Dolphins’ Grier discusses draft, Tagovailoa, Waddle, Holland, Phillips, Beckham, more

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said Tuesday that the Dolphins will exercise their 2025 fifth-year options on receiver Jaylen Waddle and linebacker Jaelan Phillips, and the team also wants to keep safety Jevon Holland, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract.

Those fifth-year options, which must or must not be exercised by May 2 (per league rules), will guarantee $15.6 million for Waddle and $13.3 million for Phillips in 2025.

The Dolphins are expected to explore multiyear contracts with both players, though Grier declined to discuss that.

Safety Jevon Holland also is entering the final season of his rookie contract, and the Dolphins are expected to try to keep him long-term as well. Holland was drafted in the second round; unlike first-round picks, second-rounders have no fifth-year options that teams can exercise.

“He’s an important piece and we will be talking with him in the future” about a multiyear contract, Grier said of Holland. “Excited for him to get healthy and have a good year.”

Meanwhile, Grier said conversations continue on a multiyear contract for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but there is no deadline.

“When it happens, it happens,” he said. “We’ve had communications. It’s been good. We’ll keep working towards it. His agent [Athletes First] is understanding it’s now the draft and we’ll focus on that and turn attention to that [Tagovailoa’s contract] after the draft.”

Tagovailoa would play in 2024 on his $23.1 million fifth-year option if the sides don’t agree to a long-term contract that could average more than $50 million annually.

On Tagovailoa losing weight this offseason (to gain mobility) and hiring quarterbacks coach John Beck to work with him on mechanics, Grier said: “You’ve got to give him all the credit. Watching him work and he wants to be great and did all the stuff on his own and told us what he’s going to do.”

Grier also said he’s convinced Miami will get a player it wants in the draft if it keeps the 21st pick.

“We feel there will be one or two players we really like there,” he said. “We feel there will be an impact player there we really like. We feel very good about the players there at 21” even though, “as of now, we do not have 21 first round grades” on 21 players.

Grier said his philosophy remains to take “the best player available that can impact us in round one, if we have that pick. First couple rounds, you’re going to take the best available player.”

He said the Dolphins have had trade talks, which are typical.

“Some of those conversations are happening now,” he said. “A team calls and says, ‘Would you be willing to move up or move down?’ If a deal is too good to pass up, you pull the trigger now. Most are draft day [deals]. We’ve had discussions with teams about moving up or down.

“We’re open to everything. But also you don’t want to pass on a good player if there’s someone there we all feel really strongly about that can impact our roster. It’s great to pick up an extra third, but if that second-round player is someone we feel strongly about, like Jevon Holland or Jarvis Landry, you take it.”

The Dolphins have picks in the first round (21st overall), second round (55th overall) but no picks in the third or fourth rounds. They have one fifth-rounder, two sixth-rounders and a seventh-rounder.

“Sometimes late in the draft we look for depth or filling holes on your roster,” Grier said.


Asked if he believes if the team needs to find a starter to replace Christian Wilkins, Grier didn’t give a yes or no but suggested that Miami is fine with what it has at that position — Neville Gallimore, Jonathan Harris and potentially Teair Tart, who is more of a nose tackle. Whoever replaces Wilkins will play alongside Zach Sieler.

“We’re very excited about that group,” Grier said. “The group we have were targeted players and we like the potential and what they can be. Feel good about that group. It’s not a priority, but any player we can add” to improve the roster will be considered.

Grier expressed confidence in what new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver and veteran defensive line coach Austin Clark can extract from that revamped defensive line, which also added Benito Jones and lost Indianapolis-bound Raekwon Davis, in addition to losing Wilkins to Las Vegas.

With regard to whether Tart will be strictly a nose tackle (replacing Davis) or whether he can compete at Wilkins’ old spot as well, Grier said: “We will see how he fits and leave that for Anthony.”


Grier addressed other issues in his pre-draft news conference:

Asked if Miami would consider a quarterback at 21, Grier said: “That’s not something we’re looking at in the first round. We’re very happy with Tua. At some point, I wouldn’t say we’re not going to draft a quarterback at [some point]. We drafted Skylar Thompson in the seventh round.”

Fox lead college analyst Joel Klatt has implored the Dolphins to draft Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at 21.

Grier declined to say whether linebackers Phillips and Bradley Chubb - both coming off major injuries — will be ready for the start of the regular season.

“I don’t want to speak for them,” he said. “They’ve been rehabbing like crazy, maniacal about how they attack it. I don’t put any timelines or pressure on it. Timelines I wouldn’t feel comfortable with until we get to training camp.”

Asked about a potential succession play for left tackle Terron Armstead, Grier said: “You always try to take a two-year look into the future of what it could be. We’re very respectful of his timeline [in deciding how long he wants to keep playing].

“To his credit, he’s been an incredible communicator. He’s a fantastic person. Very glad he’s coming back.”

Armstead has no guaranteed money due after 2024.

On Weaver: “He’s been very clear, communicates well about the type of players he’s looking for.”

Grier said he has a “pretty good idea” of what Weaver is looking for in players and personnel and schemes from Weaver’s time in Baltimore. But Grier said there “also are some things he wants to implement on his own.”

Though the Dolphins have made an offer to free agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Grier said there’s “nothing imminent, nothing in the works to get anything done.”

According to a source, the sides never significantly closed the gap on their different financial visions for a contract. Beckham visited Dolphins headquarters last season; Beckham, Tyler Boyd, Michael Thomas and DJ Chark remain the most accomplished receivers still available in free agency.

Grier reiterated how much he values versatility: “Guys that can play all along the offensive line are really important for teams. We’ll always keep looking for players that can do more.”