The Miami Dolphins have continued to stress, since the end of the 2011 season that they are not rebuilding. However, many of their actions would suggest otherwise. On Sunday, the Dolphins traded a 1st round pick from just 3 years ago, for a 2nd rounder and a conditional 6th rounder. Trading Vontae Davis, the 2nd or 3rd best cornerback on the Dolphins for a draft pick next April, suggest the team is clearly rebuilding. What stings more is that Vontae Davis’ departure is a net loss for a couple of reasons. First, they lost draft value, in that they received less value than they spent to acquire Vontae. Second, the Miami Dolphins are a weaker team today than they were on Saturday.
The Dolphins obviously have their reasons for trading Vontae. Whether it was the fact that he showed up to camp out of shape and overweight or that he’s just not as mature as a 4th year veteran should be. The Dolphins MUST be comfortable with what they’ve seen from Nolan Carroll because this trade leaves a gaping hole at cornerback. Carroll will likely be forced into the nickel package now. Will Jimmy Wilson, who’s switched to safety, be the Dolphins dime back? The Dolphins decided to move on and like it or not, it’s most important to figure out what they are going to do next. I suspect the Dolphins will look for a corner that’s been cut from another team’s roster. Word on the street is that they are scouting other team’s corners aggressively.
As it stands right now, the Dolphins have 1- 1st round pick, 2- 2nds, and 2- 3rds. That’s 5 picks within the top 90 draft selections. That’s a lot of young talent that will be added to the roster in April of 2013. HOWEVER, those picks are only valuable if they are used correctly. AND, given the Dolphins recent success (or lack thereof) with 2nd round picks, hope isn’t exactly raining on South Beach. Phillip Merling? Pat White? Chad Henne? That’s 3- 2nd round picks within the last 4 years, that are no longer with the Dolphins. Getting high draft picks is great, but they must be used to upgrade the roster with talent.
I hope the Dolphins pulled off the Vontae Davis trade because they have other trade discussions in the works. For example, the trade might not seem so bad if the Dolphins turned the 2nd round pick from the Colts into, say Mike Wallace of the Steelers. The Steelers are steadfast in saying they won’t trade Wallace, but team’s rarely say what they are actually going to do. If I were to tell you the Dolphins would trade Vontae Davis (a player who’s currently 3rd on the CB depth chart) for Mike Wallace (a #1 WR), wouldn’t you be happy with it?
I suspect that the Dolphins will make a move for a wide receiver by next weekend. Whether it’s giving up a 4th or 5th round pick for Green Bay’s James Jones or even swinging a deal for the Chiefs Dwayne Bowe, something will get done. The Dolphins coaches KNOW that they don’t have enough talent at the wide receiver position. They KNOW that having a lackluster wide receiving corps will slow Ryan Tannehill’s growth as a quarterback. Now the Dolphins have even more ammunition to make a move for a proven NFL receiver. Let’s just hope that Jeff Ireland is thinking the same way and can pull off a deal.