As the 2021 NFL draft nears NFL teams start to ponder ways to add “draft capital”, aka more draft picks for this year's draft or even future years drafts. Teams of course always need their draft picks because you cannot afford to, in today's NFL, with a set, hard salary cap, always afford to keep all of your big dollar stars. Sometimes you have to let a guy walk no matter how good he is if his price on the open market is going to be way too high and he is beyond the restricted phase of his tenure in the NFL. We have all seen far too many Miami Dolphins players walk, on their way to another team, for more money than the Dolphins were willing to pay. Sometimes the Dolphins were right and the player proved to be nowhere near worth what he wound up earning and other times we were left sad to pissed to see a guy go on and not only earn the money he was asking for but far exceed that expectation. Thus is the gamble with players that every NFL team must take.
Other times you just let a guy walk because you have to due to your poor cap situation. Perhaps a player that you would no doubt make an honest effort to keep if you had space under the cap you let walk out of necessity. There there are teams like our very own Dolphins who were willing to trade away guys or let them walk because the team was starting the rebuilding process, yet again, and did not see these players, no matter how good or great they were as an answer to their position as it related to the long term future of the team. You also have the Laremy Tunsil trade, where another team just blows you away with their trade offer to the extent that it pays dividends in draft capital years after the trade occurs. There are the trades that you make of a star player not because they are not a good player but because they are high priced and either become too much of a headache (which does not always require that they be high priced to move them if they are a big enough pain the ass) or you don’t trust them due to a history of injuries.
Case in point, the two trades of veterans that I have seen tossed around the most by Miami Dolphins faithful is Xavien Howard and Devante Parker. The case against Howard is twofold. Howard signed a new deal before last season began, that at the time made him the highest-paid corner in the NFL. Miami then went out and signed free agent and former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones to an even richer contract giving Miami, at the time the two highest-paid corners in the game. Both contracts have since been surpassed but due to his standout, pro bowl season Howard is now rumored to be pushing for a new contract, or more precisely a contract that pays him more money than some of the players making more than he does but not performing as well. Teams are VERY hesitant to rework contracts only a season after giving them out knowing that doing so sets a very bad precedent that will in many cases cause other players on your team who might in the future have a great or breakout season line up with their hands out no matter where they are in their contract.
Then there are the legal issues for Howard. Neither issue became anything but it has to give the team pause when you are paying a guy so much already and he's now asking for more money. The first incident was the domestic violence charges against Xavian that were later dropped but they were only dropped because his fiance’ refused to continue to press charges. Then this offseason he fired his agent, reportedly out of anger, possibly over his contract situation. Sometime shortly after he fired the agent someone fired a gun at his former agent's home. When the police attempted to question Howard about the incident as an “additional person of interest” he refused to cooperate or speak with the police. The police did not believe that Howard was the person seen getting out of the car at the home that fired the shot but they still requested to speak to him. The case was eventually dropped by the police for lack of evidence but still a troubling situation. I for one would have like to have seen him cooperate if he had done nothing wrong but I will withhold judgment because it’s very likely that his lawyer told him to not talk to the police perhaps with the concern that they were just trying to find someone to pin the incident on.
Devante Parker is a totally different issue. He’s a high price asset that while he played well and even great at times last season played hurt the entire season and has a history of injuries. Coming off his best season ever, despite the injury that he was dealing with all season long, it makes his value as trade bait as high as it has ever been. While I don’t see this being a move that the Dolphins are looking to make I do believe that outside of a stud top five to top ten franchise quarterback that every player has his price if someone comes calling with a deal that you can’t refuse, ala the Tunsil trade.
So tonight’s Phinsider Question Of The Day is are you in favor of trading either of these two players or would you consider trading any of our other quality assets for whatever reason to amass more draft capital for this year's draft and in future years? Do you see the Dolphins making any of these trades and if so who do you think will be traded and what do you think they are worth on the trade market?
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