While the Miami Dolphins did not pull off a blockbuster trade to get holdout defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, obviously GM Chris Grier was working the conversation towards another huge trade. And, that came about Saturday afternoon as Miami dealt starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil and arguably their best deep threat receiver, Kenny Stills in a move that will bring back a bounty of premium draft picks from the Texans.
Blockbuster: The #Dolphins are trading franchise LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills to the #Texans in exchange for a huge package of picks, including a first-rounder, sources tell me, @MikeGarafolo, and @TomPelissero. The moves are contingent on players passing physicals.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2019
The move clearly indicates that the Dolphins are in full rebuild mode, no matter the consequence and number of losses for this season.
Miami has been rid themselves of veteran high-priced players systematically, since Greer officially became the GM earlier this year and hired first-year coach Brian Flores. That includes trading QB Ryan Tannehill and his huge salary to the Titans. They also dealt high priced DE Robert Quinn to the Cowboys in March, also.
As for the Saturday deal, Tunsil is a former number 1 pick in 2016 and is entering the final year of his rookie deal He began as a guard in his rookie year, but moved to left tackle in 2017. He has started 44 games in his career and a year ago allowed only one sack.
Tunsil is currently a bargain at that coveted left tackle position at just $2.1 million for the upcoming season. And, the Dolphins had picked up his fifth year option of $9.7 million, which is still significantly below the high-end of left tackles in the game.
For example, the Buccaneers re-upped with free-agent-to-be tackle Donovan Smith in March on a massive deal that will pay him over $13 million per season moving forward.
Grier and Flores, obviously with the blessing of older Stephen Ross did not feel Tunsil was going to be worthy of a massive long-term contract.
As for Stills, we have written in recent days that it appeared his trading was his much motivated by his criticism of owner Stephen Ross and Ross holding a presidential re-election fundraiser for Donald Trump that escalated his ouster.
Stills was slated to enter his fifth season in Miami after being acquired from the Saints in 2015.
And, although his numbers were modest a year ago, 37 receptions, 553 yards and six touchdowns, he’s been arguably Miami’s most consistent downfield threat over those four seasons. Stills has averaged 16 yards per catch and has scored 24 touchdowns in that time.
Miami had appeared to be the frontrunner to acquire Jadeveon Clowney, who’s been holding out not signing his franchise tender with the Texans. Rappaport reported earlier in the week that Clowney had met personally with Flores recently about coming and signing a long-term deal in Miami.
However, that changed quickly over the last 48 hours and Clowney ended up being dealt Saturday morning to the Seattle Seahawks instead.
Houston acquired a third round pick and two defensive players from Seattle before making this deal with the Dolphins later in the day.
Official terms of now completed trade:
T Laremy Tunsil
WR Kenny Stills
2020 4th round pick
2021 6th round pick
2020 1st round pick
2021 1st round pick
2021 2nd round pick
T Julien Davenport
CB Johnson Bademosi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2019
Davenport was fourth round pick of the Texans in 2017 and started all 16 games a year ago for Houston. Bademosi is a journeyman DB, who’s played for four teams in seven seasons. He was active for all 16 games last year but was primarily a reserve DB/special teams player.
Dolphins reverse course- will start Josh Rosen Sunday
In a move that fits the pattern of seemingly having no true plan of how to get better and, further being willing to change or get rid of personnel on any whim, coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins have done “a 180 turn,” and will now start second-year quarterback Josh Rosen in Dallas Sunday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2019
After being adamant for the last three days the team would continue to start veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after two dismal games where the Dolphins lost by a combined score of 102 – 10, Flores and the organization have obviously decided that now is the time to see what Rosen can do.
We at F.F.I. called for this move on Monday, as Miami’s offense could be truly no worse than what it has looked like in the losses to Baltimore and the Patriots at home.
And sooner or later you have to give Rosen an extended look to find out, if he has some promise to be a quarterback of the future or at least, part of the mix as a backup etc., for 2020 and 2021.
Clearly, Miami is doing everything they can to lose every possible game they can and get their best draft position in 2020.
To that end, the Dolphins traded 2018 first round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday acquiring their number one pick. This added on to the blockbuster trade of left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills where the Dolphins acquired the Texans number one and number two picks this year and their first round pick next year.
The Dolphins stuck Rosen in Sunday’s disaster with New England with nine minutes to go and trailing 43-0 and he threw 18 passes, completing only seven and also had an INT while being sacked three times. Rosen even managed to roll his ankle, but kept playing, but only in worthless garbage time.
Rosen, who was acquired in an April draft night trade with Arizona, was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions with the Cards.
Now, considerably handicapped on offense without Tunsil and Stills, etc., we will see what the former UCLA first round pick can do against the formidable Cowboys.
Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers
The Dolphins remained true to their “lose at all costs” mentality for 2019, as they dealt last season’s #1 pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday night.
TRADE: Steelers are trading a 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2019
As we wrote earlier Monday night, Fitzpatrick has been disgruntled in Miami just two horrible games into their season and was given permission to seek a trade last week. Apparently, Pittsburgh came up with the best offer, first, to get the former Alabama All American.
Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins took with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is disgruntled in part, because of the Dolphins “veteran purge” that has gone all in all offseason, stripping them of experienced talent everywhere. He further has been unhappy with new head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, moving him to different positions all over the defensive secondary in the preseason and the first two games of the year.
Fitzpatrick started and played significantly in most of Fins Sunday blowout loss to the Patriots 43-0 that dropped them to a dismal looking 0-2. And Pro Football Focus gave him a decent grade for Sunday:
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the highest-graded #Dolphins player in Week 2
— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 16, 2019
GM Chris Grier continues to stock pile draft picks for the “named players” on his roster. This included the huge deal trading of starting LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills on the eve of the season to the Houston Texans. Miami got the Texans next two #1 picks and their second rounder in 2021 in that deal.
The acquiring of the Steelers first rounder gives Miami three opening round picks now in next April’s draft.
Reportedly, the teams are also swapping fourth (Miami’s) and fifth round picks in 2020 and sixth (Pittsburgh’s) and seventh rounders in 2021, as part of the deal.
Grier had been busy getting rid of other veterans in the off season. This also included dealing players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn in March, veteran WR Danny Amendola being cut after just one season in Miami and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake being allowed to walk away in free agency.
In addition to trading Tunsil and Stills, Grier dealt his most productive tackler the last three years, Kiko Alonso, to the Saints at the end of preseason, too.
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