Sunday, March 18, 2012
What is Matt Moore thinking right now?
By James Walker
I don't know if Matt Moore likes to eat chopped liver. But he must certainly feel like chopped liver.
It's one thing for the Miami Dolphins to go after future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning to replace Moore. That's understandable.
Moore might even identify with Miami chasing former Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who has a strong connection with new Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
But Alex Smith? The same quarterback who threw 53 interceptions compared to 51 touchdowns his first six seasons? That's enough to make Moore ask Miami's brass, "What's wrong with me?"
This isn't about debating who is better between Smith and Moore. This is more about the Dolphins showing so little faith in Moore that they're entertaining spending millions of salary-cap room on Smith to replace Moore next fall. Smith is in Miami today for a visit. It could also be a negotiating ploy against Flynn.
Like Smith, Moore had a career year in 2011. Moore went 6-3 as a starter for Miami in his last nine games and threw for 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also had an 87.1 passer rating.
But Moore is not the long-term solution in Miami and neither is Smith. That's why it would be baffling to pay Smith starting quarterback money when both quarterbacks are probably in the same ballpark in terms of ability.
I think Flynn remains the favorite for Miami. He's an unknown commodity, but at least he provides hope and potential for the struggling Dolphins.
But if Miami goes in another direction, it would be silly to waste cap room on Smith. He's not significantly better than the quarterback you already have, and there are still prospects available next month in the NFL draft.
Miami's free-agent dollars would be better used adding some starting-caliber wide receivers or filling the right side of the offensive line.