The Miami Dolphins definitely are valuing salary cap space over draft picks now.
The team traded Mike Wallace and his high cap number and toxic contract for a fifth round pick Friday. That was the same day they traded with New Orleans for Kenny Stills, a less accomplished wide receiver than Wallace, for a third-round pick as long as they took linebacker Dannell Ellebrbe and his toxic contract.
Draft picks for cap space ... And a lesser player.
Obviously, the Dolphins see it as addition by subtraction.
Stills spoke to the South Florida media Saturday. Here is everything he and general manager Dennis Hickey said:
General Manager Dennis Hickey:
(Opening statement) – “Thanks for venturing out on a Saturday. As always, this is an exciting time of the year as we continue to look to add talent. As an organization, we’re always looking through all of the different avenues to add players and obviously there are the signings, there are trades. We’ve had Kenny Stills on our radar for some time here, did a lot of research and watched him as a player. The opportunity to add a talented, young, athletic, fast, consistent receiver, to our roster, was something that we definitely looked into. We were very excited we were able to trade with the New Orleans Saints and add that caliber of player, caliber of person that’s going to be a positive teammate, both on and off the field. We have quite a few connections with Kenny and several of our players on the team, and as we talked to them they were very excited about the opportunity to add such a good player and such a talented, young, ascending player. It’s with that, I want to introduce Kenny Stills, the newest Miami Dolphin.”
(On his connections with Dolphins players) – “Just knowing Damien Williams and Jamar Taylor, San Diego boys being here. Damien was a roommate of mine at Oklahoma. He called me immediately yesterday, it was great to hear from him and know that I’m going someplace where I know a couple of guys and I’m going to be comfortable.” (On how much that increases his comfort level in Miami already knowing) – “It’s always great to go somewhere where you’re going to know other guys and other players. I’m still going to have to meet guys in the locker room and introduce myself. It’s just a starting point for me.”
(On how high he thinks his ceiling is considering he is still just 22 years old) – “I’m not really looking and focusing on my ceiling right now. I’m just excited to be here, happy to be here and working my tail off to make sure that I can maximize my potential.”
(On if there were talks during the trade about extending his contract) – “I have no clue.”
(On being known as the speed receiver on this team and if he likes that label) – “Whose label is that?”
(On the thinking that WR Mike Wallace was the speed receiver and now that he’s gone, he will assume that role) – “I don’t think I was brought in to replace anybody. I’m just here to do whatever I can to help the team win. Mike’s a great player and I’ve looked up to things that he’s done. Like I said, I’m just here to help the team win in any way that I can.”
(On what he learned from New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees that he can take with him) – “A lot. I learned a lot from Drew. He’s a great professional, a great person. The little details and paying attention to the little details every day and coming to work every day with the right attitude and mindset. Just being a professional.”
(On how he would describe himself as a receiver) – “I would describe myself as a complete receiver. Every day, I come to work with the right attitude. I’m trying to get better and maximize myself in all facets of the game. I’m 22 and I’m young and I’m still working on my game. There is still plenty for me to improve on.”
(On which receivers he looked up to as a child) – “I wouldn’t say any heroes, but I loved watching Randy Moss, I loved watching Hines Ward. There are guys that I can name, a list of guys. Just what Randy Moss did in his rookie year and his whole career, it was something that really inspired me.”
(On if he was surprised that the Saints traded him) – “Definitely, I would say that I was surprised. I’m surprised with everything that’s going on in free agency right now throughout the league. Like I said, I’m happy to be here and I was really with my time in New Orleans, I had a great time there and learned a lot from Drew (Brees) and from the rest of the guys and (Head) Coach (Sean) Payton.”
(On his impression of the Dolphins and the direction they are headed) – “It’s a really exciting time here, bringing in Jordan Cameron, Ndamukong Suh and myself. Everything that’s been going on around here, it’s really exciting for everyone and you can tell that they’re looking forward to winning a lot of games and trying to bring a championship here.”
(On if moves like the Dolphins have made thus far excite players) – “Definitely. We’re all in this business to win, so when you see big moves being made like that, you see your opportunities and chances to win going up. Everyone is excited about that.”
(On his friendship with WR Jarvis Landry) – “Jarvis and I actually pretty good friends as well. I had a chance to meet him when I was in New Orleans. Obviously, he did his thing last year and I’m excited to team up with him and get out there and make some plays.”
(On what he was doing when he found out about the trade) – “I was at the gym.”
(On what his initial reaction was to when he found out he was being traded) – “It’s a different process. It’s definitely a whirlwind, knowing that you’ve just been traded. It’s different. I was surprised, I was excited, I had a bunch of emotions. I’m just happy to be here. It’s a fresh start and a new chapter in my life.”
(On if he’s kept track of QB Ryan Tannehill’s development from afar) – “Definitely, we had a chance to play against (Texas) A&M in college, so I saw Ryan playing receiver as well. He’s progressed over the years that he’s been in the league. I’m excited to work with him and get out there and make some plays.”
(On if having DT Ndamukong Suh on the roster helps recruit players, and if it helps the overall feeling of the team when they take the field) – “We know what he’s capable of and what he can do and I definitely think it’s a recruiting tool for other guys on the defense and on the offense as well. We know what we’re going to get from him. That’s exciting for this team.”
(On if being traded to a great city like Miami eases the shock of being traded) – “Miami is a great place, I’m excited to be here with this team regardless of the city. This is team is on the up and up and we want to win games. That’s what I’m excited about.”
(On how much time he’s spent in South Florida) – “Not much.”
(On if he’s been to South Florida before) – “Once, for a second to catch a flight.”
(On if anybody has told him what his role will be yet) – “No. I’ve expressed I’m here to do anything I can to help the team win. I think they will use me that way.”