But instead of cutting Igbinoghene — as some suspected — it turns out GM Chris Grier was finalizing a trade that sent the former first-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys for defensive back Kelvin Joseph.
So why did the Dolphins move on from Igbinoghene now — even though Jalen Ramsey is out until December?
And what are they getting in Joseph, a 2021 second-round pick who has started just three games in two NFL seasons?
Why Did the Miami Dolphins Trade Noah Igbinoghene?
Igbinoghene has been a disappointment since his rookie year, when he entered the NFL as a 20-year-old. He was the NFL Draft’s 30th overall pick in 2020, and it was clear early on that the Dolphins overvalued him.
Still, he had a real chance at a starting job this summer after Ramsey went down and Nik Needham didn’t recover enough from a torn Achilles to be ready for the opener. But veteran Eli Apple beat Igbinoghene out, and given the latter’s scant usage on special teams, he became expendable.
Joseph is better on the kicking teams, although he has taken his lumps in coverage as well. He allowed 66.7% of passes thrown in his coverage area to be completed, yielding 18.3 yards per completion, with a ghastly passer rating against of 147.9.
But he’s been better in camp this summer, and he comes to the Dolphins with zero guaranteed money.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, were able to get Igbinoghene’s $2.1 million salary off their books.
Mike McDaniel on the Noah Igbinoghene-Kelvin Joseph trade pic.twitter.com/ETixEZ8JOq
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 29, 2023
Here’s how McDaniel explained the move when he met with reporters Tuesday afternoon:
“You know, that was something that we definitely were chasing. We were approached [by the Cowboys]. There was some interest there and, you know, really, regardless, you know, that it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t a situation where we were really exploring the idea of not having him on the roster.
“But when given the opportunity and our specific team with our specific needs, we thought it was both a win for us, and, you know, I’m so happy for, and proud of, Noah because everybody wants to be a first-round draft pick. And as a 20-year-old, that sounds cool, but there’s a burden with that, and what you’ve seen is a guy grow as a player and as a person.
“Being able to be 23 years old and go to a place with a fresh start, specifically with a guy that I’ve worked with in Dan Quinn and just knowing his coaching mentality, I think it’s a good fit for them, a good fit for us. That’s how deals are done.”
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