Wide receiver Kenny Stills has become the latest victim of the New Orleans Saints’ trading frenzy, as he has been dealt to the Miami Dolphins for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a third-round pick.
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The Saints have also traded away key offensive pieces in All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks) and Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs (Kansas City Chiefs).
Stills provides the Dolphins with a speedy deep threat, and he emerged in his second NFL season with 63 receptions for 931 yards and three touchdown catches.
He is only 23-years-old, and his acquisition may be the final nail in the coffin for Mike Wallace’s career with the Dolphins.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will have a solid receiving corps to throw to Stills, Jarvis Landry, and tight end Jordan Cameron.
Ellerbe spent two seasons with the Dolphins and showed his potential in 2013 with a career-high 101 tackles after helping lead the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in the 2014 season.
He has agreed to restructure his contract to help the Saints’ salary cap situation.
He suffered a season-ending hip injury in 2014, but he will immediately fill the hole at inside linebacker left by Curtis Lofton if he can stay healthy.
The Saints defense grossly underachieved last season, and they are making trades in an effort to help the unit recover. They also signed cornerback Brandon Browner in free agency.
They should be able to pick up pieces through the draft as they have two first-round picks to go with a second-round pick and two third-round picks.