The Miami Dolphins are not messing around. They added another star to a locker room full of them Tuesday, trading for Denver Broncos‘ pass rusher Bradley Chubb ahead of the NFL’s 4 p.m. deadline.
The Dolphins sent their last remaining 2023 first-round pick (which originally belonged to the 49ers), a 2024 fourth and running back Chase Edmonds to Denver for Chubb and a fifth-rounder in 2025.
Grading the Trade: Miami Dolphins Acquire Bradley Chubb From Broncos
Chubb, 26, is in the final year of his rookie contract, earning $12.7 million in base salary on the fifth-year option. A first-round pick in 2018, has 26 sacks in his career, including 5.5 this year. He has appeared in just 49 of a possible 73 games due to a series of injuries.
The Dolphins were able to free up some offsetting cap space by dealing Edmonds, who averaged just 2.9 yards per carry in his eight games with Miami. The Dolphins filled in that lost running back depth by trading for 49ers running back Jeff Wilson, who reunites with Mike McDaniel in Miami.
Dolphins Trade for Chubb
The Dolphins are telling us the best way to improve a banged-up secondary is by not forcing those DBs to cover for very long.
Miami, through eight weeks, is 28th in yards per pass (7.3) and 25th in sack rate (5.2%) but eighth in pass rush win rate (49%). Expect all three metrics to improve with Chubb, who now gives the Dolphins two of the league’s top 10 edge defenders in PRWR.
Jaelen Phillips is the other, and the combination of Chubb and Phillips should be among the league’s best down the stretch.
MORE: Chase Edmonds Fantasy Impact Following Trade
This deal isn’t without risk, however. There’s the injury history. Plus, Chubb knows the Dolphins have to hang onto him beyond 2022, given the compensation involved. That added leverage is mitigated somewhat by the franchise tag. Expect the Dolphins to use it if a deal isn’t struck by February.
One more big takeaway: The Dolphins are all-in on Tua Tagovailoa in 2023. They now have neither the draft capital nor the salary cap space to replace him next offseason. But given how he’s played, why would they?
Broncos’ Outlook Without Chubb
From a pure draft standpoint, the Broncos pulled a coup. They drafted Chubb in the first round, got four and a half years out of him, and then traded him for a first-rounder.
Granted, the quality of that No. 1 pick still remains to be seen. It all depends on how the 49ers do the rest of the season. They would pick 20th if the season ended today. But it’s certainly better than the nothing they had in Round 1 heading into Tuesday due to the Russell Wilson trade.
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The problem for Denver? Trading Chubb weakens a strength on a team that doesn’t have too many. The Broncos were supposed to win now after trading for Russell Wilson, but are just 3-5 and the AFC’s 12 seed midway through his first season.
It’s going to be tough to get back in the hunt without Chubb, who was a big part of the NFL’s most efficient defense and the league’s No. 1 pass defense.
Sure, the Broncos did acquire defensive end Jacob Martin from the Jets in a minor deal involving late-round draft compensation, but that’s not going to fill the void.
Chubb’s Fresh Start in Miami
Chubb is about to get paid. The going rate for elite pass rushers is over $25 million, and the Dolphins will have no choice but pay it.
Another plus: He goes from a team in crisis to a team set up to make a run. The Dolphins are 5-0 in games in which Tua starts and finishes. Now with Chubb in the fold, they might not need as many late-game heroics from their third-year QB.