Dolphins GM: Trying to build 'long-term winner'

A day after trading away a former first-round pick for the second time in three weeks, Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier met the media Tuesday and discussed the franchise's broader plan.

"We know as the team was built right now, it wasn't going to win a Super Bowl, much less compete for a playoff spot," Grier said. "Again, we're trying to build a team that's going to win right now and do it, a long-term winner and bring a championship here hopefully to South Florida."

Grier's comments, his first in public since post-draft in April, came a day after 2018 first-round defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a package including a 2020 first-round pick. On Aug. 31, the Dolphins dealt left tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans for a package including two first-round picks and a second-rounder.

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Both players were previously expected to be long-term pillars for the Dolphins. Grier indicated Tuesday that the plan was not to deal either player, until circumstances changed.

"I would say very unexpected as far as the Laremy and Minkah situations," he said. "You can't prepare for that. The opportunities as well were kind of unique, with a little bit of a historic haul for (Tunsil) and (wide receiver) Kenny (Stills), what we're getting."

"Multiple, multiple times we talked and kept telling (the Texans) no and what it would take (to get Tunsil), and they came and offered it," Grier added. "... Laremy walked in my office and saw it on the board and said, 'I would trade me for that.' We were not trying to do it."

Fitzpatrick's trade came after he requested to be dealt, citing his lack of a defined position in the defense. Multiple reports have said other players are seeking trades amid the Dolphins' 0-2 start, in which they've been outscored 102-10, though Grier said he has not heard any other requests.

"With Minkah, it's just one of those things the player expressed that it may be time for him to change," Grier said. "We tried to make it work -- myself, (head coach) Brian (Flores), (owner) Steve (Ross) had multiple conversations with him about saying we wanted him to be here, he was a core piece. The kid felt it was time for him to move."

Miami has stockpiled five first-round picks over the next two years, including three in 2020, in addition to extra picks in the second- and third-rounds in 2020 and the second round in 2021. Those assets give the team massive flexibility, Grier said.

"We can do anything we want, whether it's free agency or draft," he said. "We've positioned ourselves, we think, to do anything or get whatever player we feel that will help us as soon as possible."

Grier is in his first year as the top personnel decision-maker with the Dolphins, although he has held the general manager since 2016 and is in his 20th year with the franchise in a variety of personnel positions.

He declined to put a timeline on when the rebuilding process will begin to bear fruit, but sounded like he expects results sooner than later.

"We positioned ourselves to where we think the organization will be in a good place here shortly," Grier said. "How long that takes? ... We'll be aggressive free agency. We're not going to sit back and not do anything, we're going to be very proactive and try to get this turned quickly."

--Field Level Media

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