Vegas has the over under on Indianapolis wins at 5.5. This was a useless tidbit for the SoFlo Sea Mammals until today, when they traded cornerback Vontae Davis to the Baby Horses for a second round pick and a conditional sixth.
First? The positives. Vontae Davis wasn’t starting. If he truly had become the nickel corner, flipping him for what is potentially a top 40 pick in the upcoming draft is borderline miraculous. With Davis starting last season we had the 25th ranked pass defense in the NFL, so we weren’t shaking up some elite unit.
Another positive, and GM Jeff Ireland was quick to point this out, is that picks are ammunition for trades that could happen in the very near future. We now possess what could be a high first rounder, two high second rounders, and two thirds. So perhaps there will be a chance to add a key piece to the team, ideally at the wide receiver position, between now and the trade deadline? That might serve to lessen the sting of the Brandon Marshall trade, which in our minds still looms large with every dropped Tannehill pass.
Negatives? Well, although players seem to ultimately understand that this is business, it is also a fraternity. We saw players ask for a meeting with Joe Philbin after the jettisoning of short-time teammate Chad Johnson. Well Vontae Davis has been in the trenches with many of these guys for a while now. There are already murmurs in the locker room. Philbin is new. And Philbin, despite his mild manners, is not treading softly in Davie. There is potential to seriously fragment this locker room.
Another negative? We’ve all seen flashes from Davis. Plenty of talent. There was a time when many of us were certain that he, along with Sean Smith, would make for a top tandem in the league. Smith has been progressing. Davis, for whatever reason, has seemed to stall. A change of scenery could be all he needs, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Vontae flourish in Indiana.
In summary, Joe Philbin has spoken softly but carried a big stick. He’s ruffled some feathers, and time will tell how that plays out. But even if we don’t use these picks to snag some magical #1 wideout, like disgruntled speedster Mike Wallace, Philbin has set himself up to add the type of young, talented players he wants in April. As it stands, five of the first roughly ninety players selected in the 2013 draft will be headed to Miami. Maybe three of the first forty.
It’s Joe’s right to try and make this into the team he wants. Only time will tell if that’s for better or for worse.
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