By Jeremy Clements
The St. Louis Rams were able to get a king’s ransom from the Washington Redskins in exchange for the 2nd overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft. Few would criticize the deal, but what if the Rams could’ve gotten a better deal? According to multiple sources, the Miami Dolphins had been shopping pro bowl wide out Brandon Marshall since February. Why weren’t the Rams discussing a deal with Miami for Marshall? Something the likes of Marshall, a 3rd round pick this year and next year’s first round pick. That deal just makes too much sense to not consider.
The Rams have a huge void to fill at the wide receiver position, as they haven’t had a receiver the quality of Marshall since early 2000’s when Issac Bruce and Torry Holt were still rocking the blue and gold. Meanwhile the Dolphins have tolerated mediocrity for years and are in dire need of a franchise quarterback. Trading up to the second overall spot would have put them in position to draft Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, a player who head coach Joe Philbin and the rest of the league have been gushing over since the combine.
So again, the deal obviously makes sense, so why didn’t it get done?
From the Rams point of view you could assume they were weary of Marshall’s personality. He’s suffered from an anxiety disorder, missed time after being stabbed by his wife, and most recently was named in a police investigation outside of a club where he allegedly punched a woman in the face. As the organization is rebuilding, perhaps they chose to avoid bringing a possible headache to the locker room. Then again, it’s not like the Rams haven’t had players in the past who have had brushes with the law. Example A: Leonard Little, who was drafted by the Rams in the third round of the 1998 draft but missed the first 8 games of the 1999 season after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter. He went on to spend ten more years with the Rams before retiring in 2009.
But wait, the Dolphins weren’t shopping him because of his off field issues. In fact the reason they traded him was because he didn’t fit in the offensive system that Philbin wants to install in south Florida. Again, I am left scratching my head as to why the Rams didn’t inquire about a deal for Miami. Of course, the Dolphins wouldn’t admit it if they were trying to move him for those reasons, but the fact that they practically gave him away does make me wonder.
In any event, trading for Marshall would have eliminated the Rams need for a wide out and would have allowed them to address a different need with the 8th overall pick had they traded with Miami. By securing Marshall and then drafting someone like defensive end Melvin Ingram or offensive tackle Riley Reiff the Rams would have been able to fill holes in their roster and solidified themselves as a legitimate contender in the NFC West.
On the flip side, the Miami Dolphins must have something against drafting a quarterback in the first round. The franchise hasn’t selected a quarterback in the opening round since taking Dan Marino with the first overall pick in the 1983 entry draft. In fact, the last quarterback the Dolphins drafted was Pat White who was taken with the 44th overall pick in 2009. However, now that the team has lost out on both Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, many experts are projecting they will draft Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill with the 8th overall pick. Then again there is no comparing RG3 to Tannehill, those two aren’t even on the same level in terms of overall talent. Any NFL GM wouldn’t hesitate to take the 2012 Heisman winner over the former Aggie any day. I mean it’s not exactly rocket science.
It’s fair to assume the asking price for the 2nd pick was too high for the Dolphins as the Rams were seeking multiple first round picks and a second round selection in return for their coveted 2nd overall selection. So maybe that drove owner Jeff Ireland away from calling Les Snead in St. Louis to inquire about the possible trade. However, that seems unlikely given the fact that everyone who follows the NFL knows that the Rams need a true number one receiver.
We will never know if this deal was ever discussed or if it would have even been brought up in either front office. In the end this could have been one of the best trades that never happened. The Rams would have had an elite receiver for Sam Bradford to throw to through the 2015 season without having a major affect on the Rams salary cap. The Dolphins would have been able to draft their first franchise quarterback since 1983 and begin to reassert the Dolphins brand, similar to the way Cam Newton affected the perception and image of the Carolina Panthers, returning it to its former glory as one of the most respected organizations in the league.
For all intense and purposes, this deal would have been a win for both sides, but since it didn’t happen Rams Nation can sit and dream about the “what if’s” while they watch Marshall haul in touchdown passes from Jay Cutler in Chicago while Dolphins fans continue to settle for mediocrity an become less relevant in their own city.
Thanks for reading.