In March, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores strongly rejected the notion that the Dolphins were punting on being competitive during the 2019 season while working to build a stronger team for future seasons.
When Flores made those comments, the Dolphins still had left tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Kiko Alonso on the roster. Miami traded all three of those players to other teams this weekend and the team’s roster has the look of one that’s built to lose now in hopes of winning later.
Flores hasn’t changed his talking points, however.
“This game means a lot to me,” Flores said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “I wouldn’t disrespect the game with that. We’re not. We’re going to try to win every game. . . . We’re going come out, work hard, we’re going to fight. We’re going to play hard and try to win every game. That’s what you do. This team is motivated. We’ve got some talented players. We’re going to go out there and try to win every game.”
Players are certainly going to work hard because they’re going to want jobs in 2020 with the Dolphins or another NFL team, but teams that trade starting players in order to stockpile high picks in future drafts generally aren’t interested in results in the present. Flores obviously isn’t going to say that publicly or to the team privately, but neither he nor anyone else from the Dolphins needs to make any bold pronouncements to make it clear what the priority is in Miami right now.