The NFL Network Top 100 Tough on Dolphins
So we officially now know the Miami Dolphins will not get one player on the NFL Network Top 100 list, which is surprising when you consider some of the players on the roster but also not surprising when you consider the team's 2019 season had a negative impact on how it was viewed.
Maybe the most worthy candidate the Dolphins had on their current is wide receiver DeVante Parker, who (again) led all AFC wide receivers in 2019 in receiving yards (1,202) and touchdown catches (9).
His omission from the list was noted by former teammate Kenyan Drake, who gave him a shout-out on Twitter.
For some Dolphins fans, it might be doubly painful to see the list include four players who were on the Miami roster as recently as 2017, including two who went to training camp at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
The four former Dolphins players on the list were safety Minkah Fitzpatrick at number 35, wide receiver Jarvis Landry at number 61, tackle Laremy Tunsil at 66 and quarterback Ryan Tannehill at 68.
The four of them not only are former Dolphins players, all four of them were traded.
And though the circumstances were different, they were trades the Dolphins weren't wrong to make — except maybe for one.
Of course, the one dubious trade in that group was the one involving Fitzpatrick because it came mostly, by all accounts, as the result of a disagreement between the player and Coach Brian Flores about how he should be utilized on defense, with Fitzpatrick supposedly telling his coach he wasn't fond of being used at certain spots.
The Dolphins got a first-round pick in return for Fitzpatrick, himself a first-round pick in the 2018 draft, though that return pales in comparison to what the New York Jets just got for safety Jamal Adams, especially considering Fitzpatrick joined Adams as an All-Pro safety last year.
The bigger issue, though, was the decision to trade a good player instead of continuing to try to make things work because giving up on good players for non-performance reasons isn't good business.
While it's human nature to bemoan the fact the other three players also were on the Top 100 list, there was nothing wrong with any of those trades.
Tannehill had a great 2019 season with the Titans, no doubt, but the dude had seven seasons as the starting quarterback of the Dolphins and his performance was remarkable average. With Tennessee last year, he had the benefit of a very good offensive line, a great performance by running back Derrick Henry and a strong, opportunistic defense.
If you remember, that was the formula that got the Dolphins in the playoffs in 2016 when Tannehill had his best season in Miami. The lesson here is that Tannehill can succeed if he's got all the elements around him.
But after seven seasons, it was time for a change for both him and the team.
Landry was traded during the 2018 offseason after putting record numbers for a Dolphins wide receivers, but the issue with him centered around his contract.
Landry eventually got the huge deal he wanted from the Cleveland Browns, but there's always the question of whether he's worth that kind of money for the impact he makes.
Yes, he's a brilliant receiver with good hands, but is he worth $15.5 million a year (his cap number over the duration of his five-year contract considering he's averaged more than 12.1 yards per catch or caught more than six touchdown passes only one in six NFL seasons?
Sure, you could argue the Dolphins should have hung on to him, but there's nothing wrong with that trade.
Finally we get to Tunsil, and this one came down simply to what Houston was willing to give up the Dolphins. Tunsil is a very good left tackle, but could the Dolphins in good conscience have turned down two first-round picks and a second-rounder for him?
The answer would be no.
After the trade, GM Chris Grier joked that even Tunsil said he wouldn't have turned down the trade.
So, yes, in a way it's painful to see four former Dolphins players on the top 100, but that's life in the NFL.
As for the Dolphins not even having one representative, well, that's weak.
But that's what happens when you start off 0-7 and finish 5-11.