Armando Salguero

DeVante Parker’s health and standing with the Miami Dolphins raise questions

Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker on who is the fastest wide receiver

Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker speaks to the media about who runs fastest at Dolphin training facility.
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Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker speaks to the media about who runs fastest at Dolphin training facility.

The Miami Dolphins expect DeVante Parker back in the lineup on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, barring an unexpected setback with his current quadriceps injury or a new injury, per a source.

That’s good news for the team because the wide receiver has been virtually absent so far in 2018.

Parker missed didn’t play in the preseason partially because a fractured finger cost him some of those games as well as the first two games of the regular season.

The finger healed and Parker returned for the Week 3 game against Oakland and caught two passes for 40 yards, but just prior to the game at New England, he injured the quad during a Thursday practice. And so he missed both the New England and Cincinnati games.

Parker has missed four of Miami’s five games.

The Dolphins should be happy to see him back this week against Chicago, assuming the guy doesn’t suffer some other injury in the next few days.

And this is why getting Parker back should be important:

Because it showcases him. It puts the player on tape some more and, perhaps some team liking that tape, might offer the Dolphins something of value for Parker.

Crazy?

Michael Lombardi of The Athletic reported earlier this week the Dolphins “have talked to several teams about trading Parker as they have been frustrated with him.”

The Dolphins deny this is true. I’ve been told by one team source the Lombardi report is not correct. And another team source told me earlier this year the team would not be trading Parker.

The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 30.

But ...

I’ve been weighing this and, frankly, if the Dolphins haven’t been talking to teams about trading Parker and if they haven’t been privately frustrated by his inability to stay on the field this year, then something’s wrong with them.

I mean, why wouldn’t they be frustrated with limited return on such a high (first round) investment in a player?

Why wouldn’t the Dolphins be thinking of trading a player at a position of abundance to possibly fill a position of need?

The idea that the Dolphins are so good with the current situation that they wouldn’t be talking to any team about unloading Parker seems unnatural to me. My question would be, why not?

What are you waiting for?

The idea that the Dolphins wouldn’t be doing this makes them seem content with the status quo. And the status quo as it stands with Parker is not good.

So the Dolphins are fine with not good?

The personnel department is sitting around seeing what we all see and thinking, ‘Nope, not going to talk to anyone about DeVante?”

He’s untouchable?

Please don’t let this be true.

The Dolphins personnel department, seeing this season threatening to slip away and seeing a need to reinforce the offensive line in some way, should be trying to salvage the situation by any means possible. That includes trading players.

That means talented players that may have market value elsewhere and might be better off in new surroundings should be shopped as trade possibilities. Nothing wrong with that. Because someone just might bite.

Look, I’m not saying anyone would give up tons for Parker if he is on the trade block. He’s an often-injured player who is not living up to having been the team’s first-round pick in 2015.

Even when he’s healthy, he’s not dominant with any consistency.

He is what he is right now: A No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver in Miami.

But even that status could make him a viable trade chip. Because some teams need such receivers.

The Dolphins can afford to part with Parker now. They have Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant all filling roles and all making some contributions.

Parker is a different sort of player than any of those. He’s big and has a wide catch radius. He really has great potential.

But he is something of a luxury. The Dolphins can continue without him. The Dolphins have greater needs in other areas.

And this is the part of this post where I tell you don’t expect to get great return for Parker, even if he is eventually moved. October trades don’t often change the course of a team’s fortunes.

But the idea that Miami has this asset (limited but an asset nonetheless) and is doing nothing even as it has significant needs elsewhere is odd.

So fans should hope Lombardi is right. Because the Dolphins seeing the DeVante Parker saga play out and deciding they’re going to stay the course raises questions.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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