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    Miami Dolphins News: The Bradley Chubb Trade Looks Better by the Day

    The Miami Dolphins gave up a lot to acquire Bradley Chubb last fall. But they've gotten a lot in return.

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Bradley Chubb is the Miami Dolphins‘ newly minted PFN Midseason Defensive Player of the Year after a marvelous opening half to 2023.

    Chubb, in his first full season with the Dolphins, ranks first on the team in forced fumbles (4), sacks (6), and tackles for loss (7). He’s also top three on the team in hurries (4), pressures (15), quarterback hits (10), and QB knockdowns (6).

    But it wasn’t so long ago that there were real questions about the wisdom of Chris Grier’s blockbuster trade that brought Chubb to Miami. Chubb got off to a terribly slow start in Miami, recording 3.5 sacks and five tackles for loss in his first 13 games in aqua and orange. (He did record 17 quarterback hits over that stretch).

    Revisiting the Miami Dolphins’ Bradley Chubb Trade

    He expected and demanded more from himself.

    “Like I said earlier in the season, I just didn’t feel like I was making that big of an impact on the field, and I was kind of letting it get to me,” Chubb said Tuesday. “I’m supposed to be this guy and all that. But that’s when I had to look at the man in the mirror and understand, hey man, ‘You do this. It’s not about what people who put expectations on you; it’s not about that. It’s about what you know you can do and how you prepare to do that.’

    “I just started tapping into that a lot more, and I did that; I started bringing guys along with me,” Chubb added. “I feel like that’s kind of shifted the energy for all of us as a defense. It’s allowed us to grow better because everybody had that same mindset of looking in the mirror and understanding what they need to do better. It allows all of us to grow.”

    Chubb has fought through a frustrating start to his Dolphins tenure and is playing some of the best football of his career.

    And for the first time, he’s making the king’s ransom the Dolphins surrendered to acquire him at the 2022 trade deadline — RB Chase Edmonds, the No. 29 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft and a fourth-rounder in 2024, not to mention the $110 million contract extension that came with it — look like solid value.

    Chubb’s $22 million AAV is sixth among all outside linebackers, trailing only:

    • T.J. Watt, Steelers ($28 million)
    • Joey Bosa, Chargers ($27 million)
    • Montez Sweat, Bears ($24.5 million)
    • Rashan Gary, Packers ($24 million)
    • Khalil Mack, Chargers ($23.5 million)

    Chubb’s production matches up favorably with all of them. No player, regardless of position, has forced more fumbles, and Chubb is in the top 20 league-wide in sacks.

    Slim Pickings in Draft, Free Agency

    Now that we’ve established that Chubb’s compensation is in line with his production, let’s take a quick moment to look at what the Dolphins could have done with the resources they dedicated to acquiring and keeping him.

    Grier made the trade with the understanding that Chubb would be better than any pass rusher the Dolphins would have been able to get in 2023 free agency or the draft.

    MORE: Miami Dolphins Depth Chart

    Turns out, he was right.

    As we show here, there were no good options at that particular position beginning with the 29th pick.

    2023 NFL Draft

    • No. 29: DT Bryan Bresee (1.5 sacks, 3 TFLs, 5 PDs)
    • No. 30: LB Nolan Smith (1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits)
    • No. 31: DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah (.5 sacks, 5 QB hits, 1 FF)
    • No. 32: CB Joey Porter Jr. (1 INT, 4 PDs, 70.6 passer rating against)
    • No. 33: QB Will Levis (60.3%, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 7.4 Y/A, 96.4 rating)
    • No. 34: TE Sam LaPorta (43 catches, 434 yards, 4 TDs)
    • No. 35: TE Michael Mayer (13 catches, 159 yards, 0 TDs)
    • No. 36: G Steve Avila (9 starts, 2 sacks allowed, 2 penalties)
    • No. 37: OLB Derick Hall (0 sacks, 4 QB hits, 1 TFL)
    • No. 38: G Matthew Bergeron (9 starts for Falcons, 2 sacks allowed, 3 penalties)

    As for free agency, that would have been wasted money. Here are the six highest-paid pass rushers of the 2023 class:

    • Dre’Mont Jones ($17.2M AAV): 2 sacks, 4 TFLs
    • Zach Allen ($15.9M): 3 sacks, 6 TFLs
    • Marcus Davenport ($13M): 2 sacks, 2 TFLs
    • Yannick Ngakoue ($10.5M): 2 sacks, 4 TFLs
    • Larry Ogunjobi ($9.6M): 2 sacks, 2 TFLs
    • Samson Ebukam ($8M): 4 sacks, 6 TFLs

    MORE: NFL Defense Rankings 2023

    In short, the Dolphins spent big resources to address one of their biggest needs, and Chubb has rewarded that commitment with a Pro Bowl-caliber season. He was the best of all options available to the Dolphins, who have zero regrets at this point about making the move.

    “I think Bradley Chubb represents everything that I believe in,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said this week. “… Since the second he’s been here, he’s felt the responsibility to the organization to make right of our investment into him. I think as he’s found his niche and his role within the defense, he’s been able to exorcise some of the pressure demons that he self-imposes because it’s really important to him that he does right by the organization.

    “… And I think you have a chance as an organization when the people that you select to pay a good portion of your salary cap to, that they take that for what it is and it’s a responsibility heavy is the crown. And he’s in a really cool spot now because he’s allowing the game to come to him and understanding that all this team needs from him is his 100 percent commitment each and every day, which he exercises on the daily.”

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