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 were back to their bumbling ways Sunday
As the Dolphins came back down to earth in a humbling 37 – 20 loss to Buffalo Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, many of the same flaws from their 0- 7 start were back.
Although Ryan Fitzpatrick ended with good numbers and did not throw an interception, Miami lacked offensive punch from the outset.
Miami punted the ball on each of their first four possessions and by the time they had reached the middle of the second quarter, it was already 16 – 0 in favor of the Bills.
The Dolphins could not run the ball as Kalen Ballage had nine carries for only nine yards against what’s a good but not great Buffalo defense. Newly extended receiver Allen Hurns promptly fumbled after a first half reception.
It looked all too familiar to the home fans.
The pass protection was poor as Fitzpatrick suffered seven sacks in the game, and Miami was completely one-dimensional by the time the second half rolled around. Fitzpatrick was efficient in the air at 32 – 45 for 323 yards, but a lot of those yards came when the Dolphins trailed by more than two scores the whole second half.
As for the Bills, they ran the ball just fine with 168 yards on the ground and a 5 yard per carry average. Rookie Devin Singletary of FAU came back to the area and tallied 75 yards. And second year QB Josh Allen showed one of the traits that got him drafted in the top 15, as he scrambled seven times for 56 yards, including a second-half touchdown.
Yes, The Bills are putting themselves in position to be back in the playoffs for the second time in three years, as they completed the season sweep over the Fins.
It’s the kind of improvement under coach Sean McDermott that Miami eventually wants to see with coach Brian Flores. But, days after Flores was doing his best Bill Belichick “we’re on to Buffalo” with media questions, Miami was “on to another loss.”
And, as the Dolphins sank to 2 – 8, their reality is they aren’t talented enough or coached well enough, across-the-board to play good football game in and game out.
Buffalo reminded them of that Sunday.
Dolphins give veteran WR Hurns new deal
In a season that began horribly at 0- 7, the Dolphins have begun to come around and now, put some pieces into place for the future. That includes re-upping a veteran wide receiver on Saturday.
The team announced a new two-year extension for wideout Allen Hurns Saturday. And while it’s only a modest contract, it is a signal but the team is trying to build with at least some veteran players in the future..
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport had the contract details on Hurns is getting a new $8 million dollar extension through 2021:
The #Dolphins signed WR Allen Hurns to a 2-year extension worth $8M, source said. He gets $3.27M guaranteed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 16, 2019
This is a raise over his 1-year 2.5 million contract he signed with Miami on the eve of training camp.
Hurns entered the league undrafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. His best season in North Florida was 2015, where he caught for just over 1,000 yards and 10 TDs. After getting a four year extension from the Jags, they cut him loose to free up cap space after the 2017 season.
Hurns then signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys worth $12 million. However, after he played all 16 games in the regular season with 20 catches and 2 TDs, he suffered a horrific broken ankle in the Cowboys playoff win over Seattle, and was placed on injured reserve.
Dallas eventually released Hurns earlier this year and that’s when Dolphins GM Chris Grier swooped in bring a veteran presence to their locker room on a one year deal.
Hurns, who just turned 28 earlier this week, has played in nine games this season with three starts, including the last two. He doesn’t have more than three catches in any of them and only one touchdown, which came in the Monday night loss to the Steelers three weeks ago. Hurns also suffered a severe concussion against his team, Dallas, in week three.
It is obvious that Miami went on a veteran purge for most of their roster in the offseason and the beginning of this year. And, that included getting rid of veteran speedster Kenny Stills in a huge trade with team-mate Laremy Tunsil to the Texans on the eve of the season.
That brought the Dolphins to number one picks in return. Miami also released veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola in a salary cap move earlier this year.
Miami wants to count on former number one pick DeVante Parker. And, they were also very high on undrafted free agent Preston Williams before he suffered an ACL injury in the win over the Jets two weeks ago.
Finally, as has been the case with Hurns’ last couple of deals, the contract only reportedly has $3.2 million guaranteed and is therefore team friendly to get rid of him, if they choose to do so at any point next season.
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