With the October 30 NFL trade deadline approaching, all 32 General Managers in the league will be searching for ways to improve their teams. After seven weeks of football, it is eveident as to where each team stands, whether they are in a contending or rebuilding year and what needs each squad is looking to fill. At a record of 3-3, the Miami Dolphins are neither looking to trade assets for picks nor looking for veterans that will push the team over the top in order to make a championship run. Instead, Miami will be looking to add players that fit the long term plan of this franchise as well as being able to make an impact this season and hopefully assist the team in making the playoffs.
One of the Dolphins most interesting assets is a player that has come into high demand in recent weeks, backup quarterback Matt Moore. With several teams in need of a starting quarterback, Moore has become a viable option for the remaining ten weeks of the season. The 28 year old appeared in 13 games last year while making 12 starts following an injury to Chad Henne. He completed 210 out of 347 passes for a total of 2,497 yards along with 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Moore's strong play down the stretch led Miami to a record of 6-3 in their last nine games and resulted in him being named team MVP. With the impressive play of rookie Ryan Tannehill, Moore has now become expendable.
If Moore is to be traded, one of his likeliest destinations is the Arizona Cardinals. After an impressive 4-0 start, the Cardinals have dropped 3 straight games and will be without starting quarterback Kevin Kolb for significant time who has multiple ribs detached from his sternum. Without Kolb, John Skelton has taken over the offense leaving no capable backup option beind him. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Skelton has had injury concerns of his own, only suiting up for two games this season while throwing for 456 yards, three interceptions and only one touchdown. Matt Moore would not only provide the Cardinals with depth at the quarterback position for this year alone, he has also proven to be a better quarterback than anyone on Arizona's current roster.
Arizona would be an ideal trading partner for the Dolphins seeing as the Cardinals have a surplus of wide recievers. A possible return in a package for Matt Moore could be either Andre Roberts who's racked up 22 recpetions, 286 yards, four touchdowns or Early Doucet with totals of 14 receptions for 119 yards. Moore alone may not be enough to acquire one of these wide recievers, draft picks would likely be involved.
Another landing spot for Moore would be the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Chiefs performing well below their offseason expectations with a 1-5 start to the year, rumours have swirled that Matt Cassel will be replaced as starting quarterback following this season. Cassel has fallen out of favour with the Kansas City fan base as the team has lost three straight games with Cassel only throwing for 1150 yards, 5 touchdowns and 9 interceptions all season for a quarterback rating of 66.2. Backup Brady Quinn hasn't faired any better as he has failed to throw a touchdown while tossing two interceptions for a rating of 53.3. Moore has the ability to get the Chiefs back on track and salvage their season in a comparably weak conference.
What bodes well for Miami is that the Chiefs also have a surplus of wide recievers that they would be willing to move. The first name that comes to mind is star wideout Dwayne Bowe who has 34 receptions for 427 yards on the season. Bowe would be a great fit for Miami and would easily be a No. 1 option in South Beach, however seeing as he will be a free agent this offseason, the Dolphins should avoid surrendering assets for a rental. A blockbuster deal of this calibre would be tough to finalize in just over a week therefore Miami's best chance at landing Bowe would be in free agency. Other intriguing options that would make sense for the Dolphins are wide recivers Jon Baldwin and Steve Breaston. Both are solid options in the passing game, more so with Baldwin who has 193 yards on 13 receptions.
GM Jeff Ireland is in the driver's seat when looking for a possible deal for Matt Moore. At this point in time, the team is in no hurry to part ways with Moore therefore the deal should only be made if it improves Miami both in a short and long term perspective.
In the case that a trade is completed, Pat Devlin would be Tannehill's temporary backup and there is nothing ruling out a return from David Garrard to the active roster.
For the first time since the 2008 season, Dolphins fans have the pleasure of looking at the NFL standings only to see that Miami is in a tie for first in the AFC East. At 3-3, the team has surpassed all the expectations set for them by both the media and the fan base.
The Dolphins are one of six teams that have a week 7 bye and while many would argue that rest at this point in the season will only stop the team's momentum, it will actually benefit Miami going forward. Although the 'Fins have battled back from a 1-3 record to imporve to .500, the past four games have taken a toll on the players both physically and mentally. A knee injury has slowed down star running back Reggie Bush and the decline in production is evident in his stat line over the course of the first six games. Against Oakland and New York, Bush averaged over six yards a carry however once the team wrapped up a win against St. Louis, that total dropped to under two yards per carry. The extra rest will do Bush well, in order for the Dolphins offense to have success taking on a stingy Jets defense in one week's time, they will need to have a balanced attack both in the air and on the ground.
With the elevated play from Sean Smith, Nolan Carroll and Reshad Jones in recent weeks, the absence of cornerback Richard Marshall hs gone relatively unnoticed. Marshall, who has been suffering from severe back pains, will provide a boost to an already thin secondary if he is active for week 8. Even though line backer Kevin Burnett played against St. Louis, this is his chance to put a lingering ankle injury behind him. The team that is in need for a No. 3 option at wide reciever may find their answer if Jabar Gaffney is able to make his Dolphins debut at Metlife Stadium.
Looking back at the past few games, it is evident that this Dolphins team has developed a key trait that has been non existent in recent years. Miami has shown the ability to win close games in the fourth quarter with consecutive victories by a total of seven points combined. Considering that the Dolphins lost five games by a total of eleven points a year ago on route to an 0-7 start and 6-10 overall record, there is a sense of refreshing progress from this young squad.
Following two heartbreaking overtime losses this season, Miami closed out a 17-13 win on the road in Cincinnati and hung on for a 17-14 win over the Rams. In most cases, 17 points is not enough to win games in the NFL but the Dolphins have found a way through timely plays by the offense accompanied by a bend, don't break defense. Last week's win was one of the Dolphins worst overall performances of the year as they surrendered 462 total yards, managed only 49 plays on offense and rushed for only 19 yards. Even though they were thourougly dominated, Miami won the game, something that eluded them in the past. The sign of a good team, a playoff and Super Bowl contender, is the knack for winning close games even when they are outplayed. While the Dolphins are not yet elite, they are playing with a sense of urgency right now and for that reason, they may find themselves playing meaningful football in December.
With an even record, the Dolphins must approach the first game after the bye like it is a brand new season. The mood has finally changed in Miami among the ownership, coaches, players and fans, everyone in the organization believes they can win each and every week. The timing of this bye couldn't have been any better with the Dolphins playing some of their best football while giving them the opportunity to rest for their first road divisional game of the season.
If all goes well around the AFC East this NFL Sunday, the Dolphins many find themselves in sole possession of second without even playing a game.
Ryan Tannehill produced the first multi pass touchdown game of his career and Brian Hartline registered a drop and zero catches; that’s as far as I go about Sunday’s win against the Rams. As we enter the bye week I would like to recap what have been a tumultuous first six weeks of the season. Since the Dolphins are on bye, the traditional Stop and Go format will take a back seat.
The Week of Rest
It is essential that this week be one where Richard Marshall can beat out his back spasms and return to the starting lineup opposite Sean Smith, since, well, Nolan Carroll was a little more of his usual self on Sunday than he was against the Bengals. Still on the theme of recovery, a healthy Reggie Bush needs to suit up in two weeks to take on the Jets because 19 yards rushing is simply unacceptable. The short yardage game continues to be a serious issue for this team, and a healthy Reggie Bush could probably do a double front flip, instead of a single, and pick up that yard.
Take a Bowe
Rumors or not, here is my take on the Dwayne Bowe to Miami ordeal. Dwayne Bowe is a great receiver and Miami native; height-weight-speed specimen, absolute nightmare for defensive coordinators, and a genetically enhanced matchup problem. Sounds perfect, right? The “weight” proposes its own problem as once upon a time Bowe enjoyed a coupled too many doughnuts and cheeseburgers and reported to training camp overweight. Those ships have sure as hell sailed if Bowe wants any hope of suiting up for Joe “I take no BS” Philbin’s up and coming Miami Dolphins.
From a trade standpoint, I would not be willing to give up more than Matt Moore and a 3rd round draft choice as once you have a quarterback, draft picks become that much more impactful and important. Finally, I will absolutely not be willing to give up any draft choice unless Bowe can be locked up to long term reasonable money. I am not giving him a Larry Fitzgerald or even B-Marsh type contract. I am willing to wait until the draft to snag a first round wide receiver.
The Route Tree
Go: Michael Egnew
Third round pick Michael Egnew is probably the most recurring name in my weekly segment and FINALLY, he has made it into one of Coach Philbin’s pressers. “Michael Egnew is making strides”. And the Hallelujah bells are not only ringing, but blaring! Egnew needs to get GOing, learn to block and make an impact.
Drag or 0-route: The 0 production player has already been kicked off the squad and that award goes to Legedu Naanee…there was a dream that was Naanee (Gladiator reference)
Button hook: Mike Pouncey has been a human obelisk at the center of the Dolphins’ offensive, not allowing a single sack up to date. Ireland POUNCEd on the better half of the Tebow-Pouncey UF exchange…whose excited for Jets week 2.0?
Post Corner-Post Middle: Through the first 6 weeks of the season Sean Smith has arguably faced the most talented receivers of any cornerback in the NFL and he has produced! Sean Smith is the blanket that puts these receivers to sleep. If you cut to the middle of the field you’ll meet the NFL’s top ranked safety in Reshad Jones and his balling, fake-punting, dread locked partner Chris D. Clemons who his in the top 10 at his position.
Screen Pass: Heck, you’re not running a screen his way: Cameron Wake. After not registering a sack through the first three weeks of the season, Cam was still the number one ranked 4-3 defensive end in the NFL. Now he has more than doubled his PFF score lead on the second place player. Prediction: He will break his career high sack total of 14.
Stutter and Go: Jake Long started the season a little rough, but his Pro Bowl play is slowly returning. Nothing a bye week can’t fix. Coples will be eating lots of grass in a few weeks…
To end this week’s segment, there are three awards I would like to give out: the Incognito Dolphin of the 6 weeks, offensive MVP, and defensive MVP.
Incognito Dolphin of the 6 weeks: Randy Starks. Starks is quietly having a pro bowl caliber season. He has registered 3.5 sacks, an extremely athletic interception, and countless stops. He’s not flashy, but Starks plays with an incredible degree of finesse to sheds blockers like flicking dirt off his shoulders.
Offensive MVP: Ryan Tannehill. This one is a gimme. Everyone is amazing by his coolness under duress, his grasp and mastery of the offense, and most of all his ability to play the position like a franchise quarterback! The touchdowns are coming, but I have confidence in our young signal caller to be “the guy” we’ve all been waiting for. Ryan Tannehill deserves the honor of being the jersey I wear every Sunday.
Defensive MVP: This one is even more obvious: Cameron Wake. He’s our most dominant pass rusher, run stopper, and overall defensive player. His cerebral game has improved exponentially and in my opinion, the signing of Cameron Wake alone could be keeping GM Ireland his job.
At the end of this lengthy chapter, I leave you, the readers a simple message to define our 3-3 start. In the words of American basketball star John Wooden, “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability”. He’s right, we’re 5-1.
Until Jets week 2.0,
Per @JasonColeYahoo on @560WQAM , Dolphins are potentially negotiating a deal for Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe. Bowe a former Pro Bowl WR would be a huge upgrade for the Dolphins WR group. Bowe is a native Floridian who has mentioned before on the Joe Rose show that he would love to come back home and play, he is an alum of Norland High School.
Bowe is an unrestricted free agent. It is unsure of Bowe’s price tag for a trade however it is widely thought that Bowe is seeking big money in the offseason and it seems unlikely the Chiefs will meet his demands. The Chiefs in a transition year with early struggles could look at the Dolphins plethora of draft picks as well as Dolphins back up Matt Moore who had his best season under Chiefs OC Brian Daboll.
Big is a WR with great size and speed who has big play ability. Bowe would be the number #1 WR that Steven Ross admitted the Dolphins were searching for. Bowe would also open up the field for the Dolphins offense potentially moving Davone Bess back to the slot where he strives.
Bowe would bring a big target and huge help to rookie Ryan Tannehill who would be able to develop with a significantly upgrade group of WR’s.
This rumor is still in the very early stages. We should hear more shortly about this rumor. There is some speculation already to this rumor.
UPDATE : RT
@JasonColeYahoo: Just to clarify something: I'm NOT reporting the KC and Miami are talking trade over Bowe. Not yet, at least.
@BenVolinPBP A team source says the #Dolphins are NOT currently in trade talks with the #Chiefs for Dwayne Bowe
It's bending, but not breaking. It's bringing Dolfans on the verge of cardiac arrest reaching for Bayer. It's forcing turnovers without recovery, or only to be thrilled about a recovery and have the refs second look take it all away.
The Dolphins defense this season has unleashed a flurry of sacks on the quarterback, pressures, hurries, and set out to control the line of scrimmage.
Run on the Dolphins ...they double dog dare you. Loaded with Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Big Amigo Tony Mc Daniel,
Jared Odrick and Cam Wake the Dolphins are becoming this years version of the no-name defense. We all no that Cam Wake leading the team in sacks is no surprise, but the biggest emerging star is little known former University of Miami DE Olivier Vernon with 2.5 sacks, 13 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles!
Sure the Dolphins are stout up front, but their best play by far is coming from linebackers like Burnett and Karlos Dansby who sink back into coverage like hidden submarines and making good decisions getting their hands on footballs to tip them away.
In the offseason, the Dolphins ran a vanilla version of their scheme lacking pressure, looking slow to stop the run, and got burned down the field.
When the first game came around versus Houston, they showed they can hang around getting some three and outs and red zone stops.
The defense rose to the occasion in week 3 versus the Jets when the first turnovers were forced via interception from Richard Marshall and Chris Clemons (a safety that seems to never make big plays nor stay on the field).
The following week, the Dolphins defense hung tough and cleaned up the offenses 3 turnovers and got two interceptions from Sean Smith.
Finally, the Dolphins made plays as a defense forcing fumbles and sealing victory by a Reshad Jones interception in Cincinnati.
Last week, the Dolphins did not get a defensive takeaway, but their legs chasing down receivers on two big throws by the Rams Sam Bradford kept the Rams out of the end zone until the 4th quarter.
Again...the Dolphins are tops against the run, run in the redzone, and wreaking havoc on quarterbacks ranked 4th in sacks, the Dolphins D is making their fan base proud.
Lets see what the next two weeks of rest do to this unit who continues to take that blue collar-lunch pail-hardhat approach and make plays and have fun killing the opponent sealing victories.
Maybe Ireland got in right when he hired Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle and drafted and signed these little known players a few years back...and got rid of leaders like Yeremiah Bell and play makers like Vontae Davis.
Yes, these no-names are taking over and soon everyone in the NFL will take notice!