The New Orleans Saints continue to have a massive roster turnover in the first week of the new league year and traded Kenny Stills to the Miami Dolphins.
New Orleans is willing to move anyone as we saw with the stunning Jimmy Graham trade on Tuesday afternoon, but today’s deal is nearly as surprising.
Kenny Stills looked like he had a promising future in New Orleans after leading the NFL with 20 yards per reception as a rookie in 2013 and a 63-catch, 931-yards season in 2014 put him in the company with some of the best young receivers in the NFL.
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But now he’s with the Miami Dolphins after the Saints traded him for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and Miami’s third round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Saints were up against the salary cap and that was a primary reason for their moves made earlier in the week, such as the Graham trade and releasing of Pierre Thomas and Curtis Lofton, but Stills is only scheduled to make $585,000 this year and $675,000 next year.
Further, the deal brings Ellerbe who was nearly cut by the Dolphins and his $8.425 million salary in 2014, $6.45 million in 2016, and $6 million in 2017, and he’s seven years older than Stills.
Stills doesn’t turn 23 until April 22 and is clearly an ascending player on a cheap deal for two more seasons, so what is the reasoning behind this move?
The Saints released a productive and consistent inside linebacker in Lofton and bring in Ellerbe who is more expensive and a year older at the cost of their best receiver last year and a potential Pro Bowler in the near future.
What the heck is going on in the Crescent City?
The Saints did restructure Ellerbe’s contract, according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport, but this still has the potential to be one of the worst moves of the offseason from the Saints end.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins continue to have a strong offseason with the addition of Stills who forms an impressive young duo with last year’s second round pick, Jarvis Landry.
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