Jaylen Waddle contract details: Where Dolphins star ranks among NFL’s highest-paid WRs after extension

Jaylen Waddle enjoyed a productive start to his career with the Dolphins. Miami rewarded him for his performance Thursday.

Waddle signed a contract extension to keep him with the Dolphins for three extra seasons. He had two seasons left on his rookie contract, so he will remain in Miami over the next five years.

The Alabama product was first eligible to sign an extension with the Dolphins during this offseason. The No. 6 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft inked the contract amid a burgeoning receiver market that could soon explode as numerous top, young pass-catchers become extension-eligible.

Here’s what to know about Waddle’s new contract and where it places him among the NFL’s highest-paid wide receivers.

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Jaylen Waddle contract details

Waddle signed a three-year extension with the Dolphins worth up to $84.5 million, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The contract comes with $76 million guaranteed — nearly 90 percent of the contract — and will keep him in Miami through his age-30 season.

Waddle’s contract places him among the five highest-paid receivers in average annual value (AAV) and top 10 in total contract value.

NFL’s highest-paid WRs

Below is a look at the 10 highest-paid NFL wide receivers in AAV, per OverTheCap.com.

Rank Player Team AAV
1 A.J. Brown Eagles $32 million
2 Amon-Ra St. Brown Lions $30.002 million
3 Tyreek Hill Dolphins $30 million
4 Jaylen Waddle Dolphins $28.17 million
5 Davante Adams Raiders $28 million
6 Cooper Kupp Rams $26.7 million
7 DeVonta Smith Eagles $25 million
8 Nico Collins Texans $24.25 million
9 DK Metcalf Seahawks $24 million
10 Deebo Samuel 49ers $23.85 million
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Here are the highest-paid wide receivers in total contract value:

Rank Player Team Total contract
1 Davante Adams Raiders $140 million
2 Amon-Ra St. Brown Lions $120.01 million
3 Tyreek Hill Dolphins $120 million
4 Amari Cooper Browns $100 million
5 A.J. Brown Eagles $96 million
6 Calvin Ridley Titans $92 million
7 Jaylen Waddle Dolphins $84.5 million
8 Cooper Kupp Rams $80.1 million
  Keenan Allen Bears $80.1 million
10 DeVonta Smith Eagles $75 million
  Christian Kirk Jaguars $72 million

Waddle’s deal may seem costly, but in reality, his price relative to other NFL receivers figures to decrease soon. Why? Because players like Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb nd Ja’Marr Chase are seeking new deals during the 2024 offseason and should soon see nine-figure contracts from their respective clubs.

That will certainly move Waddle’s total contract value down from its present No. 7 rank while his AAV also seems destined to drop out of the top five.

That makes this agreement a smart one for the Dolphins. They now have Tua Tagovailoa’s top two weapons — Waddle and Tyreek Hill — locked up long-term. The $204.5 million combined to retain them is costly, but given that both topped 1,000 receiving yards in each of Mike McDaniel’s first two seasons with the Dolphins, it could be worth it.

And once some of the NFL’s other top receivers agree to new contracts, both deals could end up looking like solid values.

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Jaylen Waddle stats

Below is a look at Waddle’s stats from his first three seasons with the Dolphins. The No. 6 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has never logged fewer than 1,014 yards in a season.

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Year Games Receptions Yards TDs Yard/reception
2021 16 104 1,015 6 9.8
2022 17 75 1,356 8 18.1
2023 14 72 1,014 4 14.1

Waddle’s 18.1 yards per reception were the most in the NFL during the 2022 season. His deep speed is a major asset, and he and Hill are part of the engine that makes Miami the fastest team in the NFL.

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