Were the Miami Dolphins interested in overpaying for a former fourth-round quarterback to challenge incumbent second-string passer Matt Moore? According to a report, that is exactly what happened as the Dolphins were in discussions with the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Matt Barkley.
According to ESPN's Dianna Russini, who initially did not identify the Dolphins in the discussions, the Eagles turned down an offer from an "AFC East team" who were willing to send Philly a fifth-round pick for Barkley. After Barkley was traded to the Arizona Cardinals on Friday in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick, Russini identified Miami as the specific team, tweeting:
When I first reported Tebow was heading to Philly & were trying to trade Barkley, Miami offered a 5th Eagles wanted a 4th, so no trade.— Dianna Marie Russini (@diannaESPN) September 4, 2015
The fact that the Eagles would turn down a fifth round pick in the offseason, but were willing to take a conditional seventh-round choice now, brings about some questions. Brandon Lee Gowtown from Bleeding Green Nation looked into the report, trying to confirm that the Eagles made a mistake in not taking the higher pick. Instead, he writes:
A source tells me that it was actually the Miami Dolphins who backed out of a potential Barkley trade. The Dolphins made sense as a trade destination since Miami's offensive coordinator Bill Lazor used to be Barkley's quarterback coach in Philadelphia, but the team decided to sign Josh Freeman instead of giving up a pick for Barkley.
Russini's report is a little surprising in that the Dolphins were willing to offer a fifth round pick. Barkley never had any real trade value, so why would Miami be willing to overpay? Why did the Eagles actually think they could land a fourth round pick for the former USC quarterback? The only time it would have made since for Miami to consider a fifth round pick for Barkley would be during this year's Draft, when Miami held four fifth round picks. Miami signed Freeman on April 2, nearly a month before the start of the draft.
Add in the fact that Miami actually landed two fifth-round picks from the Eagles during the draft when they traded out of the 47th overall pick, moving back to the 52nd pick.
I think Gowtown's source is probably correct, with Miami walking away from any preliminary trade talks when the Eagles were talking a fourth- or fifth-round pick.