What had been rumored for over a week became reality on Sunday when the Dolphins dealt away veteran linebacker Kiko Alonso to the New Orleans Saints.
In a move that has fit the pattern of GM Chris Grier and new coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins rid themselves of more salary for 2019 and 2020 by offloading Alonzo straight up for a fellow linebacker:
Saints are trading LB Vince Biegel to Dolphins for LB Kiko Alonso, per source. LB-for-LB deal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 1, 2019
Alonso came to the Dolphins in 2016 trade from Philadelphia and had three productive seasons totaling over 100 tackles in each one of them. However, he obviously did not fit into the plans of Flores and new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham after they took over.
The other overarching factor is the Dolphins have been systematically ridding themselves of high-priced players in an effort to rebuild beyond the season.
This included the Saturday blockbuster trade of starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil and number one wide receiver Kenny Stills being dealt to the Houston Texans. The trade-in part gave Miami two future number one and a future number two draft picks. A move that overall Miami saved $20 million on this year’s cap.
That move continued the trend of the offseason that’s on Miami trade away veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Titans and veteran defensive end Robert Quinn to the Dallas Cowboys. The team also elected not to re-sign Pro Bowl veteran defensive end Cameron Wake and also, released veteran Danny Amendola after just one year on his free-agent deal.
Sunday night, The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson had this update on Alonso willing to take pay cut to play in New Orleans:
Per NFL Net, Kiko Alonso agreed to reduce salary from 6.5 M to 5 M to facilitate trade to Saints, and Dolphins will pay 1 M of that 5 M. Alonso had only 2.5 M guaranteed of original 6.5 M, so move makes sense for him.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 2, 2019
The Fins also got a LB in return for Alonso in Vince Biegel. Biegel was originally a fourth round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2017. However, he was released after that season and picked up by New Orleans. Last year for the Saints, he was active for 14 games without a start and was primarily a special teams player registering just four tackles.
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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