Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR River Cracraft

Can Cracraft maintain a role after the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and the two draft picks?
Wide receiver River Cracraft after his touchdown in the first half of the 2023 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
Wide receiver River Cracraft after his touchdown in the first half of the 2023 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami Dolphins have a crowded wide receiver room after the NFL draft and free agency. A pair of rookies and a veteran will join returning players Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Braxton Berrios, Erik Ezukanma, and River Cracraft.

Cracraft played for Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel in San Francisco when McDaniel was the offensive coordinator for the 49ers. McDaniel brought Cracraft to Miami, and the Washington State product is now on his third contract with the Dolphins.

Cracraft is the latest in our series on players on the Dolphins’ roster heading into training camp. Let’s look back at their 2023 season, how they joined the team, their contract status, and their outlook for 2024.

RIVER CRACRAFT, WR

Height: 6-0
Weight: 198 lbs.
Exp.: 6 Years
School: Washington State
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent, 2022

2023 in Review

Cracraft started 2023 with a bang, scoring a touchdown in the road victory to open the season against the Los Angeles Chargers. Cracraft started the Dolphins’ home opener against the Denver Broncos for an injured Jaylen Waddle and caught one pass on one target in the 70-20 blowout victory before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.

Cracraft suited up in 10 games for Miami in 2023, and his knowledge of the playbook and familiarity with McDaniel have benefited him the last few seasons. He was on the injured reserve for six games during Weeks 4-9 and inactive in another late-season game, Week 16.

Cracraft's number was not called very often last season, but he took advantage of his opportunities. Cracraft caught nine passes on his 12 targets for 121 yards and a touchdown, and his catch rate of 66.7 was the highest among Miami wide receivers.

Contract/Cap Info

Cracraft was signed as a free agent in 2022 and followed up with a one-year deal in 2023. Cracraft and the Dolphins signed another one-year contract this March worth $1.24 million. Cracraft will earn a base salary of $1.13 million and a roster bonus of $115,000 while carrying a cap hit of $1.1 million during the 2024 season (per spotrac.com). He will be an unrestricted free free agent in 2025.

2024 Preview

With an increasingly crowded wide receiver room in Miami for 2024, Cracraft will have his work cut out for him in training camp.

Hill and Waddle are the top two targets, showing just a shade over 50% of Miami’s overall looks from last season, including other skill positions. Cracraft usually was listed behind Waddle on the depth chart, hence the Week 3 start against the Broncos.

With the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and rookies Malik Washington and Tahj Washington, Cracraft has a very important July ahead. Cracraft will be doing battle with those three, Berrios and Ezukanma to remain on a roster that currently has 11 wide receivers expected for training camp. At peak last season, the Dolphins carried six receivers.

PREVIOUSLY IN THIS SERIES

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: RB De'Von Achane

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: RB Salvon Ahmed

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: T Terron Armstead

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: LB Shaquil Barrett

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR Braxton Berrios

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: CB Ethan Bonner

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Aaron Brewer

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: RB Chris Brooks

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: LB Jordyn Brooks

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: DB Elijah Campbell

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OLB Bradley Chubb

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: TE Tanner Conner

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Lester Cotton


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Jason Sarney

JASON SARNEY