Brian Flores insists the Dolphins aren’t tanking, even though it clearly looks like they are

The Miami Dolphins have made quite a few major roster moves in recent days — which have left fans expecting a tumultuous 2019 season in South Florida.

The Dolphins traded left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans on Saturday for a massive haul of future draft picks — including two first-round picks and a second-round pick. The team then dealt linebacker Kiko Alonso to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday for linebacker Vince Biegel.

Yet despite the appearances, Miami coach Brian Flores insisted that the Dolphins aren’t tanking.

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“This game means a lot to me,” Flores said on a conference call Sunday, via the Miami Herald. “I wouldn’t disrespect the game with that. Again, no, we’re not. We’re going to try to win every game. I think that’s disrespectful to even to say that ... It’s disheartening to hear people talk about it, to even say that. For a guy who respects the game as much as the game has done for me, when people say that, it’s extremely sad.”

With all the draft picks they have acquired, the future could be bright in Miami. This season, however, is looking like it could be rough.

Flores, though, said he still doesn't see it that way — even after a reported threat of a “legit revolt” inside the locker room.

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“I think we’ve got a good locker room,” Flores said, via the Miami Herald. “We’ve got a lot of guys who care about each other and work hard and want to play for each other. I understand there are relationships that are built over the course of years. But at the end of the day, the guys in the locker room, I think they’re going to band together and play together. And at the end of the day you’ve got to play for one another.”

Miami coach Brian Flores insisted on Sunday that the team isn't tanking despite a series of trades this weekend for a massive haul of draft picks. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Miami coach Brian Flores insisted on Sunday that the team isn't tanking despite a series of trades this weekend for a massive haul of draft picks. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Flores defends Tunsil trade

The Dolphins already boasted one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Tunsil was easily the most talented piece on that line — and was expected to lead the way offensively this fall. Many thought of the fourth-year tackle as a future cornerstone player, one the team could build around in the coming years.

Flores was asked on Sunday why Tunsil couldn’t be part of the rebuild in Miami — one that, based on recent moves, the team is clearly in.

The deal, he said, was simply too good.

“You guys saw the compensation,” Flores said, via the Miami Herald. “He was part of that. It was one of those things where he’s a very good player. I like him, but at the end of the day we just felt like this was the best move for us. You got to make tough decisions when you’re sitting in this seat. (General manager) Chris Grier, (vice president) Brandon (Shore) and myself spent a lot of time talking through it and thinking about it. At the end of the day, we felt like this was best.

“There’s a lot of conversations with a lot of teams on a daily basis. We’ve had several different offers. My reaction is always the same — does this help this team? Does it help this organization? All of those things factor into my feeling on a particular trade. In this instance, I thought this trade would help this organization.”

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