DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins are in rebuilding mode, but the amount of rebuilding being talked about in NFL circles may surprise the biggest Dolfans.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora, league sources said the Dolphins have already talked to other teams to gauge the interest in trading for last year’s number three pick in the NFL Draft, defensive end Dion Jordan.
While Jordan didn’t produce at an incredibly high level, he will be entering only his second year in the league on a team-friendly contract. Jordan was expected to see his role increase this season and give rest to both Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, assuming Wake is still with the team.
That’s because in the same report, LaCanfora said the Dolphins might be open to trading both receiver Mike Wallace and even Wake. LaCanfora said sources close to the trio of Jordan, Wallace, and Wake said a trade would not shock them this offseason.
Out of the three, Wallace would be the hardest to trade due to his large contract (counts $17 million against the salary cap this season). Wake would attract the most interest due to his constant high-level of production and Jordan may have the highest ceiling of the three.
LaCanfora reported the Dolphins want to keep cornerback Brent Grimes, who will become an unrestricted free agent in a few weeks.
The end game for the Dolphins, according to the CBSSports.com report, is to have more help to rebuild the offensive line in front of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The Fins are expected to be in pursuit of left tackle Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe if both become free agnts.
Still, getting rid of Wake would rattle the fans of the franchise as almost nothing has in recent years. The team’s defense has been decent over the last few years thanks in part to Wake’s presence on the field no matter the defensive formation.
He’s a multiple-time Pro Bowler and the heart and soul of the Dolphins defense. Not to mention, he’s arguably the best player the Dolphins have on the roster.
The obvious solution would be to switch to a 3-4 defense. In that alignment, the Dolphins could keep Jared Odrick at one defensive end, re-sign Paul Soliai, add a second defensive end, and then move Koa Misi inside along with Dannell Ellerbe and put Jordan and Wake at outside lienbacker.
But, Philbin’s staff wants to keep a 4-3 defense in place and according to other reports; Jordan has been told he won’t be dealt. The obvious reason behind this would be trading Jordan would generate a cap penalty as would Wallace.
According to the website overthecap.com, if the team trades Wallace, it can create up to $8.45 million in cap room, but if they trade Jordan, they lose roughly $5.33 million in cap space.
Trading Jordan would immediately bring the Philadelphia Eagles to mind as his former head coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly, is the coach in Philly. Plus, the Eagles have a glaring need at defensive end, which Jordan would theoretically fill.