Dolphins to pick up options on Waddle, Phillips; talks with Tua continue

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is set to play on a fifth-year rookie option in 2025. File Photo by Larry Marano/UPI
1 of 5 | Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is set to play on a fifth-year rookie option in 2025. File Photo by Larry Marano/UPI | License Photo

April 16 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins will pick up the fifth-year contract options for Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips, general manager Chris Grier said Tuesday in Miami Gardens, Fla. Contract talks with Tua Tagovailoa are ongoing.

Grier made the comments during a pre-draft news conference at the Dolphins' Baptist Health Training Complex.


"We're getting to that point," Grier said of finalizing the options for Waddle and Phillips. "I would say we'll end up picking it up on them. I'm comfortable saying that."

Waddle joined the Dolphins as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons and logged 251 catches and 19 touchdowns over 47 appearances during that span.

The former Alabama star is entering the final year of his four-year, $27 million rookie contract. His option for 2025 is worth $15.5 million.


Grier's comments about Waddle's option came a day after the Philadelphia Eagles announced they signed wide receiver DeVonta Smith to a three-year contract and picked up his fifth-year option for 2025.

Smith's deal is worth $75 million, including $51 million guaranteed. He won't receive a base salary from that contract until 2026.

Smith was the No. 10 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, joining the Eagles four picks after Waddle joined the Dolphins. Cincinnati Bengals star Ja'Marr Chase, selected No. 5 overall, was the first receiver picked in that draft.

The Bengals have yet to announce if they will pick up Chase's option, which is valued at more than $6 million more than the options for Waddle and Smith.

Phillips joined the Dolphins as the No. 18 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The linebacker totaled 146 combined tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, 22 sacks, five passes defensed, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception over 42 games through his first three seasons.

Phillips didn't miss a start through his first two seasons. He then missed eight games last year with back and oblique injuries and a season-ending torn Achilles.

He is to make $13.2 million during his option year in 2025.


Grier also provided an update about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's expected contract extension. The 2023 Pro Bowl selection, who led the NFL with 4,624 passing yards and threw a career-high 29 touchdown passes, is to make $23.1 million from his fifth-year option in 2024.

Grier said in February that there was no timetable on negotiations for Tagovailoa's new pact and that he was hopeful an extension could be completed this off-season.

"I think it's something that when it happens, it happens," Grier said Tuesday. "We've had communication with him and I'll just leave those between the organization and his representation, and it's been good ,so we'll just keep working toward it.

"He and his agent are very understanding that this is now the draft, so he's letting us focus on that and then we'll turn our attention to that after the draft finishes."

Tagovailoa is not expected to be a holdout this off-season or at training camp. He reported Monday to voluntary training at the Dolphins' facility in Miami Gardens, according to video the team posted on social media. Phillips also appeared in that footage.

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