“We all talk about how much the game has changed over the years. But if the passing game has revolutionized the game on the field, the trading game has been transformative too.” – King on NFL general manager’s willingness to trade
“I think we’re in a different age. Football has evolved. A lot of general managers are willing to trade now – you’ve seen that over the past few years. Some of it probably goes back to the ‘Moneyball’ craze.” – Dolphins GM Chris Grier to King
“Tampa Bay gets to open at home on Thursday, Sept. 9…My prediction: The foe will be either Buffalo or Dallas.” – King on the NFL’s upcoming schedule release
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 10, 2021 – Peter King speaks with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier as he details Miami’s 2021 NFL Draft moves and trade philosophies in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses the NFL’S upcoming schedule announcement, offers additional team draft notes, and speaks with Colts first-round pick Kwity Paye about his journey from Liberia to the NFL.
Peacock’s free, exclusive NBC Sports channel has weekday sports talk programming from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET, which includes extensive NFL coverage from PFT Live featuring Mike Florio and Chris Simms live at 7 a.m. ET, followed by The Dan Patrick Show at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Peacock Original Brother From Another, with Michael Holley and Michael Smith, at 3 p.m. ET, and PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday-Friday. ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest offseason news, NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show and the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast discuss offseason storylines.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King on Miami under GM Chris Grier: “Since taking over as general manager with full personnel power in Miami 28 months ago, Grier has made 28 trades. If that seems like a lot of deals, it is…Many Miami deals have been done on the clock during drafts. But Grier’s 25th and 26th trades left major imprints on three teams in this draft, and the impact of the deals will be felt for years…In his 28 months as exclusive steward of the Miami roster, Grier has traded away seven first and second-round picks, and acquired 12 of them.”
King: “We all talk about how much the game has changed over the years. But if the passing game has revolutionized the game on the field, the trading game has been transformative too. A cadre of young, aggressive general managers, who learn from peers in all sports, don’t treat high picks like immovable objects anymore.”
Grier to King on trading: “I think we’re in a different age. Football has evolved. A lot of general managers are willing to trade now – you’ve seen that over the past few years. Some of it probably goes back to the ‘Moneyball’ craze, when people started looking at how it’s done in other sports.”
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores to King on roster-building with Grier: “You mentioned that philosophically, coaches are about today and not about the future. I guess I’m more in tune with the future. When I get into my coaching short-term thought process, Chris pulls me out of that…We have a similar vision for what we want the team to look like.”
King on the 49ers’ original trade offer to Miami: “On March 4, (49ers GM John) Lynch offered San Francisco’s first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to move from 12 to three. A very strong offer, two ones to move up nine spots in the draft. Now the Dolphins knew San Francisco wanted to get up that high to take a quarterback…And with so many teams coveting quarterbacks in this draft, that’s where the leverage came in. Grier could wait for a more aggressive offer. And knowing he had a good offer in hand, Grier could ask around between four and eight – would any team want to go back to 12?”
King: “The Dolphins saw the top of the draft this way: Picks 1, 2, 3, quarterbacks. Pick 4 (Atlanta), a quarterback or tight end Kyle Pitts. Pick 5 (Cincinnati), likely (Ja’Marr) Chase, or possibly tackle Penei Sewell…Grier probably wouldn’t move back to 12 unless he could move back up to get (Jaylen) Waddle, or one of the offensive impact players.”
Grier on moving back up in the draft after trading down to No. 12: “We knew that (Alabama receiver) DeVonta Smith, if he was the other guy, who is a very good player, was not going to be there at 12. We knew the players that we wanted would not be there at 12. We had very good intel, we’d done our work. We were 100 percent sure we were not going to get a targeted player, especially Jaylen, staying at 12…We felt six was the spot for us to get Waddle.”
King on the Dolphins trading back up to No. 6 with the Eagles: “The Eagles, at six, were the perfect target. GM Howie Roseman loved trading, and he had a reason to want to collect draft capital: If Jalen Hurts didn’t put a solid grip on the starting quarterback job this fall, Philly might need draft picks to target one of the top quarterbacks in next year’s draft – or maybe even Deshaun Watson.”
Grier on trading: “To me, it’s never about winning a trade. It’s about being open, honest and working toward getting a deal both sides feel good about.”
King on the Dolphins’ philosophy in 2021: “In the first two years Grier and Flores worked together, so much of the draft prep and trading was about the future. This draft was more about the future is now…So in 2019, the Dolphins might have moved from three to 12 and kept all their future ones instead of trading a one to move back up to six.”
Flores: “The guys we got in ’19, the guys we got in ’20, the guys we got in ’21, that we get in this draft, that’s the team…As we move forward, that’s going to be the crux or the big chunk of our team. They’ll be the reason why we make noise or don’t make noise.”
King on Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa: “There’s much riding on Tagovailoa for Grier. Miami built a warchest of picks to be able to draft a quarterback, and if Tagovailoa’s not the guy, it’ll set the rebuild back significantly – and force Miami to use more draft capital on a quarterback, likely in 2023.”
King on the Dolphins learning from others across sports: “Grier and Flores have brain-picked with GMs across leagues. Grier learned from his dad, former Patriots personnel man Bobby Grier, and one of his bosses in Miami, Bill Parcells – but also from baseball GMs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, and several NHL GMs. Flores has gotten to know Miami Heat execs, and learned from Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti and an assistant GM with the Nets, Andy Birdsong.”
UPDATES ON 11
King on the 2021 NFL schedule: “Tampa Bay gets to open at home on Thursday, Sept. 9, with the 2020 champs beginning 2021 with basically the exact same roster. My prediction: The foe will be either Buffalo or Dallas…The Bills could go to Tampa and win the opener, and the Cowboys, with Dak Prescott leading an explosive offense, would be able to go toe-to-toe with the Arians/Brady offense.”
King on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers: “It’s the calm after the storm. Don’t look for anything significant to happen for the next couple of weeks or so. The Packers are dug in, and they’re looking for a way to olive-branch a peace treaty. Rodgers is dug in, too, and likely still wants a new start somewhere.”
King on Packers GM Brian Gutekunst: “I think there are quite a few reasons why Brian Gutekunst will not be fired by the Green Bay Packers, but this happens to be my favorite one. In regular-season and postseason games played since Gutekunst was named GM of the franchise, the Packers are 34-17-1. In that same period, New England is 33-19.”
Khan on Tim Tebow and the Jaguars: “I hear the Jaguars will wait till after this weekend’s rookie mini-camp to assess their roster and maybe see how much they think they can get in the overall blocking/receiving from fifth-round tight end Luke Farrell of Ohio State. But after declining to keep solid vet Tyler Eifert last week, the Jags have a major need at tight end.”
King on Colts first-round pick Kwity Paye: “The story of the draft, in my opinion, is not satisfied. Paye was born in a refugee camp in western Africa, his mother trying to escape war in their native Liberia. She sent him to live with an uncle in Rhode Island when he was 6 months old, and he used a determination to make life better for his mother to earn a football scholarship to Michigan.”
Paye to King on moving to America: “I don’t think I’d be here speaking with you today if we stayed in Liberia at that time. I feel like my story just shows with persistent hard work and dedication, you can really achieve anything. When you put your mind to something and really work towards it, there’s just nothing you can’t do.”
Paye to King on his and is mother’s reaction to being drafted: “We just danced all day. I had blisters on my feet – we were just dancing all night. Yeah, it was just a heartwarming experience to just see her in that moment, and for her to be so proud and just for her to…for all the hard work to finally come back to her, I would say.”
King on Seahawks WR DK Metcalf, who ran in 100m heats at yesterday’s USATF Golden Games: “Metcalf ran a 10.37-second 100-meter dash in the U.S. Track and Field Golden Games, finishing 15th of 17 sprinters in the prestigious event. Imagine if the 235-pound Metcalf dropped 20 pounds and trained for the event. If he cut one-fifth of a second from his time, he might make the Olympics one day.”
King on the Bills: “All eyes on Gregory Rousseau, the first-round pick with some fascinating tools to be an NFL edge-rusher. Problem is, he’s started seven college games at the spot, and the Bills need an edge presence pronto.”
King on the Bengals: “They better be right on Ja’Marr Chase. I like the decision – if second-round offensive lineman Jackson Carman can develop into a long-term starter at guard or tackle that the Bengals desperately need. But if Joe Burrow gets hurt again, well, the Bengals will be second-guessing themselves.”
King on the Cowboys: “What most interested me about the Dallas draft is how unfamous it was. First six picks: linebacker, cornerback, defensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback, linebacker. Add Keanu Neal (a favorite of new DC Dan Quinn from Atlanta) and I think you could see a defensive makeover here.”
King on the Chiefs: “The offensive line that was so sickly at the Super Bowl looks darn good now, especially after taking center Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma in the second round.”
King on the 49ers: “The best thing happened. The Niners didn’t trade Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Niners got their quarterback of the future. This is actually a good thing for Garoppolo – because he’ll have the chance to show the team made a huge mistake by drafting his successor by being the clear choice to start the season with a fortified team.”
King on the Buccaneers: “One quarterback-studier this spring called Kyle Trask a “Kent Graham type, a guy with a good-enough arm but just so slow.” Could be. I think that was said about a certain University of Michigan quarterback 21 years ago.”
Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Chris Simms streams live on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays, followed by The Dan Patrick Show at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- The Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show continue the NFL discussion.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.