Dolphins will not use franchise tag on DT Christian Wilkins: Sources



The Miami Dolphins will not use the franchise tag on defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, team sources confirmed to The Athletic.

The one-year tag tender for a defensive tackle would’ve cost the Dolphins $22.1 million. Wilkins is now expected to hit the free-agent market.

The 28-year-old is coming off his best season in 2023 with nine sacks and 23 quarterback hits. He’s listed at No. 10 in The Athletic’s top 150 free agent rankings.

The Dolphins’ 2019 first-round pick has been a rock up the middle of Miami’s defense having not missed a game in the past three seasons. He’s tallied 20.5 sacks and 355 total tackles in his first five seasons in the league.

How Wilkins stacks up

There was a very noticeable uptick in Wilkins’ pressure percentage rate last season compared to his previous four years. Here’s a look at Wilkins’ pressure rate, sacks and total pressure from each season, via TruMedia:

Year prsr% sacks Prsrs

2019

9.3

2

30

2020

5.2

1.5

18

2021

8.5

4.5

31

2022

5.4

3.5

30

2023

11.0

9

58

Here’s how Wilkins has stacked up among notable free-agent defensive linemen and pass rushers last season:

player Prsr% Sacks Prsrs Ps rush snaps

21.3 (2)

10.0 (22)

67 (18)

315 (100)

18.3 (5)

17.5 (2)

90 (5)

493 (17)

17.5 (10)

6.0 (61)

53 (40)

303 (107)

17.1 (14)

3.0 (118)

37 (87)

217 (173)

16.5 (16)

5.5 (69)

60 (27)

363 (78)

16.5 (17)

10.5 (17)

75 (12)

454 (33)

15.7 (23)

9.5 (25)

71 (13)

451 (36)

15.7 (24)

2.5 (128)

17 (156)

108 (188)

15.3 (28)

9.0 (28)

48 (53)

313 (101)

14.7 (34)

7.5 (46)

66 (20)

448 (40)

13.9 (39)

6.5 (56)

29 (111)

208 (182)

13.7 (42)

3.0 (118)

29 (111)

211 (179)

13.4 (44)

16.5 (5)

80 (10)

596 (2)

13.4 (45)

13.0 (9)

65 (21)

486 (19)

13.0 (49)

7.5 (46)

34 (95)

262 (131)

12.8 (53)

12.5 (10)

48 (53)

375 (70)

11.5 (66)

1.0 (156)

34 (95)

295 (112)

11.4 (71)

5.5 (69)

54 (39)

474 (22)

11.3 (72)

11.5 (12)

53 (40)

467 (28)

11.3 (74)

10.5 (17)

41 (77)

364 (76)

11.1 (76)

8.0 (37)

40 (80)

359 (83)

11.0 (78)

6.0 (61)

40 (80)

362 (79)

11.0 (79)

9.0 (28)

58 (32)

529 (8)

10.8 (82)

6.5 (56)

42 (72)

388 (67)

9.7 (106)

2.0 (135)

7 (185)

72 (190)

9.6 (110)

5.0 (78)

43 (69)

450 (37)

9.4 (115)

3.5 (108)

23 (128)

245 (147)

9.3 (117)

6.5 (56)

38 (85)

410 (60)

8.5 (130)

8.0 (37)

38 (85)

449 (39)

7.6 (145)

4.5 (91)

36 (89)

471 (25)

5.6 (170)

0.0 (179)

6 (188)

108 (188)

4.2 (182)

1.0 (156)

11 (179)

261 (133)

3.7 (185)

0.0 (179)

9 (181)

244 (148)

Wilkins doesn’t have the super gaudy numbers like fellow free agents Justin Madubuike and Chris Jones at defensive tackle. That said, he’s been a reliable staple for Miami’s defense, especially the last three seasons, and he’s an every-down defensive tackle. — Larry Holder, NFL senior writer

Required reading

(Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)





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