The Miami Dolphins traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick Tuesday, thus saying so long to a 24-year-old running back who rushed for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns in his only full season as a starter.
Why did Miami make this move?
“Everyone is saying either Adam Gase is a moron for signing off on this or they’re trying to punish Ajayi for speaking out too much against the coaching staff,” WQAM Miami evening host Alex Donno said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think the real headline here is they don’t trust his knees. I think that’s the primary reason they traded Ajayi. I don’t think they look at Ajayi as a long-term answer. It’s obvious the Dolphins, right now, they’re not a contender. They’re not really going anywhere this year. They have to be thinking a year, two, three years down the road, whereas Philadelphia is in win-now mode.”
Ajayi’s numbers were down across the board this year. He averaged just 3.4 yards per carry – this after averaging 4.9 a season ago – and failed to score a touchdown in seven games.
There were also health concerns.
“If you look at Ajayi, his knees were a question mark coming out of Boise State,” Donno said. “There were some teams that took him off their draft board completely because he doesn’t have enough cartilage in his knees. It’s why he fell all the way to the fifth round when he’s clearly more talented than that. I think the primary reason they shipped Ajayi out of town was because they don’t think he has maybe more than a year, year-and-a-half left in those knees. They have to sit the guy out of practice one day every week. They have to have him on a maintenance program at 24 years old because his knees aren’t really healthy enough to go through that weekly grind. That, to me, is the primary issue here.”
But not the only issue.
“I do think they had some issues with his attitude,” Donno said. “I think that takes a backseat to the knee issues, but Adam Gase (said last week that Ajayi) needs to stop trying to hit home runs and (instead take) the four or five yards (that are available). So I think he had a problem with the way Ajayi was approaching some of his carries. We know Ajayi has a very strong personality, Adam Gase has a very strong personality – there was probably some discord behind the scenes. I think that was a factor as well. I thought they could have gotten better than a fourth-round pick for him, but that probably shows you how desperate they were to ship him away.”
The Dolphins (4-3), who are coming off a 40-0 loss in Baltimore, host the Raiders (3-5) on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.