In a surprising move by the Dolphins, they have agreed to acquire five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a future draft pick of their own, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Why Aqib Talib Become an Expendable Piece
Talib goes from the reigning NFC champions to the worst team in football in the Dolphins. While the Rams are 5-3 and contending for a playoff spot in the NFC, the Dolphins are 0-7 and could be on the verge of a winless season in 2019.
The 33-year-old cornerback is one of the most established defensive backs in the NFL, having been named to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 2013 until 2017, along with two All-Pro selections and having served as the starting cornerback for the Denver Broncos‘ Super Bowl team back in 2015.
Ever since signing with the Broncos in 2014, Talib has been linked with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who serves in that position for the Rams and did so for the Broncos before his tenure in Los Angeles.
The move to trade Talib isn’t a surprising one. Since acquiring 25-year-old cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Rams had been attempting to move Talib for salary purposes.
Since acquiring Ramsey, the Rams have seen a clear return — they’re allowing just 10.0 points per game. In other words, the need to retain Talib immediately became moot upon acquiring Ramsey.
The 33-year-old cornerback hadn’t played since Week 5 as the Rams continued to look for a trade partner to take the veteran corner off of their hands.
The Rams had also previously traded Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens in a clear rebuild of their secondary. Los Angeles had allowed 26.8 points per game through the first five games of the season — the last time Peters and Talib started at cornerback together.
Now that Talib is out of the equation, the Rams can now focus their full attention on re-signing Ramsey — who is in the final year of his deal.
Why the Dolphins Acquired Aqib Talib
As far as why the Dolphins are agreeing to this trade — this is a team that has rid itself of all of their star players in a clear tank rebuild — it’s because the Rams are giving them a draft pick as incentive take Talib’s salary off of their hands.
Considering Miami recently traded former first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick — who picked off two passes against the Dolphins in Week 8 — Miami clearly has a need at cornerback. The team ranks dead-last in points allowed at 34.0 per game and in net yards per pass attempt allowed (8.3 yards).
Furthermore, the team ranks second-to-last in touchdowns allowed and 29th in interceptions forced. They’ll hope — or maybe not hope — that Talib can give the defensive backfield a boost.
Going to Miami means Talib will be reunited with Brian Flores; Flores, now the Dolphins’ head coach, was a New England Patriots defensive coach when Talib was in New England back in 2012-13.