Dolphins have tough decisions at QB

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
11:05
AM ET
The Miami Dolphins' quarterback picture was crystal clear two weeks ago. Veteran David Garrard was clearly winning the quarterback derby, Matt Moore was the incumbent pushing Garrard, and rookie Ryan Tannehill was a late arrival to training camp trying to catch up.

It's amazing how much has changed.

Two weeks later, Tannehill is the Week 1 starter, Garrard is recovering from knee surgery and little-known quarterback Pat Devlin is pushing for a roster spot. The Dolphins now have some big decisions to make at quarterback, and it won't be easy.

David Garrard
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireThe Dolphins might have to cut David Garrard, who was the team's best QB before suffering an injury.
The Dolphins will keep three quarterbacks. But there are plenty of ways they can go with this decision.

Let's examine the possibilities.

Option No. 1: Keep Tannehill, Garrard and Moore

Analysis: Miami could keep Garrard and Moore on the roster to backup Tannehill. These are the three best quarterbacks on the roster, although sometimes that doesn't always matter in the decision. This trio would give the Dolphins a steady group of quarterbacks. If Tannehill gets injured, the drop off to Garrard or Moore wouldn't be much. It might actually improve, due to experience. But money and contracts will weigh on this decision, which makes it possible that Garrard or Moore might not make the cut.

Option No. 2: Keep Tannehill, Moore and Devlin

Analysis: Devlin is much improved and getting better each week. His improvement is opening some options for the Dolphins. One of those options is to cut Garrard or work out an injury settlement if he's not healthy before the regular season. The tough part about this decision is Garrard was clearly the best quarterback in training camp before his knee injury. The Dolphins might be letting go of the best quarterback on the team. But the decision already has been made to start Tannehill in Week 1. Garrard is still rehabbing. So Miami might think it's best to keep a healthy Moore as the backup and Devlin at No. 3 in case he develops into something.

Option No. 3: Keep Tannehill, Garrard and Devlin

Analysis: The final option is to work out a trade for Moore. But several factors have to be involved for this to work. First, the Dolphins must be confident Garrard will be healthy enough to backup Tannehill in Week 1. Second, there has to be a market for Moore, which could require a quarterback injury or two this preseason. Moore has 25 career starts and went 6-3 in his final nine starts for Miami last season. He could have value to a team desperate to replace an injured quarterback on the fly.

The Dolphins have one week (Aug. 31) to make their final roster cuts.

Which option do you like best for Miami?

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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