First-year head coach Brian Flores has been saying it since March and said it again Sunday: The Miami Dolphins are not tanking in 2019.
The claim sounded less convincing after Miami parted with three players in deals that netted mostly draft picks.
Even before the Dolphins swung the weekend trades, they were widely expected to be among the NFL’s worst teams. The departures of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Kiko Alonso, who made a combined 137 starts from 2016 through ’18 for the Dolphins, increase the likelihood they’ll bring up the rear.
The deals also make it more probable the Dolphins will go first in the 2020 draft, which fits neatly with the need for a franchise quarterback as part of the rebuilding project ordered in January by owner Stephen Ross.
So are they tanking?
“No, we’re not,” Flores said. “We’re going to try to win every game. It’s disheartening to hear people even say that.”
Miami completed the trade Sunday that sent Tunsil, Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Texans for 2020 and 2021 first-round picks, a 2021 second-round pick, tackle Julien Davenport and cornerback Johnson Bademosi, a Stanford alum.
“This was something we couldn’t turn down,” Flores said.
He said the departure of Stills was about football and not politics. Stills recently criticized Ross’ support of President Trump.
Alonso was traded to the Saints for linebacker Vince Biegel, who has yet to start an NFL game.
The deals leave the Dolphins with a passel of draft picks in the next two years, and a salary-cap situation that will be the envy of the NFL. But that won’t help in 2019.
Chargers end Gordon talks: Melvin Gordon’s holdout with the Los Angeles Chargers will not end with a new contract.
General manager Tom Telesco said during a conference call that the Chargers have informed Gordon’s agents that they have suspended contract talks until after the season. The Pro Bowl running back is on the did not report list after missing training camp and the preseason.
The Chargers host Indianapolis on Sunday.
“We have to get focused on the season and our next opponent,” Telesco said. “So when or if Melvin reports, he’ll play this season on his current contract, and we’ll just revisit it after the season.”
Briefly: A person with knowledge of the deal said that the Chiefs and running back LeSean McCoy agreed to a $4 million, 1-year deal. … The Jets addressed their kicking woes by adding Kaare Vedvik, who was claimed off waivers from the Vikings. He replaces Taylor Bertolet, who was waived. … Cornerback Joe Haden and the Steelers agreed to a three-year, $32 million contract that will keep Haden in Pittsburgh through 2021. … Carolina released former 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith, running back Elijah Holyfield and cornerback Kevon Seymour. … The Broncos claimed quarterback Brandon Allen on waivers from the Rams; he’ll serve as Joe Flacco’s backup. … The Bears signed Pro Bowl offensive lineman Cody Whitehair to a five-year contract extension through the 2024 season.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Head-coach-Brian-Flores-says-it-again-Dolphins-14406618.php.