Dolphins DL Christian Wilkins’ focus on ‘being the best teammate I can be’ after extension talks fall through

Christian Wilkins isn’t getting an extension ahead of the 2023 season, but that’s not dissuading him from doing whatever he can to be the best for his squad in the year ahead.

Three days removed from NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reporting that Wilkins and the Miami Dolphins were unable to come to terms on a contract extension, the defensive lineman made it clear just what his focus is now.

“I’m just focused on being the best teammate I can be and being there for my guys and getting ready to play a game and get focused on the season,” he said, via team transcript. “As far as all of that goes, whether or not something gets done, my focus is on the season. We have a game to play in two weeks. Ultimately, I’m just here to be the best teammate I can be, and be there for my guys the same way I’ve been all offseason, all training camp. That’s really what it comes down to.”

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Wilkins, who the Dolphins landed with the 13th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, is clearly leaving the door open for future negotiations, but his onus is on the season at hand.

Miami’s focus turned to locking up defensive end Zach Sieler, who garnered an extension with the Fins after Wilkins’ talks fell flat.

Wilkins congratulated Sieler on social media and further expressed his joy regarding his teammate’s good fortune on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I couldn’t be more proud, more happy, more excited for someone than Zach Sieler honestly,” he said. “He called me the morning of. He wanted to be the first to tell me. That’s been my brother since day one when he got here with like three games left in the season. I couldn’t be more happy, more proud of someone.”

Having staged a hold-in throughout training camp, Wilkins appears to have his sights firmly on the season ahead rather than the seasons after. He’s due to make $10.75 million in 2023 — the final year of his first-round rookie pact.

He underscored Tuesday that he still very much wants his future to be in South Beach, even if a resolution on an extension hasn’t been reached.

“At the end of the day, nobody wants to be a Miami Dolphin more than me,” Wilkins said. “No one wants to work for this organization more than me. And that’s from Valerie at the front desk, to the coaches on the coaching staff, to Hubert, who cleans up the building. Nobody wants to be a part of the organization more than myself. That’s how I feel, that’s what it is, that’s where I’m at with everything still. This is my home. I was drafted here, I love this place, and I put my all to be the best player, the best leader, the best teammate, the best Miami Dolphin I can be. That’s not going to change. The organization deserves that, my teammates deserve that, the fans deserve that and everything.”

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