Friday night saw some Twitter craziness explode around the Miami Dolphins when Pro Football Network suggested the team was actively shopping veteran players on the trade market, including left tackle Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins did not play Tunsil during Thursday’s third preseason game, so it appeared there could be some substance behind the rumor. It appears however that the rumors were an exaggeration of the real situation.
Much of Pro Football Network’s talk was that the Dolphins were open to trading players, with the team “shopping their entire team.” They then followed that up by reporting that Tunsil “is available” and then added that they were “doubling down. Laremy Tunsil is available and the Dolphins are listening to offers.” The site’s draft analyst, Tony Pauline, then added that the Dolphins have “dangled” Tunsil as “trade bait.”
Except, the Dolphins do no seem to actively be trying to trade Tunsil, or “dangling” him around the league.
From what I was hearing last night, there was not a lot of action in any of this. I am still hearing that the team wants to re-sign Tunsil and that he is in their plans for the future of the franchise. Today, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson and Adam Beasley agreed with my analysis of the situation. The Dolphins are not “shopping” Tunsil, but they did answer the phone when other teams inquired about the tackle.
The Miami Herald report includes definitive statements. Jackson and Beasley write, “Amid published reports that Tunsil has been dangled in trade discussions, the Dolphins assured the Tunsil camp that there is no truth to that, according to a league source with direct knowledge.” They added, “Several teams have inquired about Tunsil, believing the Dolphins are willing to trade established veteran players for draft picks. The Dolphins have fielded those calls but in Tunsil’s case, haven’t acted on them to this point.”
Finally, they closed out the Tunsil talk, writing, “But if the Dolphins get bowled over by an offer and trade Tunsil, it would run counter to what they’ve conveyed to his camp. If that were to happen, they would need to explain to his camp that they received an offer they couldn’t refuse.”
Again, it mirrors everything I have heard in this situation. Pro Football Network may be right that Tunsil was discussed in a trade. They do not seem to be right in declaring the Dolphins as “dangling” Tunsil or that they are actively looking to move the tackle. Teams called. Miami listened. If some team came in and overwhelmed Miami, sure, a trade could be made - but that likely would be the same for ANY player, not just Tunsil. If a team is willing to give Miami the farm for one player, then the Dolphins could make the move. But, listening to a team’s call to see if there is a possibility of a trade is not actively shopping a player you want to keep and around whom you plan to build.
Jackson and Beasley did agree that there are players who the Dolphins would be interested in trading if they can find a partner - and this does fit a little better with Pro Football Network’s reporting. Miami would consider trading players like Reshad Jones, Kiko Alonso, and Kenny Stills. None of these are surprising - Miami is in the middle of a youth movement, so adding 2020 draft picks for older players is a standard move for the team right now. Jones and Alonso are expected to take on a lesser role this year than they have had in the past, and Stills, while likely the top receiving option on the roster, is at the head of a deep position group where younger players are developing quickly.
So, yes, there are rumors, and yes, Miami could look to move a player. But, Tunsil being “dangled” seems to be an exaggeration of the situation.