It has been three weeks since the Super Bowl was played and I still see Miami Dolphins’ fans talking about the Jay Ajayi trade. I don’t want to say that every fan is complaining about this. That would be an exaggeration, but it seems like there’s a fair amount who just won’t let this go. Every post I see regarding the matter follows along the lines. It’s either “We traded one of our best offensive weapons to a Super Bowl winner, that sure taught him a lesson!” or, “Ajayi wins a Super Bowl and we get a fourth-round pick? What a steal!” Obviously, these type of posts are riddled with sarcasm, as well as being drenched in bitterness.
My problem with these complaints is that they seem completely incoherent with the points they are trying to make. First, we did not trade one our best offensive weapons to the Philadelphia Eagles. We traded one of our best 2016 weapons to the Eagles. Ajayi was not producing anywhere near the numbers he was producing in his stellar 2016 season. Ajayi was producing a measly 3.4 yards a carry last season with Miami compared to his outstanding 4.9 yards a carry from 2016. Yes, I know the offensive line had a huge part to play in his lack of production. However, Kenyan Drake was able to average 4.8 yards a carry last year. This was despite running behind a line that had lost starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James and starting right guard Jurmon Bushrod to season-ending injuries.
Head coach Adam Gase made a comment around the mid-way point of last season that there were certain players who needed to worry more about completing their assignment properly rather than trying to make a “home run” every play. Two things can be true at the same time. Yes, this offensive line was preventing the run game from flourishing at times. However, Ajayi also wasn’t being as productive as he could have been. He wasn’t always performing his proper assignment on certain plays.
On to those who have been complaining that Ajayi was traded to a Super-Bowl-winning team. What does it matter how Ajayi’s season ended? I thought the goal of being a Miami fan was to want to see our team win a Super Bowl. Why worry about everyone else? If you want to talk about how Ajayi shouldn’t have been traded in the first place because you believe he should have stayed a Dolphin, I completely understand that. I too struggled with the idea of losing him when I first learned of the trade. However, whether or not it should have happened, it did happen. Now I hope that Drake will be just as successful in 2018, if not more successful, than what Ajayi was in 2016.
Ajayi wasn’t even a main factor in the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. He was a nice addition when the playoffs came around. But there wasn’t one game during that post season where he made or broke a game for them. Philadelphia could have done everything that they were able to in the post season without Ajayi.
Now, to the those who are upset because we were only to get a fourth-round-pick for Ajayi. I don’t know about you, but I am ecstatic that we got a fourth-round pick for a running back that didn’t even have one touchdown for us last year. Let’s not forget that Ajayi’s knee was also starting to become a concern. It started consistently showing up on the injury report each week. I too am guilty of forgetting about how there was concern about Ajayi’s knee heading into the 2015 draft simply because of his production in 2016. One good year doesn’t negate the fact that his long-term health is up for debate. If Ajayi is only able to put in a couple more years of solid production on an NFL team, I’d say that this trade will end being one of the smarter moves we made from the 2017 season.
Look, I understand the pain of being a Miami fan and seeing the mediocrity this team shows year after year. However, being upset because Ajayi found success somewhere else is nothing more than old-fashioned jealousy. Would you consider it healthy behavior to be envious over seeing a former significant other be happier after getting into a new relationship? I hope the answer you’re thinking of is “no”. Being jealous of Ajayi winning with the Eagles does the mind no good.
All we can hope for is that the Dolphins’ make the most with this fourth-round pick and improve next season. Yes, I was an Ajayi fan but I am a Miami fan first and foremost. It was great seeing him win a Super Bowl with the Eagles but my focus will always be with the Dolphins and seeing them hold up that Lombardi Trophy sooner rather than later.