With the NFL trade deadline set for 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins have decisions to make.
Will they buy? Will they sell? Will they stand pat and keep the roster they have intact for the second half of the regular season?
Coach Adam Gase said he has not thought too much about what might happen on Tuesday, opting to leave those decisions to general manager Chris Grier and vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum. However, with the playoffs still a possibility, Gase said it would be tough to fathom a situation where the Dolphins come out on the selling side of the trade deadline.
“It’s highly unlikely that something like that would happen,” Gase said Monday.
Even if the Dolphins were to make moves, there is one name Gase said to throw out from the conversation: DeVante Parker.
When asked if Parker, who had a career-high 134 receiving yards in Miami’s loss to the Houston Texans on Thursday just days after his agent blasted Gase, to be with the team after Tuesday, Gase responded “Yeah. I do.”
There are moves to be made around the league this season. Marquee players such as New York Giants safety Landon Collins, Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas and Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver DeSean Jackson among a slew of others reportedly being available on the trading block.
But Gase is letting Grier and Tannenbaum focus on those moves while he prepares the Dolphins for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
“When we have to get together and some kind of decision is made, [Grier and Tannenbaum] lay everything out so black and white for me that it makes decisions really easy for my part of the vote,” Gase said. “Those guys do a great job of laying things out the right way. They have a vision of how this thing should be and if something came up to where they thought that was best for us, it’s not too hard to convince me.”
Still in the hunt
Another reason for Gase’s hesitation to sell this season: The Dolphins, for all intents and purposes, are still in the thick of the AFC playoff race at the halfway point even after dropping four of their past five games.
The Dolphins are one of eight teams with a record of at least .500 in the AFC. At 4-4, they are one game behind the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC’s second wild card spot after Week 8.
“It’s [about] who wins the second half of the season,” Gase said.
Right now, Gase pointed to the Los Angeles Rams (8-0) and the Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) as the class of the NFC and AFC so far this season.
After that, Gase said, it’s fair game.
“Everybody in this room probably watched games [Sunday]. There’s a lot of football where ‘Are we better than this team? Are we better than this team?’” Gase said. “There are two or three teams per side that have separated themselves where you noticed, ‘Wow that team is really good.’ … Past that, I feel like a whole bunch of people are clumped together. That’s how it’s going right now.”
Gase did not have an update Monday on wide receiver Kenny Stills, who sat out the loss to Houston on Thursday with a groin injury. Thursday was just the second game Stills has missed in his six-year NFL career.
“He’s a guy that doesn’t want to miss games,” Gase said. “I know it killed him, but it was out of his control. I know he’s going to do everything he can to get back to this game. I don’t want to put him out there too early, now he has a setback and we lose him for longer time.”
In addition to Stills and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins are also hoping to get defensive end Charles Harris and tight end A.J. Derby back from injury. Offensive lineman Ted Larsen and defensive tackle Vincent Taylor also left the Texans game with injuries.
“I like this group,” Gase said. “I’d like to stay healthy from here on out. I don’t think we have much more room for losing guys for the year. I think we’ve maxed out on that.”
▪ The Dolphins announced on Monday that they have waived safety Maurice Smith and defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman. No corresponding roster moves were announced.