Dolphins Eyeing Extensions With WR Jaylen Waddle, S Jevon Holland

An extension for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa represents a major offseason priority for the Dolphins, but a pair of players drafted one year later are also eligible for new deals. Miami is interested in working out an agreement in both cases.

The Dolphins are expected to pursue an extension with wideout Jaylen Waddle and safety Jevon Holland, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Both players have been with the team for three years, and as such they can sign second contracts at any time. The former could be retained through 2025 via the fifth-year option, but as a former second-rounder that is not the case for the latter.

To no surprise, Jackson adds Miami will pick up Waddle’s option in the absence of an extension. That would tie him to a fully guaranteed $15.59MM salary in 2025, a figure well short of the value near the top of the receiver market. A long-term Waddle agreement will be pricey, especially given the direction his position is headed in.

The 25-year-old – who was included in Colts trade requests involving a potential Jonathan Taylor swap – has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his three seasons in the league, leading the NFL in yards per reception in 2022 (18.1). That production, which includes 18 touchdowns, puts Waddle slightly ahead of classmate DeVonta Smith early in their respective careers. The latter inked a three-year, $75MM extension (in addition to his fifth-year option) on Monday, placing him in a tie for fourth in the league in terms of annual compensation for receivers.

The fact Smith was able to land such a lucrative pact despite not serving as his team’s clear-cut No. 1 receiver is of course relevant in Waddle’s case. Much like how Smith plays alongside A.J. Brown, Waddle competes for targets with Tyreek Hill in Miami’s passing attack. Hill is on the books for three more years, but he only has guaranteed salary remaining on his $30MM-per-year accord for 2024. Alterations to that contract could be coming down the road, especially if a pricey Waddle commitment ends up being made.

Holland has been a mainstay in Miami’s secondary upon arrival in the NFL, starting 42 of 45 games. The 24-year-old Canadian has recorded five interceptions – including a 99-yard touchdown return this past season – and 21 pass deflections to date. Holland has added 239 tackles and four sacks, and he enjoyed a career-best season in coverage in 2023 with respect to opposing passer rating (99.3).

The Dolphins have one major financial commitment in the secondary at the moment (Jalen Ramsey), and the team has added veterans Kendall Fuller and Jordan Poyer on short-term deals in free agency. Holland is positioned to be a key figure for the present and the long-term future, though, and a multi-year agreement would allow Miami to retain an integral producer at the safety spot for years to come.

One of the storylines of the 2023 offseason has been the downward trend in terms of market value at the position, with a number of high-profile veterans being released ahead of free agency. Holland’s age and production could make him a worthwhile investment and an outlier, especially if he could be extended at a low enough rate. With a lucrative Tagovailoa agreement looming, it will be interesting to see if the Dolphins manage to hammer out an extension with at least one of Waddle or Holland this offseason.

View Comments (1)