Miami Dolphins trade options


The Miami Dolphins are gearing up for a busy off-season and part of that off-season could entail trading. There is a history here with Mike Tannenbaum. What could the Dolphins do come draft day? Or even after the start of free agency.

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Now for those of you coming here looking for some rumor or breaking news, I’ll stop you here. This is an opinion piece and speculation. For those of you who like to ridicule me in the comments for my opinion, this should be right up your alley. Big SMILE.

The first possibility is the reported possibility of the tag and trade of Olivier Vernon. We will know the first part of that by Tuesday at 4:00 when the NFL’s tagging window closes. If Vernon isn’t tagged the possibility of him being traded is out the window.

This particular option is intriguing because as of now the rumor/s, what little there is actually, says that a Vernon trade could bring in an extra first round pick or a pair of 2nd round picks. If I’m the Dolphins and feel that there is a legitimate opportunity to pull that trigger, I’m doing it. A first round pick for Vernon is a good deal and a pair of 2’s is pretty good as well. Vernon is expected to draw a lot of interest when he hits the market but there are questions about his on-field play. Specifically the last 8 games of the 2015 season.

What’s in question is simple. Was his performance on the field in the final eight weeks motivated by his impending free agency? It’s a tough question to answer but it’s understandable to ask. Over the course of Vernon’s NFL career he has been inconsistent. He has shown flashes of what he could be but from week to week a lot was left off the field. The final eight weeks of last season catapulted him close to the top of the free agent market list and he was one of the best defensive ends in all of the NFL over that time period.

Another option could be to try to trade 34 year old defensive end Cameron Wake. Wake is coming off an Achilles injury but he still has value. Wake isn’t going to bring in a first round pick and Miami might be lucky if they could get a 2nd round pick and a 3rd day pick. Wake is going to draw interest if he is released, something Miami wants to avoid by restructuring his contract but those talks are not progressing to the point where Miami wants them to be.

No teams can trade players until March 9th when the league new year begins and they can’t trade draft picks until that time either so there is still nine days before the market opens.

On draft day Miami will have three options and as the draft gets closer we will explore this a lot deeper. The first and obvious option is to stay put and number eight and draft the best corner, defensive end/tackle or linebacker on the board. The other two options are far more intriguing especially given the talent pool in this year draft.

The Dolphins could opt to move up. San Diego and even Tennessee are reportedly looking to move out of their spots. Tennessee holds the number one selection and San Diego has the third. A jump from 8 to 1 or 3 would be costly though. In 2014 the Bills gave up their first round pick in 2014 and a first round pick in 2015 to move up to number three from the 9th position. Unless the Chargers are hellbent on moving down, Miami would have to pay up to move up.

If the Dolphins did indeed move up to three the only logical target would be Jalen Ramsey who has had a spectacular week at the NFL Combine. While Ramsey would make an immediate impact on the Dolphins defense there are serious questions as to whether or not he alone is worth the draft pick compensation Miami would have to give up. If Tannenbaum could pull off a trade similar to the one Jeff Ireland made for Dion Jordan it would be a lot better for the team. Miami gave up their first, 12th, and a 2nd round pick to move up to the 3 spot. It was considered a bargain for the Dolphins and Ramsey might be worth the two picks.

In 2012 the Vikings and Browns swapped 3rd and 4th positions and the Vikings received a 4th, 5th, and 7th for the one spot move.

The final option is to trade down and gain more draft picks. The Dolphins have a lot of needs and there are plenty of players on their board that will be available after their 8th pick. Whether it is a corner back, a linebacker, or a defensive lineman, Miami has options and this may be their best bet come draft day.

2013 is a good benchmark to look at a possible trade value moving from the 8th position. In 2013 the Rams and Bills made a trade in the 8th position. The Rams trade from their 16th spot to move up and take Tavon Austin at number 8. The Rams gave the Bills their 16th overall pick, a 2nd round pick, a 3rd round pick and a 7th round pick. The Bills gave the Rams the 8th pick and a 3rd round pick. So while the 3’s were a push, the Bills gained a 2nd and 7th.

In order for the Dolphins to move down they need to find a willing trade partner. This years draft is solid but there are no standout players that could entice teams to jump around. No one outside of Jalen Ramsey and potential quarterbacks. For the Dolphins, teams looking for quarterback help could be the way to go.

The Houston Texans are in need of a quarterback but they draft 22nd in round one. It would be a huge jump for them to secure a top prospect without the worry of another team taking a player like Jared Goff before they are on the clock. The Eagles at 13, the Jets at 20, and the Rams at 15 could all be looking for a franchise type quarterback. For a team like Houston it wouldn’t make a ton of sense to trade up to 8 unless the believe one of the other teams may be trying to move up as well.

A lot could happen on draft day so nothing is ruled out but the point is Miami has options and of the three they have, staying put and dropping down are the best they could hope for. If the Dolphins do trade Vernon and gain another 1st round pick, it could be very interesting in round one where the Dolphins could afford to get a little more bold in their preparation.