Hard Knocks goes inside the Vontae Davis trade

Getty Images

No one was more surprised that Vontae Davis was traded from the Dolphins to the Colts over the weekend than Vontae Davis.

On this week’s episode of Hard Knocks, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland called Davis into his office and informed him that he was heading to the Colts. Davis looked shocked and was speechless for a moment before saying, “I want to call my grandma.”

Hard Knocks was only privy to the Dolphins’ side of the trade, so we didn’t see how badly Colts owner Jim Irsay and General Manager Ryan Grigson wanted Davis. But with the Hard Knocks cameras in the Dolphins’ headquarters, it appeared that the Dolphins’ coaching staff wouldn’t be sorry to see Davis go. As the coaching staff discussed Davis’s performance in last week’s preseason game, one coach said of Davis’s pass interference penalty, “I’ve never seen anything like it: Just a total lack of football awareness.”

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, who in a previous episode of Hard Knocks got on Davis’s case about not being completely focused at practice, seemed skeptical that Davis will ever make the most of his physical talents.

“I like the kid — I do — but I’m wondering if we’re ever going to be able to get him where we’d like him to be,” Philbin said of Davis.

Still, Ireland appeared to be driving a hard bargain with the Colts. At one point he was shown talking to the Colts’ front office on the phone and saying, “It has to be something that’s going to blow me away.”

Eventually, the offer of a second-round pick and a conditional sixth-round pick for Davis did, in fact, blow the Dolphins away. And so we were left with Ireland and Davis together in Ireland’s office. As shocked as Davis was by the news, he took it well. And as he left the office, Ireland told him, “I want you to have a great career.”

With that, they hugged, and Davis left the Dolphins’ facilities for the last time.

86 responses to “Hard Knocks goes inside the Vontae Davis trade

  1. That is one of the saddest scenes i have ever watched on the hard knocks.. A life changing scene and the first thought he had was to call his grandmother almost bought me to tears, the Dolphins top brass are just mean and ruthless.

  2. Hey has an agent… he knew what was coming. He wasn’t that “shocked”. Great talent, maturity of a 10 year old. Loved when we drafted him… good luck Vontae.

    But have to say if we keep getting rid of the talented guys who don’t fit the stoic mold of Philbin, we won’t have much talent left… great talent breeds great swagger and attitude… you have to let these guys breath a little too.

  3. This is the worst season of Hard Knocks ever. Watching the Dolphins on Hard Knocks is as bad as the watching the Jets offense attempt to score. Jeff Ireland told Vontae Davis his play is up and down while I will be the one to tell Jeff that his personal decisions have been up and down. Recently more down than up. How do you draft Ryan Tannehill with the #8 pick when he does not know which teams play in which divisions. Hard Knocks has only confirmed what we already knew, the Dolphins are a 4-12 team who easily could be 2-14.

  4. Honestly, I wouldn’t want a guy on my NFL roster who wants to immediately call his grandmother before the conversation was even over. Especially someone as inconsistent as him.

    I love that fact that he probably assumed he was safe. The look on his face was priceless.

  5. Im sure Davis was shocked but once he realized he was going to a franchise that actually cares then Im sure he was happy. Not a fan of either team but one has to wonder what the heck are the dolphins doing?

  6. That was some good tv. I almost felt bad for the dude until I remembered we got a freakin stud for a song. Build the monster. Great move Mr. Irsay and Ryan Grigson. Go Blue.

  7. As a fins fan, let me be the first to thank HBO for showing the world what we as dolphin fans already knew. Jeff Ireland is probably the worst GM in the NFL. Total lack of respect for players and the product he is payed to put out. His decision making isn’t any better then the crappy drawing his kid made. If your gonna put out crap, you got to be willing to take it back.

  8. Ireland is so condescending. He already traded the guy and he’s lecturing him that he needs him to be more consistent. You just traded him. Just tell him he’ll be a great player and let him text his grandma.

  9. This is why “Fans” cannot be in any type of football decision making position. They actually put random football knowledge of “divisions” and past “players etc are > skill

  10. I just got fired from my job today (got outsourced to India) but before my boss could finish the exit interview I called my grandmother.

  11. PS- I also think the Chiefs are in the NFC East and that the divisions don’t make any sense geographically, especially my own team the Dolphins who are more south than east according to me and my name is also Ryan Tannenhill and I a starting NFL qb. FML.

  12. The fact is that this kid has a learning disability and very immature, he showed up at a walk through hungover and got into a fist fight with brandon marshall last year, i thought the dolphins did the right thing here, there was nothing they could do for him anymore they invested three years in him.

  13. Davis asked for it. The Fins were patient for almost 3-years for him to mature and reach his potential. I think that credit should be given to the organization for dealing with his immaturity behind doors. There were many things that we, the fans, didn’t know about Vontae. I love him to death and he has potential, but you can’t honestly count on a player like that to win football games.

  14. I love hearing these ignorant comments from people who think they know more then Ireland. Tomorrow when your working the drive thru at Burger King realize where you are and where Ireland IS lol

    Vontae is a man child pure and simple. Three years to grow up and play consistent. Ireland getting a 2nd rounder for a demoted player is pure genius!

  15. What has surprised me is the so-called “Leadership Council” and some of his teammates that knew about everything and never did anything to talk to Vontae. And they expect for management to ask for their blessings to make a trade. Are you kidding me???!! This is a business not a charity. Start producing and shut your mouth!!!

  16. Bottom line is this Vontae lost his starting job in training camp for a reason. The fact that we got a 2nd round pick for him is simply amazing.

  17. His gMA knows the dolphins are ” WHERE CHAMPIONS LEARN” . Unfortunately it’s learn to become the worst team in NFL since shula built a steakhouse… Their greatest player ever Marino ran out on them as GM in what? 22 hours?

  18. Are there two more awkward people doing exit chats than Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland? Philbin doesn’t look anyone in the eye “So uh I want you to uh come to meetings on time, so is that cool with you?” and Ireland does seem condescending. They both come off as really fake. If you don’t like the player, just own it. This “well I uh like him, I do, but….” when you clearly don’t is not coming off real well. Neither head coach or gm has an ounce of charisma or engaging personality. I guess you don’t need that to win football games, but it will be interesting to see if this leadership style has any success.

  19. A couple points on the show:

    1. Very little shown regarding all the tweets by Irsay. Got to believe that was heavily edited so one team wasn’t talking negatively about the owner of another team. I just don’t see any reason one of the bigger “stories” would just be the nuts and bolts.

    2. What was Ireland thinking with the post trade criticism? I can see telling him that he could be an All Pro if he works to be more consistant but not he was just beating a dead horse.

    3. Did a nice job showing the negotiation portion of it. Considering the Dolphins wanted to get rid of him, the show did a nice job of documenting that portion then injecting how the negotiations went. But realistically Ireland had to know that Irsay’s tweets were going to force the Colts hands.

  20. Well this deal my very well be enough to blow Ireland away. He has twice now traded away a player without having a player as a similar replacement. First Brandon Marshall and now Davis. Unless Ireland can get a receiver this season by offering the obtained draft choices he has put this season in full rebuild mode. The Dolphins are sure to be no better than a 6 and 10 record. If I were Stephen Ross I would fire Ireland before the end of this losing season. Let’s not forget that Ireland is responsible for obtaining most of the receivers on this team that are unable to live up to NFL standards and that he himself refers to as a group of number 4, 5 and 6 receivers.

  21. It would hard to b a dolphin fan right now. Thats coming from a Saints fan. That team is in disarray. How hard is it to be a player in that organization and play for a team that has given up on this season before it even starts. If u want to fill a team with straight and narrow players get a bunch of boy scouts and choir boys. Can’t win.

    Also how can u be a player in the NFL and not know ur teams and what division they r in?!?!?! It actually saddens me that idiots get to play a game I love because of they god given talent. Pay homage to the game that is paying u millions and a least learn some history of the league.

    Last thing… Y can’t u answer a man the only question he asked when u told him he just got traded? He wanted to know what the dolphins thought his value was worth. Ireland didnt have the decency to tell him his worth. ” A couple of picks.” wow…

  22. From what I have seen, the whole thing is a mess down there and I’m sure its a combination of not only Ireland, but Philbin as well. I always tried to imagine how my favorite teams were in the front office, but as bad as they are, the Dolphins have far exceeded the chaos. In what way is this coaching staff and front office making the team better? I don’t believe I will finish watching Hard Knocks, I just don’t think “that” is football.

  23. I think the takeaway here is who knew Brodus Clay had a son, and that son is Vontae Davis of all people.

  24. dalucks says…

    “How do you draft Ryan Tannehill with the #8 pick when he does not know which teams play in which divisions.”

    When did the coin flip include a quiz about the AFC West? You know, the division with the Seahawks…

  25. I think Philbin’s not “Getting rid of all the talent”, as some have said, he’s cleaning house- getting rid of players with issues drama and distractions. On the other issue, I don’t think a 1st year coach with a major rebuild in progress needs the sideshow of Hard Knocks all over training camp either. Allowing that was a bad move.

  26. tigershark49 says:Aug 28, 2012 11:28 PM

    Davis is a solid player. It’ll be an early second rounder. I wonder why?

    Because you think the Colts are gonna pretty much suck again this year, I guess?

  27. “the Dolphins top brass are just mean and ruthless.”

    Why bother paying for HBO if mean and ruthless bother you?

  28. ddogdaddy says:
    Aug 28, 2012 11:25 PM
    That was some good tv. I almost felt bad for the dude until I remembered we got a freakin stud for a song. Build the monster. Great move Mr. Irsay and Ryan Grigson. Go Blue.


    Well, yeah, except that you decidedly did not get a stud (do the colts watch film?) and the price was significantly more than a song. This is what happens when an impulsive owner gets emotionally involved. Look at any similar trade not involving al adavis or jerry jones and no one has given similar picks for an underperforming player. Way, way overpaid.

  29. I love the “mean and ruthless” comment. Because team player execs should totally keep every nice guy on the roster regardless of how well they can play or how willing they are to improve.

    This stuff happens almost every day in the NFL, yet no one bats an eyelash. Then it gets put on TV and people are suddenly shocked. How did you think a team cut or traded a player? Hour long therapy session? Farewell brunch? Come on.

  30. For those crtiticzing Tannehill:

    Graduated early with a degree in biology.
    Marries smoking hot girlfriend.
    Goes with the 8th pick in the first round.
    Starts the rookie season as the starting qb.

    Yea this guy is just such a loser.

  31. To understand the Dolphins decision….look at the model in Green Bay.

    Locker room cohesion means the world to Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy. Next to be gone = Carlos Dansby.

  32. How did you think a team cut or traded a player?

    Well, “mean and ruthless” discussion aside…for some reason it struck me funny that it was kind of “trade by text” up until the latter part of the negotiations.

    You have to figure the Colts only came texting because they saw the first episode of the show, too. And it was interesting knowing what the first offer was vs. what they ultimately gave up, especially since they didn’t seem to be bidding against anyone but themselves.

    That’s what I love about Hard Knocks, even though I’d never actually want my team to be featured on it…

  33. Funniest thing here is how willing some of the people posting are to deride a young guy who was hurt and upset and wanted to call his grandmother. Sure the NFL is a tough world, but that doesn’t mean that we as fans can’t view the players as human. His brother Vernon cries at the drop of a hat. Who knows what all those guys have been through in their lives.

    Making fun of them doesn’t make us superior.

  34. I hope what Philbin is doing to the dolphins doesn’t have the same impact of what marinelli did with my lions. He got rid of play makers for ” guys that love football”. I don’t care how much “character” a guy has if he’s has average talent. I hope the dolphins front office can make something with the draft picks they are getting unlike what my favorite team did. I am assuming no one can quite screw up a team like millen did but there sure are some similarities in the way the dolphins are building.

  35. I love this show because it shows the cut throat nature of the NFL. You could tell Vonte Davis established himself as well as his grandma in Miami because he was a 1st round pick and assumed he would be there for awhile. Probably bought himself a nice house as well as one for his grandma.

    His grandma is probably in her mid to late 80’s and Vonte is all she has, and now he has to find her a place to live in the miserable city of Indianapolis.

  36. At first I was really against this Davis trade but after watching Hard Knocks tonight and reading about some other stuff I just question whether Vontae has the mental makeup to be a professional. He seems to be missing a few screws and not in the crazy football way but in the I have no how to take care of my business way. Also, Ireland doesn’t seem nearly as bad a guy as the media has made him out to be. He’s straightforward with players he cuts and trades and lets them have their say. I don’t think he was lecturing Vontae at all but was explaining why he traded him and what he needs to do to improve. Giving him an explanation shows that he actually cares rather than just saying hey we traded you peace out.

    Having said all that, his personnel moves are not looking good to say the least. (I’m judging him on last year and this year… previous years I attribute to Parcells since he had final say.) Pouncey has been decent not exceptional, Daniel Thomas has been inconsistent, Clyde Gates blows, Charles Clay has been inconsistent, and Jonathan Martin, Michael Egnew, and Lamar Miller all look like trash so far. I’ve been impressed with Tannehill though he def has all the physical skills. But if Martin AND Egnew suck this year then Ireland must go.

  37. What I found interesting in this weeks Hard Knocks was the fact that Tannenhill did not even know who was in the AFC east, This kid will be a bust.
    He does not love football, In fact he obviously does not even watch it.
    I went to a Raiders training camp and that team looked focused, Dolphins camp looks like a bunch of guys who don’t care

  38. Dolphins are a disaster. They have less chance of winning than a team put together by Tim Ruskell and coached by Jim Mora.

  39. Wow. Anyone commenting that Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins front office is “mean and ruthless” or “condescending” or “inept” really has no clue what they are talking about.

    Vontae is an average player (with tons of potential) who makes bonehead plays because he is immature and doesn’t put in the effort. He has consistently been the last one in and first one out of practice for the past 3 years. He’s started fights and showed up to practice drunk. He’s been suspended and demoted and it still failed to light a fire under his ass. Getting a second round (and conditional sixth) pick for him was highway robbery.

    This is a front office and coaching staff that is purging the roster of immature players who have helped contribute to a losing team the past 3 years. They are trying to change the culture. If people’s egos are too fragile to see underachieving headaches get traded or cut, they’re in the wrong profession. To me, this team is finally starting to do things right.

  40. Wow, what is wrong with me? I truly thought he was shocked, but excited to hear that. I thought he wanted to call his grandmother and his brother to tell them cause he was excited about it all. Based on everything said here I guess I was wrong.

  41. Only the inept Jeff Ireland can get blown away by a second round draft pick for a first rounder 3 years ago. Hell we got two third rounders for Marshall when we gave up two second rounders to get him! FIRELAND NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Also, people saying Tannehill will be a bust and doesn’t love football because he didn’t know the divisions are completely ignorant. At least he knew the AFC East.

    If you actually watched the show, you would know that the reason he didn’t know the divisions is because he always followed college football, not the pros.

    Part of the reason he won the starting job is because of his passion for and knowledge of the game and the fact that he is mature beyond his years.

  43. OK, so maybe Vontae Davis is immature, but is he any worse at his job than Jeff Ireland is at being a GM?

    I love this show but watching Ireland and Joe Philbin I really feel badly for Dolphins fans – these two guys seem to have zero rapport with their players. I can’t help but wonder if their alternately patronizing and moralistic approach is really going to build a competitor in Miami.

  44. Leave the man alone…he was.part of a horrible franchise …the colts will show him the right path, and Indianapolis isn’t a miserable city…smh!!!!

  45. txxxchief says:
    Aug 28, 2012 11:29 PM
    With the recent tweeting antics of Jim Irsay, the NFL owners should require urine testing of themselves.


    Made me laugh – loudly.
    Funny though it is, this statement may be closer to the truth than we realize.

  46. You kidding me? Vontae should have jumped up a hugged ireland. He just paroled from that disaster of an organization.

  47. Vonte had this coming… He show’s up out of shape and gets a useless penalty against Carolina and his last straw was throwing the receiver down in the Atlanta game… He has been a complete bust on the part of his mental aspect, He may be the most talented man we had on the roster but he is very immature! I’m not a HUGE Ireland fan but I will say he has done what he can do with the changing of coaches every 3 years, remember they all have there on style of play and type of players they want. Vonte is not Ireland’s fault… Vonte has to want it and his attitude surely does not show it….

  48. Why does everyone keep seeming to blame Ireland. It seems like he is allowing the coach plenty of input and if Philbin wanted to keep Davis they would have. It is a new system and instead of applying a band-aid like they have the last 10 years they are actually trying to make change. I say go for it, whats the worst that can happen at this point…another 3 losing seasons, I admit as a fan I would like to see the ‘phins win but I like the fact that they actually have a direction now. And maybe this will be the wake up call for Davis so he has the type of career he should have, he has the physical tools to be a top 5 corner in the league but not when you come into camp too out of shape to practice. Getting picks for players is the key to rebuilding and if they can get a second for a guy that fell out of favor good for them.

  49. blackqbwhiterb says:
    Aug 29, 2012 6:59 AM
    I think Philbin’s not “Getting rid of all the talent”, as some have said, he’s cleaning house- getting rid of players with issues drama and distractions. On the other issue, I don’t think a 1st year coach with a major rebuild in progress needs the sideshow of Hard Knocks all over training camp either. Allowing that was a bad move.
    You hit the nail on the head. Just shows how absolutely clueless Stephen Ross is. He knows nothing about football and actually thinks this is how you build a fan base.

    Might want to get a real GM and try winning. I’m fairly certain that will sell tickets and merch.

  50. if you are a 3rd year starter in the NFL and you come to training camp and get winded after barely a series. heck what would happen if Brady, schuab or any other team using a no huttle system. He would get burned. Andre johnson would eat him up. Oh wait he already Has. For a guy that said he was going to be better then Revis last year he sure didn’t show it.
    It is for the best he is gone. This is the NFL stands for NOT FOR LONG if you are not in shape!!!!

  51. Some of you are starting to sound like soccer moms complaining about how Ireland did his job!!!!! THIS IS THE BUSINESS!!!!!! Im sure thats a conversation Ireland does not want to have but he gets paid to do it. I got fired a year ago and never got invited into a office to explain the process or what about me they did not like. Ireland told the man the complete truth, its hard tv to watch at times but it happens everyday. Vontae still has his job he just works in a different city wearing a different uniform. Criticizing Ireland for how he did it is completely ignorant. Hope Dansby is the next one to go. Everybody wants a winning team but they never want to take the grueling steps to get there!!!! Feelings will get hurt along the way, take your sensitive shirts off.

  52. And for everyone who still thinks Davis was one of the best players on this team go back and watch last years game against the Pats in Miami. Playing in the heat is supposed to be the ‘phins home field advantage and Davis missed about 3/4 of the game with cramps. It just shows how Ireland was right when he told him his career had too many highs and lows and needed more consistency. This was a win for both teams, Miami can use the picks to build and the Colts get a starting CB on their team.

  53. Ryan Alfieri says: Aug 28, 2012 11:33 PM

    Trades are so weird…only in the NFL can you work for a completely different company on the other side of the country without your consent.

    Any sport really. Now imagine being a Texas baseball player and getting traded to Toronto! Nothing against Canada but that probably isn’t where most Americans grow up thinking about living.

    This is why I don’t see a European football team working. London is a nice city but I can bet a few players would flat out refuse to move there if traded.

  54. Vontae has the capabilities to be an extremely good cb in the NFL, he just doesn’t have or show the drive to want to be. It takes more then just claiming to be the best tandem in the league, you eventually have got to prove it though your efforts in practice and in games.

    I hope this is a wake up call for him. Coach Philbin is holding everybody accountable for their actions and changing the culture around here and I for one am on board with what I’ve seen so far through hard knocks. They are gaining leverage with these good picks we’re getting through trades. I look at them making a run a WR that can atually catch (Bess, is the only safe one) You can’t make Chicken Salad out of Chicken Sh%t

  55. poor Vontae just got labeled as the ‘grandma caller’ by an HBO editing crew….

    the most shocking thing for the show was the general cluelessness of Tannehill….

    if he actually earned that Biology degree… Ireland wants an explanation!

  56. Who cares that the guy (Tannehill) didnt know all the divisions! He just wants to play winning football and make this team better. Last I checked, he was a rookie and nobody got voted into the record books for knowing all the teams and the different divions they played in.

    This may sound crazy to most people, but I feel like Jake Long is better suited to play RT. He’s mammoth and strong and that’s the side most of the stronger defensive ends play. The rookie, Martin is better suited for LT.

  57. Is there any leadership on this Dolphin team? I only see Jake Long and Reggie Bush get upset when their buddy gets canned without their “approval” . Philpin better toughen up and get these prima donnas under control and toughen em up. There a bunch of “fancy boys” who spent too much time on South Beach.

  58. “Who cares that the guy (Tannehill) didnt know all the divisions! He just wants to play winning football and make this team better. Last I checked, he was a rookie and nobody got voted into the record books for knowing all the teams and the different divions they played in.” –nobandwagonridersallowed

    Ryan isn’t there to play CB or DE. Kids his age, all across America, are interviewing for jobs. The smart ones walk into the room already knowing their potential employer’s business and competition.

    In the NFL, it’s the QBs like Peyton Manning–who notice every stone out of place on their path from the parking lot into the practice building–who prosper. The league is littered with the carcasses of the guys who didn’t.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.