Through eight weeks, the Miami Dolphins have been one of the hottest teams in football, going 6-2 over that stretch with their only losses coming against the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills, two Super Bowl contenders.
At the near midpoint of the season, the NFL’s trade deadline has arrived, with many teams wavering between buying and selling parts.
With Miami setting their sights on the postseason, should they consider making a trade, and if so, for what?
Prior to the start of the 2023 campaign, all of the talk was on Miami’s backfield. Fans clamored for Dalvin Cook to Jonathan Taylor before one signed with the New York Jets and the other was placed on PUP before signing an extension.
Through eight weeks, Miami’s stable of running backs has been strong. The group leads the league in rushing yards per game (151.8) and yards per attempt (5.9). Raheem Mostert, the team’s lead back, tops the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 10.
Rookie sensation De’Von Achane took the league by storm in his first few games before being placed on injured reserve, rushing for 460 yards and five touchdowns on an incredible 12.1 yards per attempt. Not to mention he brought in nine receptions for 67 yards and two more scores.
Offensively, the one spot that could use some help would be the offensive line, as left tackle Terron Armstead and left guard Isaiah Wynn have been on injured reserve themselves. Center Connor Williams has been dealing with a groin injury that’s kept him out of three games, and right guard Robert Hunt left their last game against the New England Patriots with a hamstring injury.
While the Dolphins have been able to hold it all together, could another depth offensive lineman help?
The short answer is yes, but not many teams are willing to part with offensive linemen due to the struggles with the groups around the league.
However, Noteboom hasn’t been great when he’s played this year, starting in five games and playing three separate positions. And, if Miami were to acquire him, they’d be digging themselves into an even larger financial hole in 2024, as he’d come with a $15 million cap hit next year.
Defensively, the Dolphins are starting to get healthy, but like any team, they’re an injury to a key player or two away from having things fall apart.
The Chicago Bears have made it known that cornerback Jaylon Johnson is on the trade block. He’s Pro Football Focus’ third-highest-rated player at the position through the first eight weeks of the season.
He’s in the final year of his rookie deal, so he’d likely only be a rental, but if Miami could swing a mid-round draft pick for him, having Ramsey, Howard, Johnson and Kader Kohou as your top four cornerbacks wouldn’t be bad at all.
The big question is the price for a lot of these trades. General manager Chris Grier has done a great job bringing in veteran talent through free agency and trades, but eventually, they’ll have to start using high draft picks again to bring in some young, inexpensive players who can make an impact.
If teams’ are asking for picks in the top three rounds, the Dolphins should stay away. The team is set up to compete now, but that doesn’t mean they should completely mortgage their future.
If prices are reasonable, and Grier and his right-hand man, Brandon Shore, feel comfortable, they should pull the trigger and make the addition. But, again, that’s only if it’s a good deal.