UPDATE 5:24pm: As per Field Yates of ESPN, the Dolphins have traded their 7th round draft pick in 2019 for Spence.
According to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins have acquired defensive tackle Akeem Spence from the Detroit Lions.
The Miami Dolphins are trading for a defensive tackle, filling big post-draft need. Details to follow.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) May 3, 2018
Spence was drafted in the 4th round (100th overall) of the 2013 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Earlier today, prior to the trade, the Lions and Spence agreed to restructure his contract.
After the restructure, Spence will carry cap hits of $3m (in 2018) and $2.5m (in 2019). The perk for Miami is that Spence carries no dead weight – if he is cut at any point, there is no dead cap hit.
After spending his first four years with the Buccaneers, Spence spent last season on the Lions and accumulated 3 sacks over 11 starts. Over his 5 year career, Spence has 8.5 sacks spread across 72 games (41 starts).
After releasing Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins had a void to fill at defensive tackle. The rookie performances of Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor made it easier to let Suh walk, but relying on a first-team tandem of Jordan Phillips and Godchaux seemed risky – not to mention with very little depth.
Many assumed the Dolphins would solve their vacancy high in the draft, with Vita Vea being the most prominent name discussed. And if it weren’t for Minkah Fitzpatrick falling further than anticipated, it’s quite possible Vea would have been the selection.
After finishing the 2018 draft without selecting a defensive tackle, it was evident Miami was going to look to solve the position via free agency or training camp cuts.
Trading for Spence is similar to the trades for Robert Quinn and Daniel Kilgore; Mike Tannenbaum is looking to buy-low on starting talent that other teams are looking to purge for contract reasons.
I don’t expect Spence to be a pro bowl DT, but if he can perform similarly to Randy Starks or Earl Mitchell (early in his Dolphins tenure), then it’s a solid trade.