The Miami Dolphins have until October 29th to decide if they will take advantage of their trade options. Maybe they’ll bring in another running back to compete with the under performing duo of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Or they could possible revamp their struggling offensive line with a player who can finally add some protection and provide rest to the starters. Some of the trade rumors that have swirled this week could surprise you.
It was probably just mentioned for a day or two this week, but the words “Miami Dolphins” and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver “Tony Gonzalez” were both used in the same sentence on a number of occasions. Fan posts on Facebook only encouraged this rumor. Falcons’ coach Mike Smith discounted any chance of a potential trade.
"That's preposterous that Tony would be traded," Smith told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "He's an integral part of our offense and has been since he's been here. And he's having another Hall of Fame season."
Gonzalez had planed to retire last year, but decided to return one more year with a team previously thought to contend for the Super Bowl. Now standing at 1-4 with wide receiver Julio Jones out for the season, those Super Bowl hopes are dwindling. A trade seemed like the next best thing for Gonzalez to possibly end his last season on top.
Another area that has sparked some chatter from fans and analyst around the league has been the Dolphins’ running game. However, ESPN reporter James Walker doesn’t believe that the Dolphins will pick up a solid trade in time for the deadline. He points out the Jacksonville Jaguars’ running back, Maurice Jones-Drew is available, but making him a Dolphin isn’t likely.
“Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland doesn't like trading draft picks, and Jones-Drew would come at a cost. Jones-Drew also is looking for a new contract, and the Dolphins may not want to inherit those problems,” explains Walker.
Jones Drew’s season isn’t going well. The Jaguars are currently 0-5 and their season gets tougher this week when they face the Denver Broncos. In five games Jones Drew has only 208 yards (2.8 average) and just one touchdown. Dolphins’ running back, Lamar Miller has 211 yards (4.2 average), but has two touchdowns. Fellow back, Daniel Thomas has less than half those yards (71), but similar to Thomas he has two touchdowns. Both Miller and Thomas are still struggling and to bring in Jones Drew would only cause a bigger mess to a confused backfield that’s trying to find some direction.
The 28th ranked rushing offense is performing poorly in part to the Dolphins’ offensive line and it’s poor protection. But, there haven’t been many rumors for new lineman. The Dolphins have two pretty decent options sitting on the bench, guards Danny Watkins and Nate Garner.
Watkins is in his third-year out of Baylor and was drafted 23rd in the 1st round of the 2011 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He started playing football at the age of 22, having only played hockey and rugby in high school. His talent got him a starting position at Baylor. While there he helped grow their passing attack, run game and protect former Baylor quarterback, Robert Griffin III (areas of obvious weakness for the Dolphins). In 2011 he started 12 games and in 2012 only 6 and recorded a fumble recovery for the eagles. This past offseason the Dolphins signed him to a one-year contract.
Garner has been in the NFL for six-season, coming out of Arkansas. The New York Jets drafted him in the 7th round. When offensive lineman, John Jerry got injured, Garner was a contender to fill in at the guard position. But, a shoulder injury eliminated that chance back in August. Now pretty healthy, Garner’s ability to play all positions (except center) makes him a unique asset for the Dolphins. With starting lineman needing breaks, including Garner on some snaps could be an option to try.
All signs point to “no” for the Dolphins to make any trades. This week being their bye, they’re looking to build and improve on what they have. Furthermore in week 7 they play their first division game, when the Buffalo Bills (2-3) come south to Miami on October 20th.
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