As the saga involves holdout Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of the Houston Texans and where he will end up continues, it now appears that Miami is not only not the front runner to acquire him, but may not even be in the conversation any longer.
This after a report from Houston Chronicle Texans beat writer, Aaron Wilson, Friday afternoon that Clowney has made it clear privately that he is using the threat to not sign a contract extension with the Dolphins, if the Texans try to trade him there:
One league source informed of Jadeveon Clowney's thinking reiterated that he remains adamant he doesn't want to play for the Miami Dolphins regardless of the trade discussions between Texans and Dolphins
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 30, 2019
And therein lies the key to potentially acquiring a former number one overall pick: any team trying to trade for him wants him to sign beyond on 2019.
As we wrote earlier this week, it appeared that Clowney, who’s refusing to sign his one year franchise tender and hasn’t reported to Houston this fall, wanted to come to Miami.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on a couple of updates on his potential trade deal, including Clowney firing his longtime agent. And, even more interesting, was him meeting with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and other members of the team to get a better idea of their situation.
However, it appears that Clowney, apparently without representation, wants to be traded somewhere else.
Clearly, Miami GM Chris Grier has been looking to be bold, as his outside pass-rush took a hit when the team didn’t re-sign Cameron Wake and then traded Robert Quinn to the Dallas Cowboys. The Fins do have former number 1 pick Charles Harris but he’s yet to live up to anywhere close to his potential in his first two seasons with just three sacks in 27 games.
Meanwhile, Clowney has had nine or more sacks in each of the last two seasons, while going to the Pro Bowl in both, is regarded as one of the best pass rushers in the AFC.
A further complication is that unless Houston rescinds the franchise tag, under CBA rules, the team trading for him cannot give him an extension beyond him playing this year for the tender. The team would have to do a deal with him at the beginning of free agency, but other teams would be free to sign Clowney, too.
So, he’s essentially, a one year “rent a player” for now.
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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