Who Should the Dolphins Get to Replace the Injured Ryan Tannehill?

The Miami Dolphins suffered a major blow yesterday when starting QB Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury. Tannehill hasn’t been officially ruled out for the year yet, but he will be out a minimum six to eight weeks according to Adam Schefter. The situation is similar to what the Minnesota Vikings went through last year when Teddy Bridgewater went down with an ACL injury. In response to Bridgewater’s injury, the Vikings went out and traded for Sam Bradford. The question for Miami is how will they try to replace Tannehill?

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Matt Moore is the Dolphins backup QB, and is first in line to take Tannehill’s spot. Moore started three games for the Dolphins last year, going 2-1. Moore averaged 225 yards, just 5 yards less than what Tannehill averaged on the year. Moore has started 28 games in his career, so he has the experience. Plus, he played decently last season when he filled in. Expectations for the Dolphins in 2017 are not very high. Most expect the team to be around .500 which would put them well outside of playoff contention. Maybe rolling with Moore makes sense.

Of course, many have already began saying the Dolphins should sign the controversial Colin Kaepernick. Teams appear to be cautious of signing Kaepernick because of the controversy surrounding Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. Kaepernick took the league by storm in 2012 and 2013, but since then it has been downhill. Last year the atrocious San Francisco 49ers went just 1-11 under Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been working with some terrible talent over recent years, but his play has not been inspiring, even being yanked for Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick’s athletic ability makes him a weird fit for many NFL offenses, but his fit in Miami isn’t terrible. Tannehill is a QB who has some mobility, and his running ability has been occasionally utilized by the Dolphins offense. If the Dolphins are unafraid about the controversy surrounding Kaepernick, he probably gives them the best chance out of anyone at having a good season.

Others have suggested that Jay Cutler might be willing to come out of retirement to play for the Dolphins. Cutler is 34, and retired from the NFL in May. Fox Sports hired Cutler as a game analyst. It is unclear if Cutler would ditch his new gig to come back for one year, especially when he just retired a few months ago.

There has also been speculation that the Dolphins may be interested in the previously mentioned Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is still recovering for the ACL injury he suffered last training camp. He is on the physically unable to preform list, and is not expected to be ready until later in the season. The Bridgewater idea is interesting, he is from Miami after all. When considering the seriousness of Bridgewater’s own injury and the fact that he will not be ready to start the season, trading for him makes little sense for the Dolphins. Plus, there is no indication that the Vikings would be willing to part with the young QB.

The Dolphins have some options, but all of them have some drawbacks. Kaepernick probably gives the Dolphins the best chance to win this year, but no matter who is starting for the Dolphins, the New England Patriots are all but guaranteed to win the AFC East for the ninth consecutive year.

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Kyrie Irving Wants Out of Cleveland

The 2017 offseason has been a rough one for the Cleveland Cavaliers. First, rumors about LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers next summer started popping up. Then general manager David Griffin’s contract was not renewed and the team went weeks without a GM. There’s the fact that the Cavaliers had very little cap space and no real way to improve their roster. Finally, Kyrie Irving has requested a trade and rumors say there is a lot of animosity between Irving and LeBron. Now that’s a bad summer.

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For Cleveland, their present and future is now in serious doubt. On one hand, with the current roster the Cavaliers are favorites to win the Eastern Conference. On the other, one of the best players in NBA history is rumored to have a foot out the door, and another of their stars wants out too. While LeBron has the ability to leave the team next summer, Irving is still under contract at least another two years (with another year possible due to a player option).

It will be curious to see how the Cavaliers deal with Irving’s trade demand, the team has no real incentive to deal him now. Trading Irving before the upcoming season would likely make them a worse team, and a down year for the Cavaliers could mark the end of LeBron in a Cavs uniform. However, it is possible that Irving’s trade value is higher now than it will be next season because his contract will only have one (possibly two) years left.

Irving reportedly wants to be traded the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, or New York Knicks. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, those teams do not have much in the way of assets that will help the Cavaliers get better now. The Heat could build a package around Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow, but that does not seem like enough for Cleveland. Minnesota could trade Andrew Wiggins back to the team that drafted him, but that is more of a long-term move for the Cavs, and time is not on their side. Of course, the Cavaliers can send Irving wherever they deem fit because he does not have a no trade clause. If Irving is traded, it certainly is not a lock that he would be moved to one of his four preferred destinations.

The Cavaliers are in a tough spot, but not an impossible one. The Lakers won multiple championships with Shaq and Kobe hating each other. Winning a title with disgruntled players is possible. The best thing for the Cavaliers is to stand pat. This same team is coming off of back to back Finals appearances. The Cavaliers cannot jeopardize what possibly is their last season to win a title with LeBron just because Irving is upset.

LeBron Going Hollywood? Other Possible Destinations for The King

Rumor has it LeBron James has his sights set on joining the Los Angeles Lakers next summer when he can opt out of his contract. Los Angeles seems like a likely destination for LeBron. Why not enjoy the great weather, better position his million dollar media company, and join a storied franchise on the rise after several years in the gutter? Yes, the Lakers seem like a good fit for LeBron, but let’s examine some other franchises that it would be fun to see LeBron consider.

1. Los Angeles Clippers – Hey, remember when I listed those reasons why LeBron would be a good fit for the Lakers? Well, forget that last bit about a storied franchise, but the rest applies just as well to the Clippers! Also in LA, the Clippers are the something of the Lakers’ ugly step-sister. That said, the Clippers could pair LeBron with Blake Griffin and make the Clippers a title contender. LeBron and Grffin would be a great top two. LeBron signing with the Clippers would probably force all star center DeAndre Jordan out of town, but the Clippers would still have a great team. If he opts into his player option, I suspect Jordan would be easily flipped for a good contract or draft pick. A core of LeBron and Griffin, with role players like Danilo Gallinari and Patrick Beverley would be a tough team. Though the Clippers may not be a legendary franchise like the Lakers, there are still plenty of benefits to joining them over big brother.

2. Miami Heat – Pat Riley and LeBron may have ended their time together in Miami on a sour note, but maybe LeBron would consider taking his talents back to South Beach. Unlike the Lakers and Clippers, the Heat would have to make some big moves to make room for LeBron. The Heat gave sizable contracts to the likes of Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk this summer, plus Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, and Tyler Johnson are also on large contracts. The cap situation and LeBron’s relationship with Riley alone make the Heat an unlikely destination, but bear with me. Playing in the Eastern Conference has had a profound impact on LeBron’s career. The East has been weaker than the West for a long time, and that does not seem to be changing any time soon after Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap both went West this offseason. Chilling in the East may give LeBron his best chance at more NBA Finals appearances. A team centered around LeBron, Dragic, and Whiteside is pretty good and would definitely compete for the best team in the East. Plus, who could blame LeBron for wanting to enjoy the Miami lifestyle? NBA: Finals-Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs

3. New York Knicks – The weather in New York is not nearly as nice as Los Angeles, but imagine LeBron playing in the Big Apple and bringing some respect back to one of the league’s marquee franchises. There are problems about LeBron going to New York, though. First, James Dolan is possibly the absolute worst owner in the NBA. Then there’s the fact that the Knicks cap situation looks bleak due to Joakim Noah’s atrocious contract, and the newly acquired Tim Hardaway Jr. appears to be absurdly overpaid as well. Even if the Knicks had enough cap space for LeBron, it would be difficult for them to get a decent surrounding cast to compete for titles. Still, it would be cool to see LeBron go to the biggest market in North America and maybe position the Knicks as a potential destination again.

4. Brooklyn Nets – At the very least, the Nets will have the cap space for LeBron. Brooklyn is not a destination LeBron would consider, but how awesome would it be for him to come into Brooklyn and turn the worst team in the league around? LeBron could do it. He won’t, but he could. Plus, LeBron would look pretty cool in a Nets jersey.

5. Boston Celtics – The Celtics are currently LeBron and the Cavaliers biggest competition in the East. Even going back to LeBron’s first stint in Cleveland, the Celtics with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen were a huge challenge for LeBron. But now, the Celtics are probably LeBron’s best chance at maximizing his title odds. The Celtics are in the East, making the path ahead of them easier. The Celtics would have to dump Horford and not re-sign Isaiah Thomas for this to work, but the potential is mouth watering. A team centered around LeBron James and Gordon Hayward is already something special, but don’t forget about all of the young talent the Celtics have. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart are all promising young guys, plus the Celtics have the Nets’ 2018 pick and possibly the Lakers’ 2018 pick as well (if the pick falls between 2-5, otherwise it converts into the Sacramento Kings’ 2019 pick). What this means is that the Celtics could build around LeBron and Hayward with some great young talent, setting them up for both an amazing present and future. The Celtics could have a potential dynasty on their hands, and LeBron would add to his already amazing legacy.

6. Cleveland Cavaliers – It’s fun to imagine LeBron on different teams, but staying in Cleveland might be the most practical option for LeBron. The Cavs still have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. If the organization decides to move on from one or both of them, they should be able to acquire some serious assets in return. The Cavaliers are still the favorites in the East. As constructed, the Cavs have as good a chance as any team to dethrone the champion Golden State Warriors. After all, they were able to defeat the Warriors just a year ago. Even if LeBron is never able to win another championship in Cleveland, there is something to be said for sticking with them, the team that drafted him, his hometown team. LeBron left Cleveland once already, and faced severe backlash for that decision. What would leaving again do to his legacy? Ending his career with the team that drafted him would be poetic in a sense. This is the outcome I’m rooting for. Ride it out, LeBron. The Cavaliers have assembled a great group of players, and the city of Cleveland worships LeBron. The most impactful decision LeBron could make next summer would be opting into his contract, and ending his career with the Cavaliers. LeBron-Cavs-Championship