Dolphins get hosed in Jay Ajayi trade


In a blockbuster trade, the Dolphins have traded RB Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia in exchange for a fourth round pick. At first glance, they could’ve received a better return.

Initially, it was expected that the Miami Dolphins would not be that active ahead of Tuesday’s 4 PM trade deadline. That all changed, however, after Miami decided to trade their workhorse running back, Jay Ajayi, to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth round pick.

The first reaction from Dolphins fans was likely “Why?”, mixed in with complete shock. The second reaction though has to be towards the compensation – a 2018 fourth round pick.

I don’t believe that I am alone when I say, “That’s it?”. While Ajayi is averaging a career-low 3.4 YPC in 2017 with zero touchdowns, he remains one of the top running backs in the league. Issues with his knee, particularly in the long-term, are also something to be worried about, but for Philadelphia to take on the risk for the simple price of a fourth round pick is an absolute steal on their end.

Sure, talent can definitely be had in the fourth round. Ajayi himself was a fifth round selection, so on paper it may look as though Miami came out on top in that sense, but he has valued himself to a much higher standard than that. In 2016, he rushed for over 1,200 yards at nearly five yards a clip. All while leading the league in yards after contact.

There are reports that there was some friction between Ajayi and head coach Adam Gase. After Miami’s embarrassing loss to Baltimore, Gase publicly called out the Dolphins ‘best players’, including Ajayi, as the reason for Miami’s offensive problems.

"“I’m done compromising with anybody,” Gase said. “I’ll do what I think is best, and those that want to come on board, great. Those that don’t, we’ll get rid of them.”"

It’s very possible that Ajayi was not putting forth the effort that Gase wanted, and therefore, the team decided it was best to move on from him. It’s the sticky side of the business, but it’s still a business in the end. The puzzling part is how Miami only came away with a fourth round pick out of it.

I have a hard time believing that if Mike Tannenbaum and the Dolphins were shopping Ajayi that they couldn’t have gotten more for him. I’m sure that there’s at least one other team in the league willing to trade AT LEAST a third round pick, if not better. Just last night, the 49ers traded away a second round pick for backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo.  Even adding a future pick in the deal would have been more efficient.

Tannenbaum has a history trading with Philadelphia, most recently in the trade that netted them Kiko Alonso, and now ex-Dolphin Byron Maxwell. Getting Alonso in the deal worked out for Miami, but it looks as though the Eagles will get the better end of the deal in this one by a large margin. In fact, you can almost look at this trade as a fifth round pick for Miami instead of a fourth.

Related Story: Dolphins not happy with Ajayi trade

As it stands, the Eagles are the best team in the NFL with a 7-1 record. That means that unless Philadelphia has a complete lapse, which is unlikely, then the compensated pick will be in the back-end of the fourth round. Adding Ajayi to a backfield that already has LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood, not to mention an offensive line that can actually block, is only going to make them better. Just as many are looking at the Garoppolo trade as basically a first round pick for New England given that the 49ers pick should be near the top of the round, the complete opposite can be said for Miami’s newly acquired pick.

Earlier this season, Miami traded away their fifth round pick in 2018 to New Orleans in exchange for Stephone Anthony. The Dolphins made the trade with issues surrounding Lawrence Timmons at the time. Since the trade, Anthony has appeared in just one game for Miami without even recording a tackle. When put into perspective, the Dolphins basically traded Ajayi for their pick back.

The Dolphins may believe they can get the same type of production with Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake as a committee. Maybe they’re right as 3.4 yards per carry is not exactly a high ceiling, but they dropped the ball, in my opinion, as far as compensation goes. Despite rumors that he can be had for the right price, the Dolphins have already told Jarvis Landry that he will not be traded. Unless that ‘right price’ is a first round pick from the Cleveland Browns or some other bottom-five team, Miami needs to keep their word and say no deal.