Tank for Tua just became a lot more real.
Miami’s fire sale, er, trade of Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans on Saturday pretty much confirms what has seemed evident all summer: The Dolphins are not about to win now.
Not when two of the team’s best players are shown the door before hitting Week 1.
It’s no wonder that edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney — shipped by the Texans to Seattle after meeting with Miami but apparently balking at accepting any deal that would have sent him to the Dolphins — wanted no part of it.
Tunsil anchored the wobbly offensive line from the premium left tackle post. Stills is a playmaking receiver who was such a community pillar that he won the team’s community service award in each of the past three years. Now they are gone and gone.
In Stills’ case, though, the snap suspicion is that his move is hardly just about football after he questioned team owner Stephen Ross’ decision to host a fundraiser for Donald Trump in early August — and drew the ire of new coach Brian Flores. That was followed by Stills’ spot-on criticism of the NFL’s new entertainment/social justice operative, Jay-Z, who had the audacity to declare that the NFL has moved past kneeling during the national anthem to protest social conditions.
With Stills’ social consciousness and willingness to speak out from his NFL platform, it quickly became clear he was not Flores’ kind of guy. At least as one of his players.
That Stills made headlines for significant reasons that had nothing to do with football probably went over with Flores like a flash flood. Flores publicly chastised probably the most respected voice in the locker room for going public with his questions of Ross, who established RISE in the name of social equality yet pandered for a President with so much stain on his track record. Then the coach thought it was a good idea to blast eight consecutive Jay-Z songs during practice as some apparent mental exercise. Or statement.
Even so, in considering the exchange — Miami picked up first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, plus a second-round choice in 2021 — it just might have been driven by the football.