The Dolphins have traded Jay Ajayi to the Eagles, according to announcements from both teams. Miami will receive a fourth-round pick in exchange for the running back.
Ajayi goes from the middling Dolphins to the first place Eagles to help shore up their running game. Heading into the season, Ajayi was viewed as one of the league’s most talented young backs, so the deal comes as an absolute shock. The Eagles are giving up very little for the 24-year-old in light of the numbers that he put up in 2016. Ajayi is also a bargain for this year and beyond. His contract calls for a $670K cap charge this year and a $760K cap charge in the following season. He does not have a fifth-year option at the end of his rookie deal since he’s a fifth-round pick, but the Eagles have plenty of time to lock him up between now and the spring of 2019, if they choose to do so.
Through seven games, Ajayi has not been quite as productive as expected. He has 465 yards off of 138 carries, good for a 3.4 yards per carry average. He also added 14 catches for 67 yards. He has yet to see the end zone either via the air or ground. That’s not necessarily a reflection on Ajayi, however, since Miami’s offense has been anything but stable this year. The Dolphins lured Jay Cutler out of his brief retirement to fill in for Ryan Tannehill, but Cutler’s rib injury led to Matt Moore taking over as the starter. As evidenced by Thursday night’s 40-0 blowout, that doesn’t make for an effective offense.
In Philadelphia, Ajayi is expected to team up with LeGarrette Blount to split lead back duties. So far this year, Blount has been the superior back with 467 yards off of 100 carries, giving him a strong 4.7 yards per carry average. He’s also found paydirt three times in total.
Next up for Ajayi and the Eagles is a Sunday tilt against the Broncos. After that, Philly’s newest acquisition gets a bye week before facing the rival Cowboys in Week 11.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.