Dolphins Look To Be Embracing A Rebuild After Number Of Trades
The Dolphins traded a number of players away over the weekend for draft picks, which possibly "brings hope for the future" as well as a "path to competing for championships years from now," according to Armando Salguero of the MIAMI HERALD. The moves have the team "rejoicing," as the resources now at the disposal of coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier "suggest they'll be Super Bowl contenders" around '23. The Dolphins now will be a "worse team, which means they'll likely be picking in the top-5 spots of next spring's draft." Salguero: "Now all they have to do is pick the right guy" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/1). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes he is "all in on this tank job." This year's team is the "worst-equipped Dolphins team since the expansion era." However, this is the "best-equipped the Dolphins have been in two decades for moving forward," with "draft picks in place" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 9/3).
EMBRACING THE TANK: USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell wrote the Dolphins' trading away OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills "pretty much confirms what has seemed evident all summer." The Dolphins are "not about to win now." Despite the visual of trading away Stills following his public disagreement with Owner Stephen Ross, "considering the exchange" the Dolphins got, the trade "just might have been driven by football." The Dolphins will "deny, of course, that they are tanking," but their "actions speak otherwise" (USA TODAY, 9/1). In Miami, Greg Cote wrote what "looks on the surface to be a dubious deal could very well turn out to be an epic move forward in the rebuilding of a once-proud franchise" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/1).
CAN'T HIDE YOUR LYING EYES: ESPN's Dianna Russini notes the Dolphins all weekend claimed they are "not tanking, but it's so apparent" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 9/3). FS1's Cris Carter notes the Dolphins are "doing an NBA" by tanking, but they are "trying to lie to us" ("First Things First," FS1, 9/3). ESPN's Dan Le Batard said the Dolphins are "overtly tanking even as they throw their poor first-year head coach in front of people to explain to people, to lie to people, to say, 'We're not tanking'" ("The Dan Le Batard Show," ESPN Radio, 9/3). ESPN's Mike Greenberg said the "scourge of tanking has made its way to football." He noted tanking is "hurting baseball terribly" and warned that it "could do the same to America's favorite sport" ("Get Up," ESPN, 9/3).
TRUST THE PROCESS? THE ATHLETIC's Chris Perkins wrote this is the "painful side" of the Dolphins' rebuild, the side that "requires long-suffering fans to trust their team's amazing run of mediocrity is about to end, the side that requires fans to have the patience to stick around and see if their front office knows what it's doing and is capable of rebuilding through the draft" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/31). In West Palm Beach, Hal Habib wrote, "If you have confidence the Dolphins will parlay their stash of draft picks into something fabulous, you're overlooking the fact that if this team had any kind of track record in the draft, it wouldn't be in this position" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/2). CBS SPORTS' Jason La Canfora wrote the "end of the Kenny Stills era in Miami was unnecessarily messy." Flores and Ross will "hopefully learn from this and limit the unforced errors in juggling the nexus of sports and politics once it does enter the locker room" (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/2).