DeVante Parker has been doubted, slighted, and — in the fever dreams of many Dolphins fans — traded or cut thousands of times.
But he has survived — at least for now.
Parker, the tantalizing yet disappointing wide receiver, ended his day Tuesday the same way he began it:
As a member of the Miami Dolphins.
Just as Adam Gase promised the day before.
On one of the craziest NFL trade deadline days in recent memory, the Dolphins stood out by standing pat.
They did augment the roster at a position of need — through free agency. The Dolphins on Tuesday signed defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, a former first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009 who was released by the Washington Redskins on Oct. 16.
Hood, 31, probably will not be a panacea for the Dolphins’ major issues against the run, but he should help. In 133 career games with the Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears and Redskins, he has recorded 225 tackles, 14 sacks and five fumble recoveries.
He will presumably get reps at defensive tackle with Vincent Taylor out for the season with a foot injury, but has also played defensive end in 3-4 systems. On Tuesday, the Dolphins placed Taylor on injured reserve.
The Dolphins are leaking oil on defense, allowing an absurd 600 rushing yards in their last three games.
But as Gase argued Monday, improvement will have to come from within.
“We’re all right,” Gase said. “There needs to be some things that we clean up that we kind of need to address and adjust. That’s part of football and that happens every year a lot of times that people don’t know about. We’re not going to sit there and do the same exact thing over and over again and think it’s going to fix itself.”
Gase later added: “I would say like losing William Hayes, he has been like our enforcer in the run game, he’s not there anymore. We have to figure out a different way to handle things because he would just be like, ‘Boom, set the edge,’ and that was it. It was done. It wasn’t anybody else. He did it that well. We could adjust to the other side to say, ‘All right, we can help here.’ Right now, we need all 11 guys to do a great job together because we don’t have one guy that could just handle one side or one linebacker that makes every play. We need to work as a group.”
Gase also telegraphed the team’s trade deadline day plan Monday, saying: “I like this group. … We have the right guys.”
So there would be no roster blow-up. But no spending spree either.
Other teams did not show such restraint.
▪ The Rams added to their embarrassment of riches on the defensive line, acquiring Jaguars pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. for a third-round pick.
▪ The Eagles gave up a third-round pick for Lions receiver Golden Tate.
▪ Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas went from Denver to Houston for essentially a fourth-round pick.
▪ Packers villain Ty Montgomery gets a fresh start in Baltimore (at the low, low price of a 2020 seventh). And Green Bay wasn’t done, trading safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for a 2019 fourth.
One other significant roster move Tuesday: The Seahawks cut ex-Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall, potentially ending an at-times brilliant, at-times troubled career. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Marshall still wants to play, but it’s hard to see what a robust market for a 34-year-old receiver with just 11 catches in 2018.