The Dolphins swung a very early morning trade with the Rams Friday, acquiring veteran defensive end Williams Hayes from the Rams for a swap of late-round picks.
The terms: the Rams send Hayes, who turns 32 in May, and a 2017 seventh-round pick (223rd overall) for the Dolphins’ sixth rounder (206th).
Los Angeles announced the move not long after midnight.
The advantages for both organizations:
The Dolphins add a solid third defensive end, and the Rams shed Hayes’ contract ahead of his $2 million roster bonus due Saturday.
While Hayes has two years left on his existing contract, in essence this is a one-year, $5.5 million deal, with a $5 million second-year option. The Dolphins can cut Hayes after the 2017 season with zero salary cap pain. The deal likely takes Miami out of the running for Jabaal Sheard, who visited the organization late Thursday night but left without a contract.
Hayes, a former fourth-round pick out of Winston-Salem State, has spent nine years in the NFL, the last five of which with the Rams organization.
He has 314 tackles and 34.5 sacks in his long career. Hayes ranked 11th among all edge defenders against the run last year, according to Pro Football Focus.
That ability was surely appealing to the Dolphins, who ranked 30th in run defense in 2016 (140.4 yards per game) and were tied for last in yards per carry allowed (4.8).
Another factoid: Hayes is on record for not believing in dinosaurs, and became a bit of a national fascination when it was revealed during the 2016 season of Hard Knocks that he thinks mermaids are in fact real.