As is the case every year, talented veterans that play for teams that have fallen out of contention draw the attention of fans hoping their team will add the last piece necessary to be a championship contender. Miami Dolphins fans are no exception now that the team is suddenly in the middle of a tight AFC playoff race. However, based off what we have seen from Jeff Ireland in the past and Joe Philbin so far, it is unlikely that any big move is made.
With Nolan Carroll and Sean Smith playing well, cornerback does not feel like the serious issue it appeared to be when Vontae Davis was traded. That leaves the biggest need to be a pass catching tight end or a wide receiver.
Rumors of talks with the Kansas City Chiefs for Dwayne Bowe surfaced a few weeks ago, however there turned out to be no substance behind those rumors. Tight end Jared Cook of the Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers have been mentioned as players who might be moved at the deadline. The Dolphins have not been linked with either.
The Jabar Gaffney signing provides a good reason for why Miami will not sign a receiver or tight end. Gaffney is a veteran player who spent years playing in the complex New England Patriots offense. However, after signing with Miami, he was held out for almost a month until the team was confident he was ready for Mike Sherman’s offense.
Why would Steve Smith or Dwayne Bowe adapt any faster than Gaffney? Gaffney was a low profile signing and coming off an injury so the Dolphins could afford to bench him until they were sure he could make positive contributions. If the Dolphins made a trade for an elite number one receiver like Smith or Bowe they would not be able to justify the decision to keep a player like that out for the two to three weeks necessary to adapt to the offense. Instead they would have pressure to play a guy who would not be ready for the system.
The Dolphins have momentum right now and it is unlikely that they will risk that momentum by putting an unprepared superstar on the field. Dolphins fans should not feel disappointed when the trade deadline passes and no big move is made.