The Miami Dolphins are making the moves of a team that doesn’t expect to win this year. The Indianapolis Colts are making the moves of a team that wants to win right now.
The trade that sent cornerback Vontae Davis from Miami to Indianapolis in exchange for the Colts’ 2013 second-round draft pick gives the Dolphins five picks in the first three rounds of next year’s draft: Miami already had its own picks, plus the Bears’ third-round pick in the Brandon Marshall trade.
The Colts, on the other hand, are already down at least two, and possibly four, picks in next year’s draft. In addition to the second-round pick for Davis, the Colts have shipped their fifth-round pick to San Francisco, as part of this year’s draft-day trade that allowed the Colts to move up and pick receiver T.Y. Hilton. And the Colts could lose both their sixth-round pick (conditionally a part of the Davis trade) and their seventh-round pick (conditionally a part of their trade earlier this month with the Eagles).
Trading away picks for players who can help the team win now is a surprisingly aggressive strategy for the Colts, who had the worst record in the league last year. Deciding to build for the future is an understandable strategy for the Dolphins, who weren’t much better. The biggest question in Miami is whether the man making those trades for the future, G.M. Jeff Ireland, will be around to use those picks he’s acquiring.