Manso: Adam Gase makes statement in stunning Ajayi trade


DAVIE, Fla. – Adam Gase has drawn the line in the sand.

You're either with me or you're gone.

Apparently, Jay Ajayi wasn't with the head coach's plan and now he's off to Philadelphia.

The Dolphins shocking trade of their best offensive weapon seemed to come out of nowhere.  This is an offense that is dead last in the NFL.  It's not even close.

Yet, they traded a 24 year old running back coming off a Pro Bowl season for a 4th round pick?

It seems like a head scratcher.

But, dig a little deeper at what's happened.  Gase was clearly tired of Ajayi's attitude.  Let's not forget the running back was kept behind in Miami before last year's opener in Seattle because Gase wasn't happy with the way he reacted to his role.

Now go back to just a few days ago when Gase openly called out his key offensive players and made it no secret he was tired of Ajayi's act.

On Friday, Gase said, "We gotta stop trying to hit home runs all the time.  How about take the 4-5 yards we're gonna get?  Comes down to everyone doing their job.  Start doing that.  It might help."

Ouch.  Talk about a guy getting called out.

Ajayi didn't take to that criticism very well and reportedly had numerous issues and encounters with Gase over the last few weeks.

Guess who won this argument?

Gase made his point.  He asked his personnel people to deal Ajayi and they did.

Now Gase has to live up to his tough attitude.  If trading Ajayi is supposed to send some kind of message, it's time to see how he backs it up and players react.

I'm all for a coach making a point and setting the tone for a team's attitude, but this is a risk.

This will either go down as the day Gase earned the full respect of his locker room for laying down the law and making clear the culture he wants, or it could be the day we found out maybe Gase is in a little over his head.

I honestly don't know the answer, but Gase seemed convinced Ajayi around was not the answer.

He has that job security and faith from owner Stephen Ross, for now.

His 14-9 start as a head coach in Miami buys him some time to fix the offense and do things his way.

But, he better be right.

It's a win now league and Gase will get the rest of this season and next to fix things.  No matter what Dolphins fans yell and scream on Twitter, Gase is not on the hot seat.

He's made his statement.  Now let's see who listens.

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