over 3 Years

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Miami Dolphins runs onto the field prior to an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Jaylen Waddle won’t be leaving South Florida anytime soon.

The veteran wide receiver agreed to a three-year, $84.75 million contract extension with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter added that the deal makes Waddle one of the five highest-paid wideouts in the NFL in terms of average annual value at $28.25 million per year.

The team already exercised the fifth-year option in Waddle’s rookie contract, which guaranteed him nearly $15.6 million for the 2025 season. But his eventual free agency in 2026 and the upward trajectory of the receiver market raised questions over his long-term future.

It’s not just the elite players at the position getting big money, either.

In this offseason alone, Calvin Ridley got $92 million over four years from the Tennessee Titans. DeVonta Smith, like Waddle a member of the 2021 draft class, signed a three-year, $75 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. Even Jerry Jeudy is getting $17.5 million annually from the Cleveland Browns thanks to a new contract.

The Dolphins helped to reset the market when they gave Tyreek Hill $120 million, and they got to experience the consequences when it came time to begin serious negotiations with Waddle’s representatives.

The 25-year-old owed Smith a debt of gratitude because his former college teammate offered a nice range with which to set his asking price. Requesting around $25 million was more than fair based on his production and the going rate for very good No. 2/fringe No. 1 wideouts.

Waddle was productive as a rookie, finishing with 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns in 2021. Hill’s arrival—and the attention he garnered from opposition defenses—helped to unlock his potential.

Over the past two seasons, Waddle has averaged 16.1 yards per catch and 76.5 yards per game. Head coach Mike McDaniel and offensive coordinator Frank Smith have utilized his speed to devastating effect.

NFL @NFL

TUA TO WADDLE. 60-YARD TD.

📺: #NYJvsMIA on CBS
📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/kw7mays4qU pic.twitter.com/QuugxeDp6I

Keeping this roster fully intact will be next to impossible for general manager Chris Grier. Re-signing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would have major salary-cap ramifications. Edge-rusher Jaelan Phillips will make himself a lot of money if he stays healthy in 2024. And Hill’s free agency will be here before you know it.

In the case of Waddle, the front office clearly believed he was too valuable to lose.

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