Dolphins’ Draft Triumph With Waddle And Phillips Secured For Future

The Miami Dolphins struck gold with their two first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting wide receiver Jaylen Waddle at No. 6 and pass rusher Jaelan Phillips at No. 18. Both players have proven their worth, and the Dolphins are keen on retaining them for the long term.

General manager Chris Grier confirmed on Tuesday that the team intends to exercise the fifth-year options on both Waddle and Phillips.

Dolphins’ Draft Triumph With Waddle and Phillips Secured for Future (Credits: Getty Images)

If the options are exercised, Waddle is set to earn $15,591,000 in 2025, while Phillips will receive $13,251,000, as outlined by Over The Cap. The deadline to exercise fifth-year options on first-round picks from the 2021 class is Thursday, May 2.

Waddle showcased his skills with an impressive performance in the 2023 season, hauling in 72 passes for 1,014 yards and four touchdowns. Notably, he has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in each of his three NFL seasons.

Jaylen Waddle: Rising Star and Future of the Miami Dolphins

Waddle’s rookie campaign saw him break an NFL record with 104 receptions, a milestone that was recently eclipsed by Los Angeles Rams rookie Puka Nacua. In 2022, Waddle led the league with an impressive average of 18.1 yards per reception while also registering a career-high eight receiving touchdowns.

Regarded as one of the top “No. 2” wide receivers in the league, Waddle has been hailed as the future of the franchise by his teammate, Tyreek Hill.

Dolphins’ Draft Triumph With Waddle and Phillips Secured for Future (Credits: Getty Images)

“This offseason, I’ve got to give props to my boy Waddle. He’s the future,” wrote Hill in a recent post. “Honestly, he’s even better than I was at this point in his career, and it’s crazy to me that some fans are even considering trading him. He and Tua [Tagovailoa] were something special before I joined the team, and they’ll continue to be special long after I’m gone.”

Miami Dolphins’ Phillips Aims for Strong Comeback After Injury Setback 

Phillips, who spent part of his college career in Miami after transferring from UCLA, made a significant impact in his rookie NFL season, tallying 8.5 sacks despite only starting in five games. Unfortunately, his promising sophomore year was cut short when he suffered an Achilles injury during a game against the New York Jets on Black Friday.

Despite appearing in just eight games in 2023, Phillips managed to contribute 43 combined tackles, 6.5 sacks and even secured his first career interception.

Dolphins’ Draft Triumph With Waddle and Phillips Secured for Future (Credits: Getty Images)

Currently, Phillips is focused on his rehabilitation process, aiming to make a strong comeback for the upcoming season. “I’ve been fully locked in and motivated to return for the season,” he expressed.

“Throughout this journey, I’ve come to understand that there’s a bigger plan at play, and sometimes life throws unexpected challenges our way. Instead of dwelling on the ‘why,’ I’ve chosen to focus on how I can respond and grow from this experience. It’s been a positive journey for me so far.”