Miami Dolphins trade CB Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts

Trade for Colts: Ah, so this was the big trade Jim Irsay was tweeting about. Davis was one of the potential candidates I mentioned when I wrote on the subject a few days ago, along with Denver’s Ryan Clady and Baltimore’s Cary Williams. The Colts are taking a big risk here. If Davis plays like he did last year, this is an obvious steal for them.

Last season, he allowed just 36 completions on 66 attempts (54.5%) for 496 yards (7.5 YPA), 3 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, while deflecting 6 passes and committing 4 penalties. Only 24 and owed just over a combined two million in the next 2 seasons, the Colts could be getting a legitimate #1 cornerback who is young and cheap. At a position of major need, that’s definitely worth a 2nd round pick (and a 6th round pick, but that pick is pretty irrelevant in this trade). Davis will likely be the #1 cornerback in Indianapolis, moving Jerraud Powers off of opponents’ #1 receivers and filling a gapping hole in the starting lineup.

However, last year was Davis’ first elite season as the 2009 1st round pick allowed over 60% completion and more touchdowns than interceptions in each of his first 2 seasons in the league in 2010 to 2011. It’s definitely not uncommon for a player to have a breakout 3rd year and then continue their strong level of play, but Davis wasn’t impressing the Dolphins’ new coaching staff because he showed up out of shape to Training Camp and fell behind two cornerbacks on the depth chart.

Davis also has some injury history as he missed 4 games last season, but that’s not nearly as concerning as the potential work ethic problems. If the Colts are, in fact, getting a young, cheap, #1 cornerback for a 2nd round pick, it’s an obvious steal, but you have to wonder why a team would give away a young, cheap #1 cornerback for a 2nd round pick. Colts fans should know that Davis comes with a buyer beware tag. On top of that, the Colts are getting a guy roughly 2 weeks before the first game of the season. That’s not a lot of time for him to learn the playbook and the coverage scheme.

Grade: B

Trade for the Dolphins: It looked like Davis was going to open the season as the Dolphins’ #3 cornerback. Sean Smith has reportedly done the opposite of Davis this offseason, showing up to camp slimmed down 24 pounds to 6-3 190, making a strong impression, and looking poised to bounce back from a down season. In 2011 he allowed 61 completions on 104 attempts (58.7%) for 793 yards (7.6 YPA), 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, while deflecting 5 passes and committing 2 penalties. In 2010, he allowed 24 completions on 45 attempts (53.3%) for 325 yards (7.2 YPA), 1 touchdown and 1 interception, while deflecting 8 passes and committing 1 penalty in 11 starts at cornerback (he made 4 at safety too, but wasn’t as good).

Richard Marshall, meanwhile, is looking continue his strong play from 2011. He allowed 28 completions on 54 attempts (51.9%) for 394 yards (7.3 YPA), 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions, while deflecting 5 passes and committing 6 penalties last season. He ranked 3rd in the league in receptions per coverage snap, 7th in yards per coverage snap, and 2nd in targets per coverage snap.

However, if they’re wrong about Davis and he bounces back as a young, cheap #1 cornerback in Indianapolis, they’re going to wish they had either kept him or gotten more for him. Starting cornerback probably won’t be an issue for the Dolphins this season, but after losing Davis, they’ll still be plagued with the same depth issues they had last season, the ones that Marshall was brought in to help with.

Nolan Carroll is now their #3 cornerback. He wasn’t very good last season as their #4 cornerback, allowing 16 completions on 30 attempts (53.3%) for 239 yards (8.0 YPA), 1 touchdown, and 1 interception, while deflecting 3 passes and committing 1 penalty. At first glance, they appear to have won this trade, but like the Colts, they’re also taking a risk and hoping that Davis won’t prove to be worth the risk for the Colts. However, I think they are the winner of this trade right now.

Grade: B

If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote).




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