New deal for Eagles’ DeVonta Smith sets baseline for Jaylen Waddle contract

The Philadelphia Eagles locked down former top 10 draft pick DeVonta Smith on a three-year, $75 million extension Monday. Coupled with the fifth-year option on his rookie deal which was reportedly picked up and combined with the extension, it’s essentially a four-year, $90.6 contract for Smith.

While that’s a lofty total at first glance, it presents a peculiar situation for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.

The Dolphins selected Waddle with the No. 6 overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft, four picks before the Eagles took Smith. Through three seasons, the pair of Alabama alums have produced nearly identical numbers.

  • Waddle: 47 games, 251 receptions, 3,385 yards, 19 total touchdowns

  • Smith: 50 games, 240 receptions, 3,178 yards, 19 total touchdowns

An average of $25 million per year would’ve made Smith one of the top five highest-paid receivers in the NFL along with Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, and A.J. Brown. But coupled with the fifth-year option, Smith’s average of $22.65 million cracks the top 10 and lands behind the three-year, $70 million and four-year, $92 million contracts signed by Michael Pittman Jr. and Calvin Ridley, respectively, earlier this offseason.

The Dolphins would probably love to get Waddle at a similar price. Would the Miami receiver be willing to sign the same deal as Smith, though?

While he hasn’t produced the gaudy numbers of his teammate Hill, the 25-year-old receiver has put together three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Presumably, Waddle will want to get paid more than Smith, Pittman, and Ridley as he’s the youngest of the group and he’s been more productive than all three.

Some have suggested that the Smith deal provides a clean framework for a Waddle extension. That may be the case. It’s also possible that it creates an impasse in the negotiations with the Dolphins hoping Waddle will take a deal that’s comparable to Smith’s while the receiver aims for a much loftier number.

Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire