Barry Jackson

Dolphins GM Grier explains Fitzpatrick trade and team plan

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said Tuesday that nobody remaining on the team has asked for a trade and explained that Miami decided to trade Minkah Fitzpatrick after attempts to get him to change his mind were unsuccessful.

“The player expressed it was time for him to change [teams],” Grier said Tuesday. “We tried to make it work. Myself, [coach] Brian [Flores], [team owner] Steve [Ross] had multiple conversations with him, saying we wanted him here and he was a core piece. The kid felt it was time for him to move. We told teams what the value was.

“We had multiple offers, and we felt the Pittsburgh one was the one that was best for the organization…. When we got to a point where we weren’t sure it was going to work and we said ‘hey, if we get value we deem it was worth moving him,’ we would do it.’”

Grier hit on other issues:

He said the team would be aggressive in free agency next spring as opposed to sitting back and waiting for a few years. Miami is expected to have more than $130 million in cap space.

“We’ve talked about building this long-term with sustained success right away,” he said. “We will be very aggressive. We will not sit here on a bunch of money. The plan is to build a winner here. No one likes losing.

“We talked about building a team that would win and compete for championships for a long time instead of being in it one year and falling back for two or three. Long-term vision, but we will be aggressive.”

What is the timetable for competing for a Super Bowl?

“I don’t know if you put a time frame on it. For us, we’ve positioned ourselves to where the organization will be in a good place shortly. We’ll be aggressive in free agency. We are not going to sit back and not do anything. We are going to be very proactive and try to get this turned quickly.”

Asked why the team gave up on two of its past four first-round picks (Laremy Tunsil and Fitzpatrick), Grier said: “I wouldn’t say given up. With Laremy, that was when we got a phone call. They [Houston] kept pursuing us multiple times. We talked, kept telling them no and what it would take. They came and offered it.

“I called Laremy about the trade, and he walked in my office and saw it on the board and said, ‘I would trade me for that.’ We were not trying to do it.

What would Grier say to fans in the wake of an 0-2 record and a lopsided 102-10 score differential?

“We appreciate their support. They deserve a winner. We’re trying to build them a winner. I would say the fans would also say the cycle we’ve been on the last 10 years is not good enough. We’re trying to right that as fast as we can. They deserve a winner, and we’re trying to do that for them.

“We can do anything we want, whether it’s free agency or the draft. We’ve positioned ourselves where we can do anything and get whatever player we feel can help us as soon as possible.

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Grier said all players who ask for trades won’t necessarily be traded.

“There’s no precedent here where any player will say we want out and we will do it. I have not had any calls from agents or any players asking to want out.

“We’ve extended some of our younger players. Xavien [Howard], Jakeem [Grant] all those guys have bought in 100 percent. They told me again as [recently] as Monday. We have a good group of young guys that want to be here.”

He said he and Flores “are lock step on it. Brian and I communicate every day. I talk to Steve every day. We’re in this 100 percent together, believe in Brian. Great leader. Great man.

“Right guy to lead us through these times. He’s a good football coach, good man. Minkah said he really appreciated that about Brian, really liked him. Too bad it didn’t work out.”

Grier, on quarterback Josh Rosen: “We want to keep developing. He would tell you it’s been a real eye-opener, said he’s learned more here last couple months than he did his whole career.

“To have Ryan Fitzpatrick to mentor him, to be that kind of that veteran influence to help him has been great. When he’s ready to go, when coaches deem it’s time for him to play, he’ll play. The good thing for us is we get to see him every day, in the meetings, how he prepares and learns. We’ve been very pleased so far. When coaches feel they want to make a change, that will happen.”

Asked if the team is committed to drafting a quarterback in April (which is highly likely with the team’s first-round pick), Grier said: “We will do whatever we can to make our team better. We’ve all talked about quarterback being an important piece. And it’s competition. Whoever is here, there will be competition at every position.”

Asked if he expected the extent of the tearing down to reach this level, Grier said: “Very unexpected as far as the Laremy and Minkah situations. You can’t prepare for that. The opportunities were kind of unique. Historic haul for [Tunsil] and Kenny [Stills].

“For us, it’s strike when the opportunities [arise]. We know the way the team is built right now, we are not going to win a Super Bowl, much less hard to compete for a playoff spot. [The goal is to be a] long-term winner and bring championship to South Florida.”

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