June 23, 2024

Justin Jefferson’s contract gives Tyreek Hill a target for his next deal

He’s been trying to get a new deal since the 2023 season ended. The A.J. Brown contract increased the urgency. The Justin Jefferson deal will raise the stakes even higher.

Receiver Tyreek Hill, who is actually making $25 million per year in new money (not $30 million), will want the Dolphins to tear up the contract and replace it with a new deal. And he’ll want the new-money average to match or exceed $35 million per year, the value of Jefferson’s deal.

Hill has cash payouts of $19.765 million in 2024, $22.935 million in 2025, and $45 million in 2026. That’s $87.7 million in old money. (Even though the last year is phony, it’s still relevant to the old money/new money analysis.)

To get to $35 million in new money on a three-year extension, the six-year value would be $192.7 million. That’s an average from signing of $32.11 million per year. Which might be more than the Dolphins are willing to do.

Since the non-guaranteed years can be fictitious (like the last year of Hill’s current deal), there’s a way to structure the payments so that the new-money average would be $35 million, with a phony final year to drive the average up.

Regardless, it won’t be easy for Hill to get to $35 million per year, not with $87.7 million already on the books for the next three years. At least he has a target, now that Jefferson has a new deal.

And if/when Hill gets paid, the question becomes whether the Dolphins will have the cash or cap space to give quarterback Tua Tagovailoa the long-term deal he wants. If/when Hill and receiver Jaylen Waddle account for more than $60 million per year in cap space, how much will the Dolphins have for the guy who distributes the ball.