MOBILE, Ala. — DeVante Parker was supposed to have a breakout season.
He was supposed to be a monster. He was supposed to be a Pro Bowler. He was supposed to dominate the NFL.
Yeah, so, none of that happened.
Instead, Parker had less catches and less yards and less touchdowns and, in general, folks have less patience for Parker’s potential.
A former teammate of Parker once said that at a certain point you have to stop talking about his potential.
And so, we are here.
Parker has completed three seasons and because he was a first-round pick, the Dolphins need to decide if they’ll exercise a fifth-year option this off-season.
All it does, really, is allow Miami to keep Parker’s rights. If they want to renege on the option, and Parker isn’t injured next season, they can do so with no salary cap penalty.
It seems that may be the fate of offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James, who had his fifth-year option picked up before last season, and who now, does not seem likely at all to return on that one-year deal.
But Parker — Parker still has all that potential.
Honestly, it makes complete and total sense to pick up the contract.
Because if somehow, Parker has 1,200 yards next season and stays healthy and does all the things most everyone believe he’s physically capable of doing, they would regret it if they didn’t have the fifth-year option.
Will they pick up the option?
“DeVante is another guy we drafted here,” Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum said this week. “We want to see him reach his potential. I know it’s important to him. Obviously, he’s dealt with injuries, which is I’m sure as frustrating to him as it is to us. We’re going to keep working with him and try to get him to be the best player he can be. Obviously he has a big ceiling and a lot of ability. He works hard at it. Like I said, I think it’s important to him. In terms of where we’ll go with his contract and his option, we have plenty of time to make that decision, so that’s a ways down the road.”
So, no promises about Jarvis Landry, and no promises about Parker.
And frankly, why should they make any promises about Parker now? It might make sense to see if Parker makes it to the option deadline healthy. We kid. Parker has tried. It just hasn’t worked out for him yet.
And to be fair, there are some injuries that are in no way related to how much water you drink or how much stretching you do. It’s the NFL. Sometimes injuries occur.
And Miami certainly doesn’t want to see Parker go to the 49ers (with Jimmy Garoppolo) or Colts (with Andrew Luck) or Jets (with Baker Mayfield) or the Texans (with Deshaun Watson) and actually realize, you know, all that he is supposed to be.
Will Miami bet on Parker for two more seasons?
Assuming they haven’t completely given up, and try to trade him (not a ridiculous notion) probably.
“Again, we’ll look at it as the offseason evolves and where that goes,” Tannenbaum said. “Again, we like DeVante as a person. We see his ability and, again, hope that he can grow and develop to reach his potential.”