The NFL is aflutter tonight because the Indianapolis Colts are working on a big trade and, of course, no one really knows the specifics but fans across the league are speculating it involves their team.
Miami fans being no different, there is much speculation the Dolphins might be involved. And that speculation further includes the idea that Vontae Davis is the player the Dolphins have on the trade block.
Before we go that far afield let me share the facts:
Indy owner Jim Irsay tweeted Thursday, "SERIOUS TRADE WINDS Swirling! We're talking given (sic) up a high pick for SERIOUS Vet/Starter! ...these deals often crumble n don't reach completion"
Then the Colts' colorful owner added, "Colts fans.. Your GM Mr. Grigson isn't afraid to roll the dice n aggressively improve OUR Indiananpolis Colts n my check book stands ready."
Well, the Colts are in serious need of offensive line help. They are also known to be needing cornerback help. So Dallas cornerback Michael Jenkins comes to mind. Except the Cowboys, through sources, are denying Jenkins is going to be dealt.
And Davis comes to mind because he lost his starting job to Richard Marshall this training camp when he came to camp overweight and out of shape. Davis is back in shape now, but he has still not been able to regain his starting job. And, if you have any memory, you know Davis has a history for being suspended -- having suffered that fate once last year when he showed up late and hung over to a practice after a night of drinking and also in 2010 when he was similarly kept out of the starting lineup but got into the game in the second quarter for breaking a team rule.
Aside from that, it must be said, Davis is not a star. He's a roller coaster -- sometimes very good, sometimes bad. He averages three interceptions and 10 passes defensed per season.
None of this means Davis is about to be dealt. That must be said. But I have an uneasy feeling about this. Call it instinct.
I did try to reach out to sources to either confirm or deny that Davis is on the block. No one returned a text. Not a one. This, by the way, is rare. The only time this happened in the past 12 months is when I asked if Chad Johnson would be released. Obviously, no one wanted to say anything until the player was actually cut. Afterward, I got confirmation texts on the topic.
All I'm saying is I'm getting the silent treatment on this topic and that raises flags for me.
[Update: At 1:56 AM I got a text message back from a team source. The source was aware of what is being said about Davis and called it, "rumors." So that suggests this is not serious.]
Having said all this, I believe we'll get a very, very clear message on whether Davis is indeed on the block Friday evening when the Dolphins play the Falcons. If Davis does not play you can just about bet the Dolphins are trying to deal the former first-round draft pick.
So would I be surprised if Davis is traded? At the risk of sounding naive, yes I would. He's only 24 years old. He's a kid. There is reason to be optimistic he might mature in the next couple of years and become the player his gifts suggest he could be.
He is also cheap. Davis is signed through 2013 and because he's still on his rookie contract, he'll be making only $957,500 this season and $1,136,250 next year. That is a bargain for a starting cornerback. That is a bargain for a No. 3 cornerback.
Even if Davis is a failure as a starter, the value of a No. 3 cornerback in the NFL is huge. That player is on the field anywhere 50 to 65 percent of the time in today's pass-happy league. I would suppose the Dolphins would be more comfortable with Davis in the game than Nolan Carroll, who is a nice player, but hardly a lockdown cornerback with the same potential as Davis.
The only way this is a great idea from a purely football standpoint -- off-field and drinking issues notwithstanding -- is if the Dolphins get a first-round pick in return for Davis. That's what they paid for him. A second rounder? Yes, the Colts may not be a very good team and might again draft quite high next year.
But it's simply bad form to continue giving up players that cost high picks in exchange for lower picks. That's what the Dolphins did in trading Brandon Marshall for two third-round picks after giving up two second-round picks for him.
So getting a second or third-round pick for Davis after drafting him in the first round would feel wrong. There is, of course, a caveat to that. What if the Dolphins could get a second-round pick and tight end Coby Fleener or perhaps a wide reciever.
Vontae Davis for a second-rounder and T.Y. Hilton?
I might do that.