The NFL is a league where the trade deadline normally comes and goes without much fanfare. There are occasionally trades that happen, but it does not generate the type of buying and selling that happen in most other sports. That said, the trade deadline, which comes up next Tuesday, does not mean there is not an available way to make a team - say, the Miami Dolphins - better for the remainder of the season.
This week, SB Nation asked all of the NFL blogs for the one trade they would make to better their team. For my look at the Dolphins, I want to add a player who would increase the offense’s effectiveness. And, let us face it, the Julius Thomas experiment at tight end does not appear to be working out as many had hoped.
Which brings us to my idea. Why not try to go get Eric Ebron from the Detroit Lions? Pride of Detroit, SB Nation’s Lions blog, suggested Ebron to the New England Patriots as the best move they could make, so the idea of Ebron being a trade target is not unreasonable (in our fantasy one-trade scenario).
Ebron accounts for $3.9 million against the Lions’ cap this year. He then jumps to $8.25 million in 2018 as part of the fifth-year option the Lions exercised prior to this season. The Dolphins could look to rework that deal if a trade were made, but they would also be picking up a highly talented tight end - one who many wanted the team to target in the 2014 NFL Draft in the first place - and a player who is only 24 years old.
In four seasons with Detroit, including the six games this season, Ebron has 146 receptions for 1,598 yards, giving him a 10.9 yards-per-reception average, with eight touchdowns. He is, as Pride of Detroit writes, “been one of the biggest disappointments of the season, hauling in just 13 catches for 103 yards in six games. The drops have continued and they are clearly starting to get to his head.”
That’s not a good description of what the Dolphins could be receiving, but we have seen it many times as Dolphins fans that a change of venue can spark a player’s success. Could Ebron just need to get out of Detroit and maybe a move to South Florida would be exactly what solves his issues?
In the Pride of Detroit article - and a sister article over on Pats Pulpit - the trade for Ebron would send tight end Dwayne Allen and a fifth or sixth round pick from the Patriots to Detroit. What could Miami offer in exchange?
Draft picks are always a possibility, and the Dolphins could look in that fourth or fifth round range to try to start the discussions. Thomas could be on the table if the Lions have to get a tight end in return, as could MarQueis Gray - I would not want to see Anthony Fasano traded due to his blocking ability. However, I think the biggest trade chip could be safety Nate Allen. The Dolphins will be getting T.J. McDonald back, and he should be inserted into the starting lineup immediately. That makes Allen expendable.
No trade in the NFL gives a team a perfect player, and Ebron could be damaged good if he does not solve his drops issues. But, he could also give Miami a big red zone target, something that Julius Thomas does not seem to be providing this this year.
Would you trade for tight end Eric Ebron?
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