DeVante Parker

Make-Or-Break Year: Dolphins WR DeVante Parker

Can a player be on the verge of a “make-or-break year” right after signing an extension with their team? In the case of Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker – yes. 

Parker is under contract with Miami through the 2020 season thanks to a new deal inked in March, but little is assured for the fifth-year pro. Initially, Parker was set to play out the 2019 season on his fifth-year option, which would have paid him $9.4MM. Instead, the Dolphins were poised to rip up that contract after another disappointing year, so they were able to leverage Parker into a lower-risk pact. Parker’s restructured deal guarantees him just $4.5MM in 2019 with a non-guaranteed $5MM in 2020.

In other words, the Dolphins stand to have a solid value in Parker if he is able to turn things around and live up to his billing as the No. 14 overall pick in the 2015 draft. Meanwhile, if he gets injured and/or underwhelms like he did in 2018, the Dolphins can walk and focus their resources elsewhere in 2020.

As the Dolphins enter a rebuilding season, they want to know what they have in Parker, a player who entered the league with tons of hype and wound up as the third WR selected in his draft class. The 26-year-old reportedly had a solid spring and new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick may prove to be a better fit for his style than longtime starter Ryan Tannehill.

To date, Parker’s best season came in 2016, when he finished with 56 catches for 744 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll have to top that if he wants to continue to ply his craft in South Beach beyond this season.

If he falters, the Dolphins can decline his $5MM option for 2020 and walk away with no fiscal penalty.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, DeVante Parker Agree To Extension

The Dolphins have been quiet so far in free agency, but they’re on the verge of locking up one of their own. Miami is “closing in on” a two-year extension with receiver DeVante Parker, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

In a separate tweet, Pelissero reports the two-year deal will be worth up to $13MM including incentives. It’s been a tumultuous ride for Parker in Miami. A first round pick in 2015, he had been heading into the final year of his rookie deal after the Dolphins picked up his fifth-year option last year. He had been widely expected to be cut this offseason, so this is a bit of a surprise.

A new front office and coaching staff is in place in Miami, and they want to give Parker one more shot to get things figured out. Parker has always been high on talent, but has been plagued by injuries and inconsistent playing time. Notably, Parker was at the center of an incident last season where his agent publicly blasted then Dolphins coach Adam Gase.

Seemingly every year, Parker has been hyped as a breakout candidate during training camp, but it’s never materialized. The Louisville product reeled in 24 balls for 304 yards and one touchdown in 11 games last year. The 304 yards were by far the lowest of his career, and the year before he had 670. The old coaching staff never really seemed to believe in Parker, so it’s definitely possible he’ll fare better under new coach Brian Flores.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Likely To Cut Quinn, Parker

Major changes are coming in Miami. This offseason, the Dolphins are expected to cut defensive end Robert Quinn (saving $12.9MM against the cap), defensive end Andre Branch (saving $7MM, $2MM in dead money) and wide receiver DeVante Parker ($9.4MM savings), according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

Naturally, the upheaval won’t stop there, but the Dolphins have some big decisions to make on significant contracts in the coming weeks and months. Ryan Tannehill is likely done in South Beach and players like defensive tackle Akeem Spence ($2.5MM cap savings) and guard Ted Larsen ($1.9MM) could also be dropped from the roster, Jackson hears.

And, if the Dolphins really want to turn over a new leaf, they may decide against retaining unrestricted free agents like Frank Gore and Cameron Wake and move on from receiver Danny Amendola, whose entire $6MM cap hit can be washed out. Jackson adds that the future of veterans like guard Josh Sitton and safety T.J. McDonald is also in question.

Quinn, 29 in May, came to Miami via a spring trade with the Rams. The former first-round pick notched 6.5 sacks and 38 tackles, but graded out as just the No. 42 ranked edge defender in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Branch, meanwhile, was one of the lowest-ranked DEs out of 108 qualified players.

Parker was once viewed as the team’s future at wide receiver, but injuries have hampered his progress over the last four years. This year, he managed just 24 catches for 309 yards and a touchdown in eleven games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Tannehill, Parker, Bills, Ivory, Jets, Maccagnan, Bowles

The Dolphins will have a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason, including what to do with Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is set to have a cap hit of over $26MM in 2019, hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and hasn’t been great on the field even when he is. Deciding Tannehill’s fate “clearly tops” the list of Miami’s priorities for the offseason, according to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald, who writes “Tannehill would need to be exceptional when he returns from his shoulder injury” for the Dolphins to bring him back at that salary next year.

Tannehill missed the end of the 2016 season with a torn ACL, then missed all of the 2017 season when he re-tore the ACL. This year, Tannehill started the first five games, then went down with a mysterious shoulder injury. He’s been sidelined for four games, and it’s not clear when he’s coming back. It’s still very early, but at this point it would be a surprise if Tannehill is brought back at his current cap number. For what it’s worth, Beasley writes that the Dolphins like Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Speaking of decisions the Dolphins have to make, they’ll also have to decide the fate of receiver DeVante Parker and right tackle Ja’Wuan James this offseason, according to Beasley. Parker is owed $9.4MM next year, and Beasley writes that keeping him “seems unlikely now, but if he strings together several games like the one last Thursday in Houston (six catches, 134 yards), it becomes a strong consideration.” James will be a free agent after this season, and Beasley writes that “unless he’s great the final eight games, the Dolphins again figure to explore outside options” this March.
  • The Bills’ offense has already been an injured mess this year, and they got even more bad news today. Running back Chris Ivory “was taken to Erie County Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, for evaluations on his left shoulder”, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s unclear the exact nature of the injury, but it seems clear Ivory will miss some time, and he’s been playing a fairly big role in the offense lately.
  • Jets GM Mike Maccagnan “was noticeably less effusive” when talking about Todd Bowles in his ‘state of the team’ press availability than he was in last year’s availability, according to Rich Cimini of Cimini thinks that Maccagnan “is safe, no matter what” and is trying to separate himself from Bowles and from the narrative that the two are joined at the hip, in case Bowles needs to be fired. Bowles is on a very hot seat, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a change is made soon with the Jets suffering another loss today.

Extra Points: Fins, Bengals, Pats, Redskins

The Dolphins are not inclined to trade wide receiver DeVante Parker unless they receive “serious, serious compensation,” tweets Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who adds Parker is now on a “better footing” in South Beach given the Dolphins’ rash of injuries at wideout. Miami had reportedly been seeking a third-round pick for Parker, whose agent recently lashed out at head coach Adam Gase, going as far as telling Gase to “make himself inactive” instead of altering Parker’s gameday status. Parker started Thursday night against the Texans after the Dolphins lost several pass-catchers, including Albert Wilson (who’s done for the year) and Kenny Stills (who could return in Week 9, tweets Ian Rapoport of

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • The Bengals have lost a number of tight ends to injury, but they’re “not thrilled” with the idea of trading for a replacement, reports Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who adds Cincinnati believes it would be difficult for an acquisition to get “acclimated” to a new offense at midseason. Tyler Eifert, who has been affected by injuries for the majority of his career, broke his ankle earlier this season, while Tyler Kroft is currently dealing with a foot injury that has no return timetable. C.J. Uzomah is now the club’s starting tight end, with Matt Lengel and Jordan Franks in reserve. While a trade may be unlikely, Dehner did offer a number of candidates who could make sense, including Jared Cook (Raiders), Marcedes Lewis (Packers), and Charles Clay (Bills).
  • Former Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell underwent yet another surgery on his knee two days after New England released him, according to Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. The Pats cut Mitchell, a 2016 fourth-round pick, in August after failing to trade him. Injury issues have derailed the Georgia product’s career, as he missed the entire 2017 campaign and was unable to fully participate in practice this offseason after undergoing a minor procedure on his knee. After being waived, Mitchell filed a grievance against the Patriots, arguing that he should be paid his entire 2018 base salary ($640K). Per Duffy, Mitchell is still working out with the hope of returning to the NFL, although he has no timetable for recovery.
  • Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar is dealing with a nerve issue in his shin after taking a recent hit, as Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk writes. “That’s something that’s going to take a little bit of time,” said Washington head coach Jay Gruden. “He’s going to try to run [Thursday], see [how] his leg feels and see if it can hold up or not. We’ll make a decision hopefully by Friday.” Dunbar, 26, is a full-time starter for the first time in his career, and he’s played more than 90% of the Redskins’ defensive snaps while grading as the NFL’s No. 32 corner among 112 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. If Dunbar can’t go against the Giants on Sunday, Greg Stroman would likely see more action against in the Redskins’ nickel package alongside Josh Norman and Fabian Moreau.
  • The 2018 offseason saw seven NFL clubs make a change at head coach, and a similar number of teams will likely be looking for new leaders next January. As front offices attempt to find the next Sean McVay,’s Tom Pelissero asked around the league to find out what young coaches could take over clubs next winter. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is a de facto defensive coordinator and has the respect of his locker room, per Pelissero, while Cowboys defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Kris Richard has helped Dallas’ secondary transform into a competent unit. Other assistants who could garner 2019 interest include Vikings OC John DeFilippo, Saints TEs coach Dan Campbell, and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley.

Latest On Dolphins, DeVante Parker

Over the weekend, DeVante Parker‘s agent lashed out at the Dolphins and accused coach Adam Gase of lying about his client’s health. Now, the wide receiver is distancing himself from his agent’s comments, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets

Parker claims that he did not know Jimmy Gould would make those remarks, which included accusations of “incompetence.” For his part, Parker says that he has a good relationship with Gase, and doesn’t believe that things will be awkward between them.

With the trade deadline roughly one week away, Parker will be a name to monitor. Before the Cowboys shipped a first-round pick to the Raiders for Amari Cooper, they were reportedly “monitoring” the 25-year-old receiver. The Dolphins are said to be seeking for a third round pick to part with Parker, though Gould’s comments could compel the Fins to lower their asking price.

On the flipside, the Dolphins may have reason to keep Parker in the wake of injuries to Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills. It’s admittedly hard to see the Dolphins eagerly moving forward with Parker, but they might not have much of a choice if Stills and Wilson are in for extended absences.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On DeVante Parker, Dolphins

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding DeVante Parker recently. The former first round pick has seemingly fallen out of favor with the Dolphins’ coaching staff, leaving him with a reduced role for the very limited time that he’s been healthy. Naturally, his name has come up in trade rumors, as the fourth-year wideout still has a ton of talent.

Now there’s a lot of drama, as Parker’s agent is lashing out publicly at the team. Parker was inactive for the team’s game today, which Dolphins coach Adam Gase claimed was due to a nagging injury. Parkers agent insists that isn’t true, and that his client is fully healthy, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter links). It’s pretty shocking for an agent to criticize a coach this forcefully as Parker’s agent, Jimmy Gould, repeatedly called Gase a liar and incompetent in his statement. Jackson does tweet that Parker’s agent is not demanding a trade or his release at this time.

That being said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he isn’t a Dolphin for long. He’s been connected to a few receiver-needy teams recently, and there was a report earlier today that the Cowboys were “monitoring” Parker in their search for receiver help. Also earlier today, it was reported that the Dolphins were asking for a third round pick to part with the Louisville product.

Parker has always flashed a lot of promise, but has never been able to put it all together and his tenure in Miami has been a bit snake-bitten. He’s seemingly always hurt, and has never been able to consistently produce when on the field. The one thing that might make him stick with the Dolphins for now is that Miami suffered a pair of injuries to receivers today, with Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills both going down with injuries.

Trade Rumors: Raiders, Cooper, Cowboys, Broncos

The trade deadline is just nine days away, and earlier this morning, we learned that the Saints and Eagles could be two of the most aggressive teams as they seek to bolster their rosters for a potential championship run. Here are a few more notes from the trade market:

  • Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link), many Raiders players believe that head coach Jon Gruden is simply not happy with his collection of talent, and that there will be major roster turnover within the next several years. In fact, those players feel it will take up to two years for Gruden to assemble the type of roster he wants, and while rival GMs are not sure they can swing a deal with Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie alone, they believe they can make headway with Gruden. The Raiders are clearly in a state of upheaval right now, and the sense is that everyone on the team is available for the right price.
  • Raiders receiver Amari Cooper is clearly available via trade, and Rapoport says that the team has had the most significant discussions about Cooper with NFC East clubs, including the Cowboys. Adam Schefter of confirms that Dallas is doing its due diligence on Cooper, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB thinks there would be teams willing to part with a second-round choice for him, though it does not seem likely that Oakland will get the first-rounder it is reportedly seeking. Breer reports that the team wants a third-round pick in exchange for safety Karl Joseph.
  • In addition to Cooper, the Cowboys are monitoring Dolphins WR DeVante Parker and Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin, according to Dan Graziano of (via Twitter). The Eagles have also spoken to Miami about Parker, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter).
  • Teams are very much interested in Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and corners Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Schefter writes that Denver is willing to part with Thomas, but not Sanders.
  • The Jaguars are not mulling a trade for a quarterback to challenge incumbent Blake Bortles, per Schefter. Despite another mediocre season from Bortles, the Jags “believe that the quarterback position is the least of their issues.”

Dolphins Seeking Third-Rounder For WR DeVante Parker

It sounds like the Dolphins are still willing to trade wideout DeVante Parker, but it would cost a lot to get him. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the organization has told inquiring teams that it would take at least a third-round pick to acquire the former first-rounder.

That seems to be a pretty lofty asking price, perhaps indicating that the Dolphins aren’t all that serious about moving the 25-year-old. Indeed, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that the Dolphins are not actively shopping Parker, and that all trade talks have started with other clubs. Salguero does acknowledge that Parker remains available, but Miami is perfectly content to keep him if no one presents a good enough offer.

Parker hasn’t shown a whole lot through his first three years in league, with his 2016 performance proving to be a career-year (56 receptions, 744 receiving yards, four touchdowns). He’s struggled to stay on the field in 2018, hauling in only a pair of catches in two games, though Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that Parker’s agent, Jimmy Gould, and the team appear to disagree on Parker’s health status at the moment. Gould has not asked that his client be traded, but he made it clear that Parker is healthy and needs to be playing.

It’s unlikely the Dolphins are going to keep Parker around for $9MM in 2019 (per Jackson on Twitter), meaning interested teams probably won’t give in to Miami’s present demands. While they’re not identical scenarios, the Browns gave away former first-round wideout Corey Coleman for a seventh-rounder. The Browns got a fifth-rounder for a former 1,000-yard receiver (Josh Gordon). The Dolphins even got a fourth- and seventh-rounder for Jarvis Landry. If the Dolphins aren’t willing to lower their demands, the team presumably wasn’t all that intent on moving Parker in the first place.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Dolphins’ DeVante Parker

Dolphins coach Adam Gase denies that the club is shopping wide receiver DeVante Parker. Sort of. 

[RELATED: Dolphins Shopping DeVante Parker]

I know I haven’t called anybody,” Gase said (Twitter link via Cameron Wolfe of

Gase has control over the Dolphins’ roster, so he certainly has say over whether the club will trade Parker between now and the Oct. 30 deadline. However, it’s unlikely that he is running point on any conversations involving the wide receiver. Gase’s comment could technically be true, but it’s probable that GM Chris Grier and executive Mike Tannenbaum have explored the idea with other teams.

The coach added that he spoke with Parker about trade speculation during training camp when it came up then. It’s not clear whether he’s revisited those conversations lately, but Gase would probably prefer to keep Parker’s focus on the field.

Parker, 25, has missed all but one game so far this season. There’s not much for Miami to showcase, but his trade value could improve with a strong performance against the Bears on Sunday.

The Dolphins might not get much for Parker in a trade, but the opportunity to escape Parker’s injury-guaranteed $9.387MM charge for 2019 may mean more to them at this point. Parker was once being groomed to be the Dolphins’ No. 1 wide receiver, but they could be willing to move him for a late draft pick in the next couple of weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.