Potential Cardinals target DT Christian Wilkins unlikely to get franchise tag

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is expected to hit the open market in free agency. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Dolphins are not expected to use the franchise tag on Wilkins before Tuesday’s deadline.

What does that mean?

It means that teams like the Arizona Cardinals, who have a glaring need on the defensive line, can offer him a contract without the risk of the Dolphins matching or having to give up two first-round picks.

Wilkins, 28 years old, will be one of the most sought-after defensive players in the league once free agency begins.

Last season, he had nine sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 23 quarterback hits, 65 tackles, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

He would give the Cardinals a stud in the defensive interior.

His price tag will likely rival that of San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who signed a four-year, $84 million deal as a free agent last offseason.

The negotiation window for free agents opens on Monday. We will see if the Cardinals end up being among the suitors for Wilkins.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire