2013 NFL Trade Deadline: 5 Players Miami Dolphins Should Call About
2013 NFL Trade Deadline: 5 Players the Miami Dolphins Should Call About
On September 23, the Miami Dolphins were feeling great about their team and postseason chances. They were one day removed from beating the Atlanta Falcons on a last-minute touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill. They were 3-0 and had big road wins against the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. On September 23, there was nothing but optimism and hope for this team and for a fan base that hasn't celebrated a Super Bowl since 1973.
One month later on October 23, everything has changed. The Dolphins were embarrassed by the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. There is no shame in losing to the Saints, but the game showed a lot of the issues that the Dolphins would have over the next two weeks. In Week 5, they lost to the Baltimore Ravens and Tannehill was sacked six times, including once on the final drive to knock them out of realistic field goal range.
After the loss to the Ravens, the Dolphins went on their bye week at 3-2. Miami hadn't shown the ability to run block or pass protect for Tannehill, they were struggling on short yardage situations and ranked second to last in punt return average. These are all areas they hoped they could fix internally during the bye week, but unfortunately were not able to on Sunday.
The Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 23-21 that afternoon. Miami was up 21-20 with less than three minutes left and the ball near midfield when Tannehill was sacked by Mario Williams and fumbled. Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams jumped on the ball inside the 35-yard line and set them up for a game-winning field goal. Ex-Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter nailed the kick to win the game to send the reeling Dolphins to a 3-3 record.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Dolphins made one move already by acquiring offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Ravens. In order for them to turn this season around and make a playoff push, they will have to look into acquiring help at other positions. These five guys may be available and could help the Dolphins get on the right track.
5. Travis Benjamin
The Miami Dolphins are second to last in the NFL in punt return yards with only 34 total in six games. Travis Benjamin in third in the NFL with 246 punt return Yards and has one TD. He played his college football at the University of Miami, and it is always a boost to acquire a hometown kid. The Dolphins also are only carrying four receivers on their roster, so he could see occasional playing time in pass-heavy sets and trick plays.
4. Cortland Finnegan
The Miami Dolphins secondary has actually performed well this season. The offseason signing of Brent Grimes has given them a true no. 1 corner, and acquiring Cortland Finnegan will give them two. He is a very physical corner like Grimes, and would allow the Dolphins to shift Dimitri Patterson to his more natural spot as a nickel corner.
3. Tony Gonzalez
The Miami Dolphins signed Dustin Keller this offseason to provide a consistent red zone threat as a tight end. After he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, the Dolphins were stuck with three unproven guys on the roster. Charles Clay has performed well beyond expectations with 24 catches for 304 yards and three TDs. However, Clay has been a liability in pass protection, which has been the biggest weakness for Miami. By trading for Tony Gonzalez, the Dolphins could run more two-tight end sets, and Gonzalez would provide the red zone threat that they were hoping Keller would be.
2. Marcel Reece
Trading for Marcel Reece would fix two areas on the Dolphins' roster. They don't have a traditional fullback after cutting Tyler Clutts. He would immediately upgrade their running game between the tackles as a lead blocker. The Dolphins have also struggled in short-yardage situations, and that is something Reece excels in.
1. Wade Smith
The Miami Dolphins' offensive line has been one of the worst in the NFL this year. They rank towards the bottom of the league in rushing yards, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked more times than anyone else. They acquired Bryant McKinnie on Monday to play left tackle and will shift Jonathan Martin to right tackle. Guard Richie Incognito and center Mike Pouncey have performed well all year, but right guard John Jerry has been a disaster. Wade Smith is a former Dolphin and could immediately upgrade the position. With the Houston Texans out of playoff contention, they could be looking to acquire a mid-round pick to start rebuilding next year.