5 Miami Dolphins Who Could Be on the Trade Block This Offseason
Unfortunately, the NFL doesn't work like Madden.
Teams don't make blockbuster trades on a regular basis. In fact, trades are a rarity in today's landscape.
However, the Miami Dolphins are something of an exception.
Since Jeff Ireland took over as G.M. in 2008, the 'Fins have been extremely active in the trade market. Both Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall were acquired through trades, and ex-players like Tim Dobbins, Benny Sapp and Pat McQuistan were as well.
Conversely, Miami has shipped off Jonathan Amaya, Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn Jr., and others via trade.
So which current players might be on the trading block during the upcoming offseason?
Here are five candidates.
Daniel Thomas just completed his rookie season, but that does not exempt him from a trade. Joe Philbin and his new coaching staff have no allegiance to Thomas, whom the Dolphins drafted in the second round of last year's draft.
Thomas showed glimpses of brilliance in 2010, but ultimately disappointed. He averaged a measly 3.5 yards per carry and failed to score a rushing touchdown.
The odds of Thomas being dealt are minimal, but if the Dolphins brass doesn't believe he will improve, then they should trade him now. There will be at least one team out there willing to roll the dice on him.
Chris Clemons played well enough during the 2010 season to convince management he deserved another year as Miami's starting free safety.
However, Clemons was a fraction of his former self last season. Nagging injuries restricted him for most of the season, and he became an afterthought.
There's a very good chance that the 'Fins will seek a free safety upgrade in the draft or free agency, making Clemons expendable. If Miami can find a trade partner, they could ship Clemons off.
With Chris Clemons sidelined, second-year safety Reshad Jones ascended into a starting role.
Jones was heralded as an aggressive playmaker, but he failed to establish himself as a serviceable player in 2011. Granted, Jones improved as the season progressed, he might not be starting caliber.
The Dolphins could feasibly move Jones to strong safety, where his aggressive nature would be better suited. But, after watching him struggle last season, Miami could opt to trade him instead.
Nolan Carroll just completed his second NFL season, and it was his second unimpressive one.
Carroll became a liability in pass coverage toward the end of the season, but occasionally showcased promising skill. Because Carroll is extremely athletic, can play nickelback and has return skills, the Dolphins probably won't give up on him quite yet.
However, the back end of Miami's cornerback corps desperately needs an overhaul, and Carroll could became a casualty.
Miami's free safety struggles opened the door for fifth-year veteran Tyrone Culver to receive some playing time. Culver's play in 2011 was reflective of his career—respectable, but hardly spectacular.
Assuming the Dolphins acquire a safety this offseason, Culver could be dealt to a team in search of secondary and special teams depth.