Miami Dolphins have tradeable assets but they are not worth much
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins will likely try to trade some of their players this off-season but don’t expect a lot in return for those players.
When the Miami Dolphins get closer to March and the start of free agency, they will be a hot topic on the trade circuit as several players could become available ahead of the leagues new year but I wouldn’t expect a lot from a team in transition.
In the NFL trades tend to happen for a couple of reasons. A team doesn’t want to pay a big salary for a player not in their future or a team covets a player that is on the trade wire. Another reason is a team knows that another team is going to part ways with a player and doesn’t want to get into a bidding war with other teams when that player hits the market.
In Miami’s case this year, it would be the latter reason but understand that market may not be all that rich for the player or for the competition to sign them. Here are some players that Miami could look to move via trade when the season begins in early to mid-March.
Everybody’s whipping boy, Ryan Tannehill could get cut or traded. The market for a trade isn’t really known but several teams looking for a bridge to a younger quarterback and still wanting to compete or believing they can compete for a division title or more, may look at Tannehill as an option.
For all the things that Tannehill has done badly in Miami there are still those in the NFL who believe that he can be a serviceable quarterback in the league as a starter. A team like the Jaguars come to mind.
The Jaguars are in the market for a quarterback and high enough in the draft to get one in round one but will they throw a year away letting a rookie run the team? Probably not. They probably won’t stick with Blake Bortles either. While Tannehill hasn’t been linked to anyone, any team looking to draft a rookie could have interest.
Regardless that interest will be dependent on what Miami wants in return. That compensation really shouldn’t be all that much honestly. Washington could be in play as well due to the uncertainty of Alex Smith‘s return. No matter what happens expect Tannehill’s name to be floated often in trade reports leading to free agency and then if he is still around, as the draft approaches.
DeVante Parker is that one player that should be elite and isn’t. Teams around the NFL could look at him and point to the problems with the Dolphins offense specifically at quarterback. If they view the problem being Miami’s scheme on offense and the signal caller, the Dolphins will get some phone calls.
Parker is still on his 5th year option and another team would take that contract on then likely extend him. Compensation would likely fall in the mid-rounds of the draft because despite teams thinking that Miami’s offensive and QB was to blame, there are durability concerns and statistical barriers that would put him on a higher level of a trade scale.
Parker may need a change of scenery and there are plenty of teams who need veteran wide-receivers with his type of measurable regardless of production. Coaches often believe they can turn a player’s career around so expect a lot of talk around Parker as well.
There are very few rumors about Drake being on the trade block this year but there are some floating around. With the news that Miami intends to hire Brian Flores from New England as their next head coach, Drake actually has more value to the Dolphins.
Flores could take a Patriots approach to offense whereas they use Drake in the passing game like the Patriots do with James White but that will depend on the next offensive coordinator as well.
Drake won’t fetch much on the trade market. At best a 4th round pick seems to be the high-end of a trade. That would put Drake in a potential trade situation. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to move Drake but the Dolphins are rebuilding and have Kalen Ballage and Brandon Bolden on the roster so moving Drake could be a possibility in order to get another draft pick that could be spent on an interior line position.
It is unlikely that Drake is traded but that will not stop the rumor mill from churning his name around as the free agency period or the draft get closer. Running backs do not carry the same value as they once did but teams believe that a mid-round runner can be a star and given Drakes success at times, he could be attractive.
Howard’s name has already been part of non-specific trade speculation and it will get much more intense when the new year rolls around. Without question Howard is the Dolphins biggest asset and he could draw a late first round draft pick or a 2nd round draft pick in return. The Dolphins could even look to take a 2020 draft pick in return.
At the heart of whether or not the Dolphins would move Howard is the fact they are rebuilding and it will be at least two years before they are making a move forward to contend. Will the Dolphins want to hold on to Howard and build the defense around him or will they view him as a player that two or three years from now may start to decline?
Howard also has injury issues that while not considered serious are still nagging. A knee injury ended the last part of his 2018 season. That to could be a reason that Miami would at least field offers for him and it is very likely that they at least receive calls about his availability.
For the record the Dolphins should hold on to Howard unless they are blown away by an offer. Trading Howard regardless of being in a rebuild creates another hole that will need to be filled so in essence you would be trading a top player for draft pick that would be used to replace him. In that sense it makes no sense.
There are questions as to whether or not Alonso is in Miami’ future and if he is not the Dolphins should consider trading the veteran now while his value is higher than it would otherwise be. Alonso is coming off a solid statistical year and that could be enticing to another team looking to add a full motor linebacker to their roster.
Alonso isn’t going to be a star somewhere else but he could fit in well with the right scheme and supporting cast. A team who has an open linebacker spot on an otherwise decent unit could view Alonso as that piece that could shore up the front seven of their defense.
Working in Alonso’s favor is that he simply doesn’t stop playing. He is all over the field and can make plays across the field with his speed. Working against Alonso is the continued personal fouls he takes on quarterbacks in their slide and he is not really good in pass coverage.
The market for Alonso is going to be thin but there could be a market. More likely we could see Alonso’s name being mentioned in a draft lead up that could include a swap of draft picks and Alonso being included in that trade type. Similar to the type of trade Miami made to get him from the Eagles.