The Twitter-verse was active last night as rumors of a trade being worked within the NFL started to swirl. Suddenly, the Indianapolis Colts were looking for a cornerback, and the Miami Dolphins' Vontae Davis was the target. Of course, Davis being the targeted player is all speculation, but the rumor continues to swirl that the Dolphins could be talking with their one-time AFC East division rivals.
The speculation started when Colts owner Jim Irsay sent out this tweet around noon eastern time:
TRADE WINDS BLOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) August 23, 2012
The rumors really started invading Twitter when around 8pm eastern, Irsay added:
SERIOUS TRADE WINDS Swirling! We're talking given up high pick for SERIOUS Vet/Starter!.. these deals often crumble n don't reach completion— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) August 23, 2012
Colts Fans..Your GM Mr Grigson isn't afraid to roll the dice n aggressively improve YOUR Indianapolis Colts..n my check book stands ready!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) August 23, 2012
Immediately coming to the minds for fans were the two players clearly not happy with their current contracts - Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. But, both of them were ruled out fairly quickly.
Speculation then turned to the two areas of need for the Colts,, offensive line and cornerback. According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, "The Colts were not fixated on one particular deal, sources said, but were exploring multiple possibilities in the hopes of completing one that could upgrade their talent."
For the cornerback position, the Dallas Cowboys' Michael Jenkins and the Baltimore Ravens' Cary Williams were both brought in as possibilities, and almost as quickly ruled out. That's when the cross hairs seemed to settle on Davis as the possible key to the deal.
Davis began training camp in the coaching staff's doghouse after reporting to camp out of shape and unfocused. He dropped from the top of the depth chart to number three, coming in to the game as the boundary cornerback for nickel packages. This past week's episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins showed Davis as getting back onto the good side of the coaches, and his play improving. However, he's still listed as the third cornerback, and he could stay there throughout the season.
Could Davis be the "Vet/Starter" Irsay was meaning in his tweet?
Dolphins fans, at least, seem to think so. Ironically, the same fan base that just two weeks ago was lambasting Davis for his attitude toward camp, suddenly seemed upset by the idea that the Dolphins could deal the 2009 first round draft pick.
Of course, no one has said Davis is on the market. But no one is denying it either, which may be a signal that something is being discussed. Armando Salguero noted the silence coming out of Davie last night, a situation he remarked he's only seen once in the past 12 months - the day before Chad Johnson was released.
Davis still has a ton of potential, and he has the skills to be a great cornerback in the NFL. He is only 24-years old, and could mature past the issues that have plagued him in training camp (and over the past few years, including twice being benched/suspended). He's also relatively cheap, making under $1 million this season, and just over that number next year.
For a nickel cornerback, that's a bargain. In a league that has moved to spread formations and multiple wide receiver looks, a third cornerback is a necessity. Even if Davis never returns to his number one role, having a player of his talent as a third cornerback would be incredible for the Dolphins.
Really, it comes down to the "high" draft pick the Colts would be offering. Davis cost the Dolphins a first round pick when they selected him. Would the Colts offer to return that first round pick to the Dolphins in this deal? Probably not. So, what would be acceptable? A second round pick? Multiple picks? A pick and a player?
Should the Dolphins consider this move? Would the Dolphins even consider this move? The future of Davis with the Dolphins should become clearer today, with either news of the trade, or Davis' role in the game against the Atlanta Falcons. If Davis plays, he's probably not going to be moved. But, if he sits out the whole contest, it could be a sign that a deal is in the works.
There were already a ton of story lines heading into the last game for the Dolphins before cuts start. Irsay just added another.