The Dolphins felt they were better off without running back Jay Ajayi, prompting his trade to the Eagles. The Eagles believe they are a better football team with Ajayi.
Another team’s discard can turn into another team’s treasure.
“I didn’t know a ton about Jay,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday. “. . . But when he arrived, he and I had a conversation and really I just explained to him the environment, the locker room he was joining. Part of my message this year to our team, to our players is about ownership. We’re always looking to better our roster obviously, and Jay has made us better. Our guys embraced him. Our guys have said, ‘Listen, this is the way we practice; this is the way we do things.’ We haven’t had any problems out of Jay. He’s been awesome to work with. He’s part of that running back group that has been real successful for us this year so it’s fun to watch him perform.”
The Eagles gave up a fourth-round draft pick for Ajayi at the trade deadline October 31.
Reports he was a locker room cancer in Miami left Ajayi seeking to prove to his new teammates he wasn’t who the Dolphins thought he was.
“It was more of just slowly showing who I was and just trying to feel it out,” Ajayi said. “It’s a touchy situation, because at the end of the day, I didn’t come with this clean story line. Obviously, there was a story line of me being a bad teammate and all that stuff. So obviously some people may think that, so it was kind of let me just be myself, show who I am, be true to myself and everything will all work itself out, and it did.”
Ajayi has fit right in with the Eagles, rushing for 408 yards in seven regular-season games and gaining 197 yards from scrimmage on 38 postseason touches.