DeVante Parker was inactive for Sunday’s Dolphins-Lions game, but his agent made quite an eye-opening play. Springing to the defense of his client, agent Jimmy Gould attacked Miami Coach Adam Gase, calling him not only “incompetent” but also a liar.
Parker had missed four of the Dolphins' first six games with injuries and was barely used in his two appearances. Sunday began with the latest rumors that the veteran wide receiver is on the trade block, but if so, Gase chose to mothball Parker rather than showcase him for possible suitors.
Gase acknowledged, though, that he benched Parker at least in part for what he saw as strategic reasons, claiming that Miami’s four other wide receivers who have gotten the bulk of the playing time this season “had been kind of rolling together.” Gase also said that he wanted to make sure backup running back Kalen Ballage was active for Sunday’s game because the rookie has been “doing a lot on special teams."
Those comments clearly raised the ire of Gould, who told ESPN, “Coach Gase is incompetent — period — and not telling the truth when it comes to DeVante, who is totally healthy and was needed big-time today. This is the third game he has done this to DeVante this year. It’s sickening and a grossly unfair characterization of my client.”
Gould offered similar remarks to other media outlets, saying in a statement that Gase “is not telling the truth and his decision was an example of poor management and cost the team the best opportunity to win.” The agent added, “He continues attacking the health of my client and that is not acceptable.
“Parker is not only healthy but wants to helps this team win and the only real question that should be asked is how does coach Gase justify his own incompetence.”
At 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, prototypical size for his position, Parker followed a standout career at Louisville by becoming the Dolphins' first-round pick, going 14th overall in the 2015 draft. In Miami, Parker has occasionally shown Pro Bowl potential but at least as often has frustrated the team with injuries, inconsistent play and whispers about his desire to be great.
The NFL’s trade deadline is Oct. 30, and the Dolphins reportedly have expressed interest in dealing Parker by then. Assuming reports of the team asking for a third-round pick are accurate, Miami will almost certainly have to lower that price if it wants to move Parker. The Dolphins owe him a hefty salary of more than $9 million in 2019 and he’s shown next to nothing on the field this season.
In the two games he’s played, Parker has just two catches for 40 yards on four targets with no touchdowns. Even when he has been available, Gase has appeared more than content to give almost all the snaps at wide receiver to Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant.
Amendola had a good outing Sunday, catching six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, but the other three combined for just six catches, 69 yards and another score. Miami fell behind early and could never quite get back into the game against Detroit, but the fault for the loss could arguably be laid far more on a defense that rarely made the Lions feel uncomfortable, not that Gould saw things quite that way.
“They needed Parker active,” the agent said. “He is completely healthy and was in full participation all week and in warm-ups this morning.”
“Something smells in Miami,” Gould added.
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