As training camp nears its end the Dolphins sill have the same unresolved situation at WR: What to do with Cedirkc Willson Jr. The much vaunted signing, that we called massively over-paid, has made virtually no impact in his first season in Miami.
So much so, that the trade market for Wilson is practically non-existent. Of course GM Chris Grier touted his usual line of “teams have been calling”, just as he has for years now over untradeable players such as Josh Rosen.
You see the main problem with Wilson is that it’s really hard to trade a WR in the first place, but trying to trade a receiver who was healthy in 2022, but had only 12 catches on 17 targets is an impossible sell. The Giants had to cut Kenny Golladay after two horrendous seasons in New York.
Giants HC and offensive guru Brian Daboll had to accept that he couldn’t get the best out of Golladay, and that there was no trade market for him, and it’s time for the Dolphins to do the same with Wilson.
DOLPHINS NEED TO RIP THE BAND-AID OFF
In fairness to Wilson, Hill and Waddle monopolised the targets in Miami last season, netting a full 51.7% of all targets. Only 7 players had more than 20 targets, and only 6 players had multiple touchdown catches.
One of those players ahead of Wilson in all of those categories, Mike Gesicki, signed a 1-year $4.5-million contract with the Patriots. So why would the Dolphins be paying Wilson $8-million for this season for less production? As things stand Wilson is the Dolphins 9th highest paid playing heading into the season.
The only logical answer is because of the $6-million dead cap that Wilson has a potential post-June 1st cut. But for us, a better option is to give those reps to one of the younger players who have a shot at contributing for the Dolphins in a season of very high expectations.
Whilst receivers coach Wes Welker said earlier in camp that Wilson was ahead in the battle for the number 3 spot, that was clearly fudging the truth. As much as the things Welker said about Wilson may be true, it’s clear he isn’t in Miami’s plans and this is a very obvious sales pitch.
On Wilson, Welker said “He’s a very smooth route runner, he presents problems for defensive backs. He’s the type of guy that’s never really covered just because he has really good body control and he has really good hands. And so any time that ball’s in the air, you know, just being really consistent with, you know, making those balls where they’re 80-20 or whatever they are, and coming down with some of those plays when he doesn’t have the exact separation.”
That separation comment is telling. When Wilson signed the Dolphins PR department said “Wilson is primarily known for his separation. His average distance created between he and the nearest defender was 3.5 yards a clip last season, tied for 13th among wide receivers.”
However, in 2023 he doesn’t even crack the top-100 for separation and averaged under 1.7 yards of separation.
So as much as the Dolphins are still pitching Wilson there are clearly no teams biting and it’s time to move on. Wilson was a mistake from the outset, and while fans and pundits may have got carried away, Wilson is a receiver who has only 1 season with more than 200 yards receiving.
In 2021 he had seen more snaps as the Cowboys were decimated by injuries. But that was a blip. The Dolphins bought far too high and must now accept it and cut him.