Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso to Dolphins: Latest Trade Details and Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent III

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell (31) watches a replay of Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell's touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in Detroit. The Lions defeated the Eagles 45-14. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Duane Burleson/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with two of their biggest acquisitions from last year's chaotic offseason.

On Wednesday, the team announced that it had traded cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso and the 13th overall pick in the draft to the Miami Dolphins for the eighth overall pick in the draft.

The Dolphins also announced on Thursday that Maxwell had restructured his contract. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Maxwell is giving the Dolphins back $1.5 million in cash in 2017 and is getting $2 million more guaranteed. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported that a trade was in place on Monday.

Maxwell's agent, Alvin Keels, told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Monday that his client was indeed headed to Miami. Despite Maxwell's reported medical scare, Keels tweeted Wednesday morning that the 28-year-old was "cleared by Dolphins staff and [is] ready to roll."

Maxwell stated on Thursday that he "passed two physicals and denied the report that he told Dolphins doctors that he couldn't do push-ups or a bench press," according to Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. He also declared himself "ready to go," per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, and said he plans to do "special things with the Dolphins," per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

ESPN's Ed Werder previously reported on Wednesday morning that sources told him and colleague Chris Mortensen that the trade "may be off [because of] concern [regarding Maxwell's] shoulder injury." Werder added at the time that the "Dolphins consider [the trade] with [the] Eagles to be dead." 

Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, citing a source, reported that Maxwell "told [the] Dolphins' [doctor] he couldn't do bench press or push-ups. [He] told [the] Eagles he was fine at [the] end of [last] year."

Rapoport reported, "Looking into [Maxwell's shoulder] is described as something that happens with many trades/signings. Concerning, but not abnormal." 

Former Eagles personnel chief and head coach Chip Kelly wheeled and dealed in his maiden offseason with final say over roster decisions in 2015. He swung a trade with the Buffalo Bills, shipping star running back LeSean McCoy out of Philly in exchange for Alonso, who had played under Kelly at the University of Oregon.

Kelly also opted to spend big on Maxwell to the tune of a six-year, $63 million contract. He was counting on the former Seattle Seahawks standout to be a No. 1-caliber lockdown corner, but that didn't come to fruition.

Alonso missed all of the 2014 season with a torn ACL and reinjured that same left knee last year, missing five games.

Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus highlighted how Maxwell struggled to live up to his billing:

Neil Hornsby @PFF_Neil

Bryron Maxwell had a poor but not awful '15. After W4 was average. He is a decent #2 CB, but not a ~12M//yr CB https://t.co/TR9FmRlPUJ

Andrew Brandt of ESPN analyzed the implications of Maxwell's lucrative deal on Monday's marquee trade:

Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt

Byron Maxwell has fully guaranteed salary of $8.5M. Would think Dolphins would make Eagles pay off some of that (thru a bonus pre-trade).

The Dolphins have to hope the Eagles eat some of Maxwell's guaranteed salary. Although Miami does need to upgrade its secondary, investing so much in Maxwell is quite a gamble.

Trading Maxwell may save Philadelphia a considerable chunk of change, but its own defensive backfield is now thin on reliable options at the cornerback position. That could well become a bigger priority for the team in the 2016 draft.

Speaking of frugality, the terms of this trade don't exactly favor the Dolphins. They have a little less than $28 million in cap space at the moment, though the front office is exploring moves to cut costs.

Miami also released cornerback Brent Grimes and removed the transition tag from defensive end Olivier Vernon, who signed with the New York Giants.

It remains to be seen what happens when the dust settles and what type of compensation the Eagles will get in return with the draft picks they ultimately use. What is clear is that Monday's trade involved two teams undergoing massive roster reconstruction.

The Eagles are trying to remove the stench of Kelly's brief tenure as personnel guru. They agreed to terms on Monday to trade running back DeMarco Murray to the Tennessee Titans as well, according to Schefter.

All indications are that Miami is doing everything in its power to close the gap in the AFC East, which features the mighty New England Patriots, a New York Jets team that won 10 games in 2015 and the talented Buffalo Bills.

Salary-cap information courtesy of Spotrac.


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