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On July 29, 2011 the Miami Dolphins traded DB/special teamer Jonathon Amaya and agreed to swap undisclosed picks with the New Orleans Saints for HB Reggie Bush.
Impact for Miami: Without knowing what picks are being swapped it’s hard to factor in that aspect, so let’s focus on Amaya. The Dolphins lose their special teams tackle leader for a player they expect to
make significant contributions on offense. In fact, the organization has made it clear that they intend to utilize Bush as a feature back.
Ideally, the Dolphins want Bush to be the guy that carries them down the field so they can let their rookie tailback Daniel Thomas punch it in on the goal line. It’ll be interesting to see how well Bush performs given the heavy increase in touches he appears to be headed for in 2011. The Dolphins are taking a calculated risk, hoping Bush can thrive in the role instead of breaking down. Bush has plenty of motivation to succeed as nobody but the Dolphins has really believed he can last 16 games.
Dolphins’ trade grade: A-. The Dolphins are content with their DBs for now and Bush will have much more impact in 2011 than Amaya will, even if Amaya becomes a great player down the road. Bush’s presence helps in case Daniel Thomas doesn’t work out.
Impact for New Orleans: Reggie Bush provided some exciting moments in New Orleans, but it was obvious he would never develop into the consistent weapon they wanted him to be and they couldn’t always get him in space.
The logjam of Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram gave the Saints an opportunity to cut ties with Bush and proceed with the more traditional tailbacks; Sproles could fill Bush’s role as a third down back. No matter how well Bush plays for Miami, it will be hard for the Saints to feel too bad unless all four of their running backs have issues, especially considering how much cheaper players like Ivory are.
Meanwhile, Amaya provides an instant upgrade to the Saints kickoff coverage and is still young and raw. There’s a possibility New Orleans can groom him into a successful DB as well, which I would imagine is their intention.
Saints’ trade grade: B-. Bush never lived up to the hype, but there had to be a few teams interested. Either the Saints are really confident Amaya will develop into a starting DB, or they didn’t receive many
good offers. On the plus side, the Dolphins figure to be one of the poorer teams in 2011, so swapping picks should be beneficial.