Somewhere along the line, the NFL changed. Not in the player safety realm or anything like that, but, instead, when it comes to trades. Trades don't happen in season in the NFL. It's just an unwritten rule. But, this year, they are happening. Could the Miami Dolphins get involved in the trades? Are there players available who make sense for the Dolphins?
One of the first names that continues to come up is Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. Supposedly, the Browns are listening to offers for the troubled receiver, looking for a second round pick in exchange. However, the Browns are also in first place in the AFC North, and are in a great position to battle for the division title, or a Wildcard playoff spot, this year, so they are not going to just give away Gordon.
Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski told the Cleveland area media that the team is "not shopping and we have no plans of trading Josh," according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. It does not make any sense for Cleveland to trade Gordon, and it does not make sense for Miami to give up a second round pick for a player who is one failed drug test away from a year suspension. Maybe if the asking price were lower, the Dolphins could jump into the running, but at this point, I don't see Cleveland trading Gordon, and I don't see Miami paying for Gordon.
Similar to Gordon, any idea that the Browns would trade left tackle Joe Thomas are just fantasy. Gordon will be shipped out before Thomas is. Do not even waste your time trying to find a way to make it work.
Another name that is floating around the NFL rumor mill right now is Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez. The future Hall of Famer was set to retire this year, but was talked into coming back for one more year, with the Falcons' appearing to be among the favorites to claim the NFC title and head to the Super Bowl. Instead, Atlanta has started 1-4 this season, and appears to be heading nowhere.
Should the Falcons trade Gonzalez, giving him a chance to go to a contender after convincing him to give them one final season? Maybe, but it does not appear like something that is going to happen. Falcons head coach Mike Smith told the media after yesterday's practice, "That's preposterous that Tony would be traded. He's an integral part of our offense and has been since he's been here. And he's having another Hall of Fame season."
Everyone will look at the offensive line as the place the Dolphins most need to upgrade, and that's fair and true. It is the area most in need of address, but it just does not seem like there are any offensive linemen to go get. The one player I would say Miami should be trying to land is Eugene Monroe, from the Jacksonville Jaguars, except he is not with the Jaguars any more after they traded him to the Baltimore Ravens. There's always the possibility of trying to re-start the trade talks with the Kansas City Chiefs for Branden Albert, but that did not happen in the offseason, why would it happen with Kansas City sitting at 5-0? (Reportedly, the trade talks that were rumored for so long surrounding Albert never progressed to the point that the Dolphins could get permission to do a physical on the tackle, so that doesn't exactly make it seem like Miami was all that pressed to get him, or the Chiefs were all that excited to send him away.)
Maurice Jones-Drew could be on the trade market, as he will likely not return to the Jaguars when his contract runs out at the end of this year. The Dolphins appear set with Lamar Miller as their primary ball carrier, even if they don't give him the ball very many times each game. However, second string running back Daniel Thomas is disappointing so far this year, and a move for MJD could fill that position. The question is, how high a draft pick would the Jaguars be looking to get in return for a 28-year old running back in his eighth year in the league, with over 1,600 carries in his career?
There is one move Miami could make, but it's not really a need move. The Tennessee Titans are clearly in the beginning of a messy divorce with wide receiver Kenny Britt. With Britt in the final year of his contract, the Titans may be willing to cut bait with the wide receiver for a cheap price, simply to make sure they get something back for him. The Dolphins could try to bring in Britt and add him to an already stacked wide receiver corps. Would it be worth it? I'm not sure, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on this week, and leading up to the Week 8 trade deadline.
In the end, I don't see Miami making any moves. If they were going to do it, they probably would have at the beginning of this week to try to give the new player as much time in the system as possible. The Dolphins seem set to complete this season with the players they have. If that is the case, it's going to fall on the coaches and players to design and execute schemes to fix the problems that have appeared in the first five games of the season.
Hopefully they will figure out how to do just that.
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