Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Oct 2017

Dolphins Trade Ajayi to Eagles

We almost overlooked this with all the other insanity going on at the trade deadline, but the Miami Dolphins have traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick.

On Thursday night against Baltimore, Ajayi gained 21 yards on his first carry, then 2 yards on his other 13 carries. Dolphins coach Adam Gase had harsh words after the game: "We've got to stop trying to hit home runs all the time. It's on the running back. Do your job. It's not hard to do."

Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake will presumably split running back duties for the Dolphins, who somehow are alive in the playoff race at 4-3 despite scoring a league-worst 13.1 points per game.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 31 Oct 2017

18 comments, Last at 03 Nov 2017, 11:23am by ChrisS


by johonny :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:25pm

My expectation for the offense this week is 0 points, so they can hardly under perform...right?

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 9:59pm

You read my mind, buddy. Still, their only chance of going higher than 0 points was Ajayi having a good game. I never saw this one coming. And who's going to run the ball now? Damien Williams? Drake? Funny thing is, Alex Collins was picked off waivers by the Ravens. He would have been an excellent pickup as the backup for Miami. All their other backs are 3rd down backs and special teamers.

To top things off, they've already won 4 games and placed themselves out of contention for the top overall pick. They can't even tank properly. It's just sad.

Finally, the compensation seems kind of low. Then again, if he's such an undisciplined RB, maybe that's the reason why. Honestly, I hadn't noticed it before. Probably because the blocking sucks so bad.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:48am

"he's such an undisciplined RB"..."Probably because the blocking sucks so bad."

To be fair, the former run-game coordinator/offensive line coach was literally on drugs. Maybe it takes time to undo that damage.

by billprudden :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:10am

I hope the editors include this comment in next year's The Year in Qoutes.

by Mike B. In Va :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 5:56pm


by James-London :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:33pm

Late run to the play... er top 5 pick coming.

Given they can't possibly sign them both long-term, shame they didn't move Landry or Parker

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by lenny65 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:28pm

IMO you're right, they should have tried harder to deal Landry as right now he probably has more value.

by Richie :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:55pm

The Dolphins (4-0) and Vikings (6-0) are the only 2 teams to win every game this year in which they scored at least 16 points.

by lenny65 :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:51pm

Here's what seems to be going on here. The Dolphins offense has gone to s**t thanks to poor OL and QB play thus Gase wanted Ajayi to utilize more of a "take what you can get" approach as opposed to always looking for the big play. The offense has taken a step backwards from last season and the big play opportunities aren't there like they were when he broke out as the starter in 2016. The perception was that Ajayi was ignoring his coaches and the way Gase sees it the ice under him right now is a little too thin right now to allow the perception that he's losing control. Plus there is the perception that Ajayi's knees are simply not going to hold up thus they felt they could live without him.

IMO they didn't get enough from a team trying to make a serious SB run. On the other hand perhaps that's what a guy who only does one thing really well is worth right now.

by RickD :: Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:42pm

I'm fascinated both that the Dolphins would trade their #1 RB when they are 4-3 and that they couldn't get more in return than a fourth-round pick.

This bodes well for those of us who own Ajayi in a fantasy league. :) Or does it? Word from Philly is that Blount will still be their #1 back. But surely Ajayi will get some carries, too.

by fyo :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 2:47am

Ajayi needs to learn the playbook, so of course Blount will still be the #1 back. The question is for how long. Ajayi was hit two to five yards in the backfield on almost every play last week, winding up with more yards after contact than actual yards.

Give him even decent blocking and I'm convinced he'll thrive.

by Richie :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 2:52pm

Not an identical situation (since there was also a contract renewal in play), but last year the Patriots were trying to win a Super Bowl and traded away Jamie Collins because (apparently) he wasn't doing what the coaches wanted him to do.

by ChrisS :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:23am

Gase, "It's on the running back. Do your job. It's not hard to do" I guess I would say the same thing to Gase, "he is your employee do your job"

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 9:01pm

Isn't that exactly what Gase just did, from your perspective?

by ChrisS :: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:23am

I guess trading him is "a" solution. Making him run the way you want to is probably a better solution.

by johonny :: Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:44pm

Good teams focus on placing players in positions to utilize their strengths, bad teams focus on player's weaknesses and fail to place player in positions to utilize their strength. Here Miami removes a running back that doesn't "fit" their system (they have a system?) from the team, rather than try to adjust their offense to that player. All of which means more -5 yrd passes to Landry and 37 yrd punts. But hey those plays fit the system they want to run!

by Will Allen :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:07pm

Luck goes on IR. Ugh, and damn Irsay/Griggs/Pagano....

by LyleNM :: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 5:20pm

And now Watson is gone too.