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.
Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:
Tua Tagovailoa measured at 6-0, 217 pounds at the NFL combine today. Left throwing hand at 10”
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 24, 2020
In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.
However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.
As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan
He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.
Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.
In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.
As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.
Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.
It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.
Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday
Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.
The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:
We'd like to officially introduce you to our new HC, Karl Dorrell.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) February 23, 2020
The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.
Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.
Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.
“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.”
The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.
Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.
Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.
Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.
Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.