Dolphins trade Ajayi to Eagles for 4th-rounder

Beth Ashley and Euleen Hope

The Miami Dolphins have traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick, it was announced Tuesday.

The NFL’s trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Ajayi has rushed 138 times for 465 yards (3.4 average) over seven games for the Dolphins this season. He is coming off a big 2016 campaign in which he racked up over 1,200 yards (4.9 per carry) with eight touchdowns.

He has yet to score a touchdown this season — the most rushing attempts in the league for a player yet to find the end zone. The Dolphins are the first team since the 2013 Rams to not have a rushing touchdown in their first seven games, and the team’s streak of eight straight games without a rushing touchdown is a franchise record.

The Eagles have been aggressively working the phones prior to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. One of the targets was a running back. A need developed for a third-down back in particular after Darren Sproles was lost for the season. In Ajayi, they get a workhorse who adds punch to a 7-1 Eagles team that already ranks third in total offense.

The move comes four days after coach Adam Gase said the Dolphins had “the worst offense in football” after the team’s 40-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. Miami ranks last in the NFL with 252.4 yards per game.

Ajayi was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl after finishing fourth in the NFL with 1,272 rushing yards — the third-highest single-season total in Dolphins history.

He had an early run-in with Gase last year when he expressed displeasure about not winning the starting job over Arian Foster at the beginning of last season. Ajayi was kept home before Miami’s Week 1 road game against the Seattle Seahawks.

However, Ajayi came on strong after the incident and helped propel the Dolphins to a playoff run that included winning nine of their last 11 games in 2016. Ajayi had a pair of 200-yard games during that stretch.

The Dolphins likely will turn to 2016 third-round pick Kenyan Drake as their starter. Drake has just 25 rushing yards this season on 10 carries.

Overall, Ajayi has rushed for 1,924 yards and nine touchdowns in 31 games for Miami since being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft out of Boise State.

ESPN’s Tim McManus and James Walker contributed to this report.

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