Over the past couple weeks or so, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker has been a hot name across the NFL news wire, for a variety of reasons. First came the news that, once again, Parker had been injured. A significant contributor to Parker’s disappointing start to his career has been injuries. Parker is once again sidelined, this time with a broken finger. The injury shouldn’t affect Parker’s availability for the regular season, but it’s just one more thing in a long line of injuries the receiver has had to deal with.
Just days after his injury, multiple news outlets — including Bleacher Report and Pro Football Talk — reported that the Dolphins are not interested in trading the young receiver. After spending a first-round selection on the young receiver out of Louisville, it makes sense the team wants to keep him in the fold. He has all the talent in the world; it’s just a matter of unlocking his potential. However, should the team be so steadfast in their refusal to deal the receiver? It may be in the best interest of not only the team but the receiver himself, to trade him. Parker could get a fresh start somewhere else, and the Dolphins could get some much-needed help elsewhere.
It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins’ brass is unhappy with the training camp performance of their corners. Third-year corner Xavien Howard is firmly entrenched as the team’s number one corner, but there is uncertainty at the position beyond him. In the past few days, the team has experimented with Bobby McCain lined up opposite Howard, with first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick lined up at the nickel.
While I like the idea of this personnel grouping, I imagine the front office would prefer to keep McCain as the nickel corner. Unhappy with the practice efforts of Torry McTyer, Cordrea Tankersley, and Tony Lippett, the team would be wise to explore a trade. Parker is still young, and a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs to unlock his potential. That potential is something every coach worth his salt is going to see and think “I can fix him.” Dealing Parker for a talented young corner to line up opposite Howard could be the move that is everyone’s best interest.
If the Dolphins were to shop Devante Parker, what kind of trade market would there be for the young receiver? What would the team be able to get back in return? Those are the questions whenever a player is rumored to be traded. For a player still as young and talented as Parker, I would think league-wide interest would be strong. Several teams are hurting for help at the position. Three that come to mind right away are the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts. Each team has — at least to some degree — a shaky receiver situation that could be improved with the addition of Parker, regardless of whether he ever reaches his full potential.
Of those three, the Bills are probably the least likely to trade for Parker. While they have a glaring need at the position — their opening day starters as of right now looks to be Kelvin Benjamin, Andre Holmes, and Corey Coleman… yikes — they have more pressing matters. If the Bills are going to be a factor in the trade market, it’s likely going to be for a veteran quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater. Presumptive opening day starter A.J. McCarron has been sidelined with a broken collarbone, and the team is likely to want a veteran to start the season before handing the keys to the car over to first-round pick Josh Allen. Combine that with the teams being division foes, it’s hard for me to fathom that going down.
It feels weird to say, but I genuinely believe the Cleveland Browns are an up-and-coming team. The franchise has been dreadful nearly every season since their return to the league, but thanks to an influx of young talent in recent years, things are looking up. They have a few studs on defense, some terrific talent at running back and tight end, and a potential franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield. For all the optimism, the wide receiver position is still a dumpster fire. Beyond newcomer Jarvis Landry and the notoriously unreliable Josh Gordon, the cupboard is pretty bare in Cleveland.
Would they have interest in Devante Parker? Maybe. The issue here would be two-fold. First, they’ve already pulled off one trade with the Dolphins for the aforementioned Landry. Would the two teams want to make another swap at the same position? Secondly, do the Browns have anything that Miami would want in return for Parker? They have a bevy of draft picks in the coming draft, but that’s by design, and I’m not sure how willing they’d be to give them up. There’s also not much talent in their cornerback group that Miami would potentially see as a starter opposite Howard. I don’t see Cleveland as a likely destination, either.
That leaves the Indianapolis Colts. Of the three teams listed, they’re the most solid at the wide receiver spot already. They have perennial stand-out T.Y. Hilton already in the fold and drafted one of my favorite under-the-radar receivers in this past year’s draft with University of Northern Iowa’s Daurice Fountain. However, with a healthy Andrew Luck returning for the first time in what seems like forever, the Colts are likely eager to give him a bit more help. Indianapolis could be a good place for Parker.
Luck, when healthy, is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. There also wouldn’t be pressure to be “the guy” with Hilton already established as the team’s #1 option. It’s also closer to Louisville, where Parker grew up and played his college football. That could appeal to him. With some young talent at cornerback, and maybe a mid-to-late draft pick, the Colts could make an intriguing destination in a Devante Parker trade. It could be in the best interest of everyone involved to make something happen.