Now that the Miami Dolphins have successfully traded quarterback Ryan Tannehill and defensive end Robert Quinn, the question become who’s next to go in the rebuilding process. It’s normal for a general manager, who wants to rebuild and clean house, to re gut the roster, clear salary cap space, and acquire future draft picks. The Dolphins could have easily just released Tannehill and Quinn and gotten nothing in return besides cap space, but why do that if you can find a trade partner that will give a future draft choice? My thoughts are get what you can now rather than nothing in return if you can for players that aren’t going to be part of your team next year.
As far as who’s next, the player being mentioned most is Reshad Jones, but with his contract unless the Dolphins are offered something, they can’t refuse I can’t see them making a deal at this time. It would be a $12 million hit against the cap, which is do able and will create more money down the road. I’m sure it’s something the Dolphins will entertain with the draft coming up. It’s a shame it has come to this for a player that has been so productive for the team since being drafted. The problem is he’s 31 years old and he’s had 2 shoulder surgeries so the team probably will go in a new direction at some point especially when they have another strong safety on the roster in TJ McDonald and want to put Minkah Fitzpatrick in the free safety spot. With terrible cap management of Jones’ contract by Mike Tannenbaum restructuring his deal seems almost impossible and its also almost impossible to try and move him.
Another player who might not fit down the road is wide receiver Kenny Stills. The Dolphins have good depth at receiver and while Stills contract is a little high the team will probably want to move on from him as well. Teams are always looking for receivers with top end speed $9 million this year and $8 million next year it might seem like a bargain if a team offers a good deal. Stills is the best deep threat receiver Miami has, but at some point, the team will want to go younger and cheaper at the position.
The last player who might not fit in the long-term plans is linebacker Kiko Alonso. Alonso was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in the trade down 3 years ago and he has been a staple at the linebacker position. He runs sideline to sideline makes a lot of tackles and plays, but he’s a liability in pass coverage. Plus, he has a history of injuries with his knees and hamstring. He has been criticized for some late hits, but I think those have been blown way out of proportion. The Dolphins are going to use multiple 3-4 and 4-3 formations so who knows how Alonso would fill in. He’s owed 8 million this year and next year with little cap hit if traded.
With the draft around the corner, it’s possible the Dolphins will look into shopping these players around to gauge the interest around the league. However, if they can’t find what they are looking for the Dolphins can always wait till after the draft. Some teams might not be able to fill certain needs and might be willing to up their offer or the Dolphins can go into training camp with these players and an injury may come up, which happens every year. Personally, I would go into the season with these guys and see what happens. Just like teams might look for players if an injury comes up, there is also the trade deal line and teams looking to make a move to make a playoff push might be desperate to trade a premium pick. Worst case they stay on the team and evaluate them next off season, but one this is for the sure someone else might be on the move.