With the Dolphins season having already unraveled in just two games, it looks like their number one pick from a year ago is going to get his wish and be somewhere else, shortly.
This after a report Tuesday night from CBS NFL Insider, Jason La Canfora, that multiple teams have been engaged in trade talks with the Dolphins about DB Minkah Fitzpatrick and the team believes they will have a trade partner by Tuesday at the latest:
Minkah Fitzpatrick trade likely to be wrapped up by tomorrow. The Dolphins expected to get 1st round value for him. Hearing WSH, DAL, KC, PIT, PHI and SEA all in the mix. Offers are being made
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 16, 2019
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
Reports surfaced last week that Fitzpatrick had asked for a trade, and the team had granted his agent permission to seek a trade with another club. However, Miami was demanding at least a first-round pick and probably more in return.
GM Chris Grier dealt away fourth-year prize left tackle, Laremy Tunsil and veteran speedster wide receiver, Kenny Stills in a blockbuster trade in late August with the Houston Texans. Miami got a pair of number one picks and a number two selection in the swap.
Grier and Flores have systematically rid themselves of veterans with significant salaries during the off season and preseason. This includes players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn being dealt 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.
Three of the teams that La Canfora mentions are in the NFC East and are all playing the Dolphins. This includes, Miami playing at the Cowboys Sunday and the Redskins on October 13th.
Report- Dolphins shopping RB Kenyan Drake
With the Dolphins season spiraling downward and headed for an almost certain 1 – 15 or 0-16 finish, it’s not surprising that Miami is still looking to offload any players of value to other teams. And now, that may involve proven running back Kenyan Drake, who could be on the move before the trading deadline in two weeks.
NFL Network insider, Ian Rapoport, reported Thursday morning that the Dolphins are having conversations with multiple teams about the fourth-year back from Alabama:
Sources: The #Dolphins have had trade conversations with teams centered around RB Kenyan Drake, and the team has indicated they would trade him if the right offer presented itself. Drake, who has had no extension talks with Miami since camp, would welcome a new opportunity.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 17, 2019
Drake was finally going to be given an opportunity in 2019 to be the feature back in Miami’s backfield after having shared time a year ago with veteran Frank Gore and previously, with Jay Ajayi.
However, as it has been well documented, the Miami offense is a disaster under first-year coach Brian Flores, his new offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea and their continued “yo-yo” games with quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. Miami has only had the lead for a few minutes of one game (Chargers) in their five losses.
The offense has been so bad that Drake has only had 153 yards rushing in 5 games, while averaging 3.7 per carry. He has an additional 19 catches for 137 yards, but has yet to register a touchdown at all this season.
That lack of productivity is more of a byproduct of how bad the scheme and the talent around Drake is, especially when you consider did he had nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage and nine combined touchdowns rushing and receiving in 2018.
Drake scored one of the most famous TDs in franchise history on the “Miami Miracle” play by taking the final lateral and racing to the end zone, as they defeated the Patriots last December.
As Rappaport points out, Drake is in the final year of his rookie contract and their may be a team or two interested in giving the Dolphins a 6th or 7th round pick for him. Then again, teams may wait Miami out and see, if the Dolphins eventually just release Drake later this season.
Miami started second-year back Mark Walton in the Washington game last weekend, and also has third-year back Kalen Ballage that they could use if Drake is gone.
The former third-round pick out of Alabama does have tremendous versatility, including as a kickoff returner both with the Crimson Tide and in the NFL with the Dolphins. Drake has a career average of 24.9 yards per kickoff return but has only run one back this season for 15 yards.
Dolphins confirm no plan with QBs- go back to Fitzpatrick Sunday
If there was any hope that the Miami Dolphins have an actual plan to improve and perhaps win a game before the end of this season, fans have to be shaking their heads after another quarterback switch was made Wednesday.
Coach Brian Flores announced to the media prior to Wednesday’s practice that the team will go back to 36 year old veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter when they play Buffalo Sunday:
Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at Buffalo on Sunday.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 16, 2019
Of course, this comes just seven days after Flores stood at the very same podium in Davie and told the media and the football world that the job would belong to a second-year quarterback, Josh Rosen, for the foreseeable future.
Then came Sunday, and Rosen had another shaky performance throwing two interceptions and was unable to get anything consistently go in on offense. That’s when Flores pulled the plug and put the veteran Fitzpatrick in for the fourth quarter, and he led to touchdown drives.
This included the Dolphins scoring in the final seconds and Flores elected to have Fitzpatrick pass for a two-point play and the win. However, much like the rest of the Miami season, the play fell apart, the ball hit the turf and the Redskins got their first win, 17 – 16.
We have repeatedly written the Fitzpatrick has no long-term future, as the Dolphins quarterback and especially after watching how horrible he and the offense were in the first two losses with the Ravens and the Patriots, the Dolphins should go to and stick with Rosen
Rosen actually looked decent in the two losses at Dallas and at home with the Chargers. Then, Miami came off the bye week to play the Redskins, who have been equally as poor this season.
The move back to Fitzpatrick has to signal to the Miami locker room that Flores and offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, simply don’t know what to do to get consistent play out of the position and the offense as a whole. And further, they can’t be believed on sticking with any plan for the remaining 11 games this year.
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