Dolphins general manager Chris Grier acknowledged that the Dolphins have given “a couple of teams” permission to speak with Robert Quinn about a trade, but did not rule out Quinn returning to the team in 2019.
“Robert’s a good player,” Grier said during a break in the NFL’s annual meeting here Monday. “We can keep him on this roster if we have to. He’s a good player, he’s got value and he probably fits some other schemes a little bit better in terms of what he does so he and his agent and other teams are talking to us about it and that’s where we are right now with that.”
Quinn, the two-time Pro Bowler, met with the Cowboys recently and has a visit planned with the Saints this week.
Currently, he is owed $11.8 million in base salary after the Dolphins agreed to pay his $1.1 million roster bonus two weeks back. Any trade would almost certainly need to come with a new, smaller contract, as Quinn had just 6 1/2 sacks in 2018.
The Cowboys have particular interest in Quinn, and seem to be his likeliest destination. But the Saints and other mystery teams are in the mix, too. Grier added that “a couple of other teams have called and inquired about him recently.”
So the Dolphins do not lack for trade partners.
And they are willing to eat some of his contract to secure a higher draft pick, like they did with Tannehill. They paid $5 million of Tannehill’s new $7 million contract before shipping him to the Titans for a basically a fourth-round draft pick.
“For us, as well as with the Ryan trade, we were just looking at all options available to us,” Grier said. “In terms of buying a draft pick that’s been done over the last few years by multiple teams and it was an option, and with Ryan we thought there was value in the player and we were fortunate to find a team that was willing to do it, as well with Robert.”
Once the Dolphins decided that they were going to move on from Tannehill, Grier called their quarterback and broke the news.
“Obviously he was disappointed, I’m sure, but Ryan is a total professional as you guys have known and been around him,” Grier said. “We told him and also said we’re going to be kind of a deliberate in how we do things because Ryan’s a good player in the league and there would be value, we thought from someone. And we did.
“There were a couple of teams who had called,” Grier continued. “But they weren’t in a hurry. I think they were waiting to see how it was going to play out in free agency, the early parts of it. And I think also they were doing some of their evaluations of draft prospects. And so we were in discussions with a couple of teams. And then [Titans GM] Jon Robinson was probably very aggressive in wanting to do something and so we saw the opportunity and they worked well with us and we got it done in probably about two days.”