With the Miami Dolphins lacking elite talent and depth at cornerback, there has been some casual discussion surrounding the idea of trading for Sherman, who has consistently shut down half the field during his time in Seattle.
As Byron Maxwell is slated to make $8.5 million in 2017 before a bump to $10 million the next two seasons, the Dolphins may be of the belief that Maxwell needs to perform better than he did in 2016 before they’re willing to commit that kind of money to an underperforming cornerback.
While second-year cornerback Xavien Howard projects to start on the boundary opposite Maxwell in 2017, Miami still isn’t 100 percent sure what it has in the second-round selection out of Baylor as Howard saw limited playing time due to injuries his rookie season.
The only other current player on the Dolphins roster with any real experience playing cornerback on the outside is Tony Lippett; and while the front office seems high on the converted wide receiver out of Michigan State, Lippett was exposed several times in 2016 – most notably when it mattered most in the wildcard game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
So while cornerback isn’t considered a top priority for the Dolphins, who have more glaring needs at offensive line, linebacker and defensive end, it’s still a position the team may benefit from by addressing yet this offseason.
One of the names that would make sense for Seattle in this trade scenario with the Dolphins is wide receiver DeVante Parker. Entering his third season in the NFL, Parker hasn’t fully lived up to the potential the team envisioned when selecting him No. 14 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Posting career highs in receptions (56), yards (744) and touchdowns (4) last season, you’d be hard pressed to find a knowledgeable football mind who wouldn’t believe that you should – and can – get more out of the 6’3” 212-pound athlete that Parker is.
Despite the underwhelming statistics that Parker has accumulated over this first two seasons in the NFL – his career totals is basically what you’d like to see your number one wide receiver post on a yearly basis – Parker brings an element to the Dolphins group of wide receivers that doesn’t translate to paper.
Parker’s combination of height, weight, speed and ability forces opposing teams to – more often than not – put their most talented and physical cornerback on him, often with a safety keeping an eye on him as well. The coverage Parker draws allows player like Jarvis Landry to be effective as one of the most dangerous options in the in the slot while Kenny Stills benefits from single coverage as the “Z” receiver, which he has proven to beat down the field on a consistent basis, leading the team with nine receiving touchdowns in 2016.
Taking a look at the one game Parker missed last season, albeit against Seattle’s stingy pass defense, the Dolphins’ offense scored 10 points while Ryan Tannehill totaled just 186 yards through the air. Landry, despite recording seven receptions, managed just 59 yards while Stills reeled in a single pass for 16 yards – let’s not bring up the touchdown he inexplicably dropped that likely cost Miami the game.
If you take Parker away from the Dolphins’ offense, the current player on the roster who would need to take a giant step forward is second-year receiver, Leonte Carroo. While the team’s front office was clearly high on Carroo in last year’s draft, trading up into the third round to select him, there was very little confidence shown in Carroo his rookie season as he totaled just three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown while also being a healthy scratch the final weeks of the season.
Even if Carroo was allotted more playing time if Parker was dealt, his style of play resembles that of Landry more than it does of Parker. Carroo doesn’t possess the height and speed of the likes of Parker to be the typical “X” receiver you’d like to feature on the outside.
Another thing to consider is why would Seattle be looking to deal one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, especially after being such a successful franchise with him on the roster?
While there’s no denying Sherman’s talent, the Seahawks may ultimately believe in their scheme more than any single player, hence the reason Sherman is rumored to be on the trading block. They may see the addition of a big-bodied receiver, like Parker, as more important to their long-term success as he could provide a missing element to the offense. Especially when you consider their top receiver, Doug Baldwin, is just 5’10” and doesn’t possess the physical tools of a receiver like Parker.
A final thing to consider from the Dolphins perspective is the fact that if you trade Parker, not only are you giving up a young player and at least one draft pick, but you’re back to where you were prior to drafting him – which is operating without a true number one receiver – and it instantly becomes a position that needs to be addressed. This is not an ideal situation for Tannehill, in his second season with coach Adam Gase, as the team took a nice step forward offensively in 2016 with the way the young group of receivers’ skill sets complimented each other.
All things being considered, Sherman would be a nice addition to the Dolphins secondary and would help take the unit to the next level, but any deal that includes Parker needs to be turned down.