Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins Agree to Reported 4-Year, $27.1M Rookie Contract

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMay 14, 2021

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle walks down the runway after being chosen by the Miami Dolphins with the sixth pick in the NFL football draft Thursday April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
David Dermer/Associated Press

Jaylen Waddle signed his rookie contract with the Miami Dolphins on Friday, reuniting the Alabama star with Tua Tagovailoahis former college quarterback.

Miami Dolphins @MiamiDolphins

Signed ✅ @D1__JW https://t.co/YHnYp5Yxgb

Waddle signed a four-year deal worth $27.1 million, with the contract featuring a $17.1 million signing bonus, according to Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the four-year deal will be fully-guaranteed.

Per Deen, the pact includes a fifth-year option.

Miami grabbed Waddle with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, giving its franchise QB a familiar face in the huddle. Coming off a year in which the Dolphins had the 13th-worst passing offense in the league (233.5 yards per game), the addition of Waddle represents not only an investment in Tagovailoa's development but also a commitment to surrounding the QB with the type of players who make him better.

Waddle certainly did that at Alabama.

The 2020 second-team All-SEC star compiled 591 yards and four touchdowns on 28 catches last year after tallying 78 receptions for 1,408 yards and 13 touchdowns in his previous two seasons with Tagovailoa.

Now after a year apart, the two will look to pick up where they left off with the Crimson Tide. Namely, competing for championships.

Waddle is locked in for at least four years, giving Miami plenty of time to see what he can do on the field.

If he turns out anything like the last wideout the Dolphins took in the first round, it likely won't take long for Waddle to establish himself. After taking DeVante Parker No. 14 overall in 2015, the Louisville product averaged 19 yards per catch as a rookie before exploding with 1,202 yards on 72 catches in 2019 to go with nine touchdowns.

Waddle could turn out better.

B/R's NFL Scouting Department named him the fourth-best wideout in this year's class, rating him an 8.4 out of 10, which translates to an immediate starter.

With his first contract all taken care of, Waddle can focus on reaching that potential and helping move the Dolphins' rebuild ahead.