Not long after Dennis Hickey became general manager of the Miami Dolphins he got a phone call from the Philadelphia Eagles. They were interested in making a trade for Dion Jordan.
The Dolphins were not interested.
It was a short conversation and that was that. Reports that the Dolphins were actively shopping Jordan (and others) were not correct. But one team -- the Eagles -- were indeed interested in the third overall selection of the 2013 draft.
And so they reached out to Miami.
The reasons the Eagles were interested?
Jordan was a great prospect. He's 6-6 and 250 pounds and can run like a gazelle. He can cover tight ends and attack the pass pocket. He can be a 3-4 OLB or a strongside linebacker in the 4-3 or, as the Dolphins are attempting, can also be a 4-3 defensive end -- although the last position is not as natural for him.
The reasons the Dolphins weren't interested in parting ways with Jordan?
It would involve severe cap implications to trade him. They weren't likely to get an equal return on their draft investment on Jordan as the third overall selection in the 2013 draft -- a first and second rounder pick. And all that was true about Jordan as a prospect for Philadelphia remained true for the Dolphins.
There's also the fact Miami's best pass-rusher, Cameron Wake, is 32 years old and has only two more years remaining on his contract. Jordan is 24 years old. He is supposed to be the future.
So there was logic in the Dolphins showing no interest in moving Jordan.
You think the Dolphins wish they could have a do-over on this opportunity?
If they had known then what they know now about Jordan, I'm thinking that phone call with the Eagles might have gone a lot longer. And it might have led to more phone calls. And a trade.
That's because right now Dion Jordan -- who has tested once for banned amphetemines and once for so-called street drugs since March -- is serving what will eventually amount to a six-game suspension. The suspension is costing him $1,653,358.50. But it is also costing him his reputation such as it is.
Jordan is fighting drug demons that have haunted his family in the past.
And he has proven very little on the field.
No. He is not a bust as many fans are shouting at the top of their lungs. One does not categorize a player who had his rookie season detoured by shoulder injuries and his second season seemingly derailed by two drug suspensions as a bust.
He is, I remind you, only 24 years old.
But the benefit of the doubt is now gone for Jordan. The burden of proof is now heavier because he must not only prove that he can play (which he has not) but that he can stay clean (which so far he has not done, either).
So what to do?
Well, it is doubtful whatever wholesale offer the Dolphins were getting for Jordan before is still on the table. That window of opportunity is closed. In the offseason the team may or may not try to deal Jordan but, again, no one will pay what Miami did to get him.
Jordan's value is limited now.
Will the Eagles be interested in the future? No idea.
I suppose it all depends on what Jordan does with the 10 games when he returns from his suspension(s). If he's a great player and a clean player, the Dolphins would likely keep him.
If he's not ... they'll probably wish they had listened to the Eagles last offseason.