Sunday, March 18, 2012
What now for Dolphins at quarterback?
By James Walker
Does anyone want to play quarterback for the Miami Dolphins next season? It sure doesn't look that way.
After failing to woo future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, the Dolphins also missed on their second choice Sunday. Former Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn agreed to a modest three-year, $26 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
This is another big blow to Dolphins ownership and the front office, which thought it could make a splash this offseason. Instead, the Dolphins have been turned down by veteran coach Jeff Fisher, Manning and now Flynn in a short span. Each decline adds further humiliation to the Dolphins, who were already viewed as a shaky organization at the top to begin with.
But the Dolphins losing out on Flynn may be the biggest surprise of the three, considering Flynn's deep ties with rookie Miami head coach Joe Philbin. The pair spent four years growing together in Green Bay, which made Miami the early favorite to get Flynn.
But something didn't go right this weekend when Flynn met with Miami's brass. Perhaps money was the issue. But were the Dolphins unwilling to give up $26 million for a starting quarterback? Or maybe things just didn't feel right for Flynn in Miami, and he thought Seattle was a better fit.
Regardless, the Dolphins have become one of the league's biggest offseason losers in the first week of free agency. They traded away their best receiver (Brandon Marshall) for pennies on the dollar and continue to whiff in their quarterback search.
The home run (Manning) or any potential extra-base hits (Robert Griffin III, Flynn) are out of the question for the Dolphins. Miami had its three strikes, and it's simply time to go back to the dugout and regroup.
The Dolphins may get desperate and sign Alex Smith or David Garrard. But that would only add to Miami's misery. Neither player is the long-term solution. A case can be made that Dolphins incumbent Matt Moore is better in the short term, especially if you consider the millions it would take to sign Smith, who helped lead the San Francisco 49ers to the NFC Championship Game.
Miami just needs to stick with Moore and draft a quarterback, perhaps Ryan Tannehill, at No. 8 overall. Free agency could be used to patch up holes at receiver, right guard and right tackle. The Dolphins have suffered enough embarrassment chasing quarterbacks.
But with Miami's front office, you just never know. Maybe we will see Smith in a Dolphins uniform in 2012, or an old-fashioned quarterback competition between Moore and Garrard in training camp.
Anything is possible.