Jaylen Waddle

2025 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2021 first-rounders. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternates) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag
  • Players who achieve any of the following will receive the average of the third-20th-highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position

With the deadline looming, we will use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars ($25.66MM): Exercised
  2. QB Zach Wilson, Broncos* ($22.41MM): Declined
  3. QB Trey Lance, Cowboys** ($22.41MM): Declined
  4. TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons ($10.88MM): Exercised
  5. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals ($21.82MM): Exercised
  6. WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins ($15.59MM): Exercised
  7. T Penei Sewell, Lions ($19MM): Extended through 2029
  8. CB Jaycee Horn, Panthers ($12.47MM): Exercised
  9. CB Patrick Surtain, Broncos ($19.82MM): Exercised
  10. WR DeVonta Smith, Eagles ($15.59MM): Extended through 2028
  11. QB Justin Fields, Steelers*** ($25.66MM): Declined
  12. DE Micah Parsons, Cowboys ($21.32MM): Exercised
  13. T Rashawn Slater, Chargers ($19MM): Exercised
  14. OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, Jets ($13.31MM): Exercised
  15. QB Mac Jones, Jaguars**** ($25.66MM): Declined
  16. LB Zaven Collins, Cardinals ($13.25MM): Declined
  17. T Alex Leatherwood, Raiders: N/A
  18. LB Jaelan Phillips, Dolphins ($13.3MM): Exercised
  19. LB Jamin Davis, Commanders ($14.48MM): Declined
  20. WR Kadarius Toney, Chiefs***** ($14.35MM): Declined
  21. DE Kwity Paye, Colts ($13.4MM): Exercised
  22. CB Caleb Farley, Titans ($12.47MM): Declined
  23. T Christian Darrisaw, Vikings ($16MM): Exercised
  24. RB Najee Harris, Steelers ($6.79MM): Declined
  25. RB Travis Etienne, Jaguars ($6.14MM): Exercised
  26. CB Greg Newsome, Browns ($13.38MM): To be exercised
  27. WR Rashod Bateman, Ravens ($14.35MM): N/A; extended through 2026
  28. DE Payton Turner, Saints ($13.39MM): Declined
  29. CB Eric Stokes, Packers ($12.47MM): Declined
  30. DE Greg Rousseau, Bills ($13.39MM): Exercised
  31. LB Odafe Oweh, Ravens ($13.25MM): Exercised
  32. LB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Buccaneers ($13.25MM): Declined

* = Jets traded Wilson on April 22, 2024
** = 49ers traded Lance on August 25, 2023
*** = Bears traded Fields on March 16, 2024
**** = Patriots traded Jones on March 10, 2024
***** = Giants traded Toney on October 27, 2022

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.

Dolphins’ Jerome Baker, Andrew Van Ginkel Likely Done For Season

Already down Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb for the season, the Dolphins continue to run into brutal injury luck on their front seven. Injuries to Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel on Sunday night appear likely to be season-enders.

Just activated from IR ahead of Week 18, Baker sustained a wrist injury for which he has already undergone surgery. The sixth-year linebacker is out for the Chiefs matchup and likely the rest of the playoffs, according to NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe. Van Ginkel, who has played a key role since Phillips’ injury, is also likely done for the season due to the foot injury that forced him out of Sunday’s night’s game.

In addition to these adjustments DC Vic Fangio will need to make, Mike McDaniel said the team is not expected to have Xavien Howard back against the Chiefs. Additionally, backup edge rusher Cameron Goode suffered a torn patellar tendon in the loss to the Bills and will miss the season, McDaniel said.

In the event Miami’s defensive personnel turns this into a shootout — a less common occurrence with this Chiefs edition compared to previous Patrick Mahomes-piloted teams — McDaniel said (via Wolfe) Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert are looking more likely to return to action Saturday night. Waddle has missed the past two games with a high ankle sprain, while Mostert — the NFL’s touchdown leader, with 21 — missed Weeks 17 and 18 with knee and ankle trouble.

Still, Fangio’s troops are depleted to a point the defense will look quite different even from the shorthanded crew that took the field against the Bills. Goode’s injury left the Dolphins with Emmanuel Ogbah and Melvin Ingram on the edge. Fangio had benched the former early this season, and the Dolphins only re-signed the latter in December. The team used Ingram as a practice squad elevation in Week 18, doing so not long after cutting Jason Pierre-Paul. It would be interesting if the Dolphins reached out to JPP in this emergency circumstance. Miami still has quality personnel inside, in Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler, but its OLB setup has been gutted.

Van Ginkel has been effective as both a rotational rusher and a starter this season, notching a career-high six sacks along with 19 QB hits. He also posted a pick-six against the Commanders. Baker battled back from an MCL sprain; the Dolphins had used their final IR activation on their middle linebacker last week. A seventh-round pick, Goode played only 76 defensive snaps this season.

Jaylen Waddle Sustains High Ankle Sprain

DECEMBER 31: Waddle may miss the Dolphins’ regular season finale as well, but he is expected back for Miami’s first postseason contest, whenever that might be, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports (video link).

DECEMBER 29: As expected, Waddle will not play against the Ravens in Week 17. McDaniel ruled out the third-year speedster for Sunday’s pivotal matchup against the Ravens. While the second-year HC did not call this a severe injury and pointed to Waddle’s ability to recover quickly, Week 18 looms as his earliest possible return date.

DECEMBER 25: Coming out of a crucial win against the Cowboys, the Dolphins have one of their starting wide receivers facing a cloudy outlook as 2024 nears. Tests are ongoing, but Mike McDaniel said Monday (via ESPN.com’s Marcel Louis-Jacques) the injury that forced Jaylen Waddle out of Sunday’s matchup looks like a high ankle sprain.

The Dolphins, who were iffy to have Tyreek Hill available for Week 16 due to an ankle injury, lost Waddle with what was initially believed to be a shin malady. McDaniel’s update makes this a bit more concerning, especially given the Dolphins’ upcoming schedule and push for their first AFC East title since 2008.

Waddle left the Miami-Dallas matchup twice due to injury, not returning after the second instance. While the Dolphins prevailed without their younger speed merchant, this would be an obvious setback — especially considering the number of injuries they have sustained on offense. Miami played Sunday without four starting offensive linemen, with only Terron Armstead — who has again missed time due to injury previously this season — available. The AFC East leaders have been able to withstand these nagging issues, moving to 11-4 and qualifying for the playoffs for a second straight year. But Waddle’s status will obviously be worth monitoring.

McDaniel expressed optimism about his No. 2 wideout, but high ankle maladies often sideline players for multiple weeks. The Dolphins close the season with games against the Ravens and Bills. A loss in Baltimore and Buffalo defeating New England would make the rivals’ Week 18 tilt for the AFC East championship.

Waddle has only missed two games over the course of his pro career, but an ankle fracture caused the 2021 first-round pick to miss seven games during his final Alabama season. The overqualified Hill sidekick snared a 50-yard reception against the Cowboys before leaving Sunday, putting him over 1,000 receiving yards for a third straight year. Considering Waddle’s importance to the team, it would be a surprise if the Dolphins considered an IR move here.

Dolphins GM: WR Jaylen Waddle Not Available; Team Content With RB Room

While the Packers entered the fray for Jonathan Taylor, the Dolphins loomed as the most aggressive suitor. In on just about every available or potentially available running back this year, the Dolphins were connected to Taylor interest within minutes of the Colts greenlighting trade talks.

For now, Taylor remains on the Colts, set to begin the season on the reserve/PUP list. But the trade deadline is nearly two months away (October 31). That gives the Dolphins more time. One player the Colts asked about will almost certainly not be on the table if/when the sides huddle up on talks again. GM Chris Grier laughed upon indicating (via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques) Jaylen Waddle would not be available in a trade, “no matter who they’re calling about.”

The Colts are believed to have asked about Waddle during Taylor talks that included a back-and-forth featuring players and picks. Despite the Dolphins being tied to Taylor for nearly two weeks now, Grier said no offers emerged from either side. A recent report indicated at least two teams made offers, and it is a bit difficult to imagine the Dolphins were not one of those. But Grier said the Dolphins “feel good about their running back room,” per Louis-Jacques.

Miami has been connected to inquiring on Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, D’Andre Swift and Dalvin Cook over the past five-plus months. The team pursued Cook in both a trade, coming close to a deal with the Vikings, and in free agency. But the Jets landed the Miami native on a one-year, $7MM deal. The Dolphins then cut Myles Gaskin, whom they re-signed this offseason, and placed Jeff Wilson on IR. This leaves Raheem Mostert, Salvon Ahmed, third-rounder Devon Achane and rookie UDFA Chris Brooks as Miami’s available RBs. Achane is also nursing a shoulder injury.

While Mike McDaniel said he would not be surprised if Wilson returns this season, the running back’s agent — Drew Rosenhaus — said (via WSVN’s Josh Moser) his client is dealing with rib and pinkie finger injuries and should not be sidelined for long after the mandatory four-game absence requirement ends. Acquired just before last year’s trade deadline and re-signing with the Dolphins this offseason, Wilson also missed the start of the 2021 season due to a summer foot injury.

On Waddle, it is unsurprising the Dolphins would scoff at including him in a deal for Taylor. The former No. 6 overall pick is one of the NFL’s best young wide receivers. While he is the No. 2 target on the Dolphins behind Tyreek Hill, the Alabama alum zoomed to a 1,356-yard, eight-touchdown season and led the NFL in yards per reception (18.1). Waddle can be kept on his rookie deal through 2025, once the Dolphins exercise his fifth-year option by May 2024.

Waddle being included in the talks for Taylor, during a period in which wideout value has soared well past that of running backs, makes it worth wondering how serious the Colts are about dealing the 2021 rushing champion. Immediately after Taylor’s trade request became public, Jim Irsay shot down the notion the disgruntled back would be moved. Rumblings about some among the Colts warming up to the idea surfaced, but this situation is on pause for the foreseeable future.

Packers Engaged In Jonathan Taylor Trade Talks With Colts

Set to run back their Aaron JonesAJ Dillon tandem for a fourth season, the Packers have their 2023 backfield in place. But questions exist regarding Green Bay’s running back group beyond this year.

On that note, the Packers look to be one of the teams interested in Jonathan Taylor. They talked Taylor with the Colts before the AFC South team’s Tuesday deadline, Stephen Holder of ESPN.com reports. While as many as six teams were said to have expressed interest in Taylor, Holder notes the Packers joined the Dolphins in discussing the disgruntled All-Pro with the Colts.

The Packers component in these talks figures to remain relevant, as the Colts have until the Oct. 31 trade deadline to move Taylor. The former rushing champion remains on Indianapolis’ PUP list, with his reserve/PUP designation mandating he miss the season’s first four games. Taylor can return to practice after Week 2, however, which would open the door to trade talks picking back up in the near future.

Jones and the Packers huddled up on a reworked contract in February, a move that marked the first major transaction in a tough offseason for running backs. The deal gave Jones more 2023 guarantees but also came with a $5MM pay slash. The four-year, $48MM deal Jones signed before free agency in 2021 runs through 2024. The Packers could still designate Jones a post-June 1 cut next year, incurring less than $6MM in dead money to do so. Jones’ adjustment still makes a 2024 divorce somewhat prohibitive, but the Packers did just approach a dead-money record by taking on $40MM by trading Aaron Rodgers.

Dillon is going into the final season of his rookie contract. The former second-round pick has indicated he would like to stay in Green Bay, and next year’s free agent class looks set to top this year’s buyer’s market. Dillon is on track to join a number of high-end RBs on next year’s market, barring extensions agreed to before the tampering period. Taylor would represent a preemptive strike for the Packers, who would seemingly need to part ways with both their current backs in 2024 if they were to complete a trade-and-extend scenario involving the Wisconsin alum.

While Taylor is a New Jersey native, he starred at Wisconsin before going to the Colts in the 2020 second round. The Packers will not have Rodgers’ top-market contract on their payroll in 2024, being set to shed the contract off their cap sheet after this season. But the team will also need to make a call on Jordan Love, who signed a half-measure extension (two years, $13.5MM) that prevented the team from having to exercise a fully guaranteed fifth-year option on a player with little experience. Taylor would stand to fit better on a team with a rookie-QB contract, but the Packers have a unique signal-caller salary situation post-Rodgers.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, discussed “several” potential deals with the Colts, Holder adds. None are believed to have involved a first-round pick. Indianapolis asked for a first-rounder or a package of picks matching that value. Taylor still wants to be traded, and Holder adds interest remains. The Dolphins look to have viewed the Colts’ Tuesday deadline as fairly loose, and their extensive interest in running backs this offseason points to a reengagement at some point.

Indy’s asking price will need to come down in order for the Dolphins to bite. The Colts targeted Jaylen Waddle in their Taylor talks, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The AFC South club wanted the former top-10 wideout draftee and then some, per Jackson, who adds the Dolphins discussed packages involving players and picks. Suffice to say, Miami did not view Indianapolis’ ask as reasonable. The Colts made multiple counterproposals over the span of a week, per Jackson and Holder.

The Dolphins traded up from No. 12 to No. 6 for Waddle, who has become one of the NFL’s best young wideouts. With receivers dwarfing running backs on the salary spectrum, it is understandable the Dolphins did not want to engage on Waddle. The Alabama-developed speedster teamed with Tyreek Hill to form one of the top receiving duos in recent NFL history last season. Waddle posted 1,356 yards (an NFL-high 18.1 per catch) and eight touchdowns in his second season.

The prospect of a team giving up high-level draft assets and authorizing a near-top-market extension for Taylor — in a year in which RB value cratered — has led this situation to its current place. With Taylor eligible to practice in less than a month, the market could heat up again.

Waddle Sets Rookie Receptions Record

The 18-game NFL regular season sees another record fall. In the Dolphins’ first drive of today’s game against the Patriots, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa found his favorite target, receiver Jaylen Waddle, three times, pushing Waddle’s rookie-season total receptions to 102 and cementing that Waddle would end the day with an NFL record.

Waddle finished the game with 5 catches for only 27 yards, but those first three catches resulted in Waddle passing Anquan Boldin for most receptions in a single season for a rookie in NFL history. Boldin’s record of 101 receptions has stood since 2003. Waddle came into the game with 99 catches, so his 5 today make the new mark to beat 104.

Like most records this season, this will have a bit of an asterisk on it, since the record was reached in an 18-week season, as opposed to a 17-week season. While Waddle did technically catch more balls in the same amount of games as Boldin, Waddle did have the benefit of a week of rest outside the traditional bye week when he missed their Week 15 game against the Jets on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Waddle was joined today by T.J. Watt who tied Michael Strahan’s record for most sacks in a single season with 22.5. While Watt also had the luxury of being able to miss a game and still play the same amount of games that Strahan did back in 2001, Watt actually accomplished his total while only appearing in 15 games this year. This is sure to be a continuing trend in the coming years as players are given an additional opportunity to pad their stats.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Dolphins Place Jaylen Waddle On COVID-19 List

The Dolphins have placed wide receiver Jaylen Waddle on the COVID-19 list. With just a few days to go until Sunday’s game against the Jets, it’s unlikely that Waddle will be cleared in time to play.

[RELATED: Dolphins Add Damon Arnette To Practice Squad]

Thanks to a five-game winning streak, the Dolphins are still clinging to a chance of qualifying for an AFC Wild Card spot. A loss to the Jets would all but knock them out of contention. Waddle, the No. 6 overall pick in last year’s draft, has been a huge part of the Dolphins’ success this year. Over the last five games alone, he’s registered 38 catches for 436 yards and one receiving touchdown, plus one rushing TD for good measure. In total, the standout rookie has 86 grabs for 849 yards and five total TDs.

On the plus side, the Jets have struggled against the pass all year long. They’ve allowed an average of 254 yards per game through the air, the sixth highest total of any team in the NFL. (The Dolphins, with 245.5 passing yards allowed on average, rank fifth).

Without Waddle, the Dolphins would be left with DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Isaiah Ford, Preston Williams, and Mack Hollins at WR. You can also expect Tua Tagovailoa to target Mike Gesicki even more after his 7/46 showing against the Giants last time out.

AFC Notes: Waddle, Howard, Jets, QBs, Mims

The Dolphins just made a massive investment in Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle by taking him with the sixth overall pick. While it’s too early to worry too much, it does sound like Waddle’s ankle may cause some anxiety for Miami fans. Waddle is “still not entirely back” from the broken ankle he suffered during his last season in college, Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network hears. He writes that it’s “still somewhat of an issue” nine months after the injury occurred.

Even though he’s participating in training camp practices, Beasley says he “still at times walks with a limp” and that “there are some within the organization who believe he doesn’t yet have the full explosiveness” he had with the Crimson Tide. Waddle said after a recent Dolphins practice that he was feeling good, but it sounds like this will be a situation to monitor. The injury was a devastating one, so it’s not all that shocking that it’s lingering.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Speaking of potential Dolphins drama, star cornerback Xavien Howard just gave his first press conference since formally requesting a trade. Howard was pretty terse in his media availability and didn’t reveal too much, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. When asked if he was optimistic that an agreement with Miami would be reached, Howard said “That’s up to the Dolphins,” he said. “I’m just here with my teammates.” Howard either wants more guaranteed money from the team, or a trade. He was also asked whether he hoped things would get worked out for him to stay, and he replied “yeah, I hope it gets better. It’s a process. I’m hearing this and that, but nothing is getting done right now.” When asked whether he had spoken to head coach Brian Flores, Howard said “we talked but didn’t go nowhere.” It sounds like things are at an impasse, with no end in sight. Buckle up.
  • One of the big questions surrounding the Jets this offseason has been whether they’ll add a veteran backup quarterback. Rookie second overall pick Zach Wilson will be the starter, but New York has very little experience behind him. 2018 fifth-round pick Mike White and 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan are the only two other options on the roster. First-time head coach Robert Saleh “seems oppposed” to the idea of adding a veteran signal-caller, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. If they don’t, “White is the favorite to be the regular season QB2,” Cimini says. White was originally drafted by the Cowboys, but came to New York in 2019. Cimini thinks the team may cut Morgan and try to add him to the practice squad.
  • This one will be a disappointment to Jets fans. 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims is “no better than fifth in the pecking order at wide receiver,” Cimini writes. The team obviously had much higher hopes for him when they drafted him 59th overall just last year. He’s understandably behind veterans Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder, but it sounds like Mims has also already fallen behind free agent signee Keelan Cole and 2021 second-round pick Elijah Moore. Injuries limited the Baylor product to only nine games as a rookie, in which he put up 23 catches for 357 yards.