Say it with me. “Matt Flynn is the answer to the Miami Dolphins QB situation”. That wasn’t so hard was it. Now the question really is, can he legitimately be the long term answer for a team that hasn’t caught a break since 1983. Year in and year out, the Dolphins fan base and the media dissect the QB position in Miami and every year it’s the same argument over and over again. Who is the best fit for the Miami Dolphins?
This year, there are names like Orton, yes that same chanted name from last off-season, Matt Flynn, Peyton Manning, RGIII, Chad Henne, Matt Moore, Andrew Luck, and then the name dropping stops. Six names to choose from and at least three teams needing a QB. Who is going where and who is not is as much of an argument as who is right for this team or that. In Miami, Jeff Ireland has made it know, his team needs a QB. Stephen Ross won’t get outbid financially but also won’t simply overpay for the sake of throwing money at the top of the heap.
When all the card are on the table, starting March 13th, we will get a great idea of where we stand and what we will need to do come the end of April. I’m about to show you why Matt Flynn is the right QB at the right time for these Miami Dolphins.
Consider this a Flynn vs. “insert name here” type of debate. Know this. I have no guarantees that Matt Flynn is going to resurrect the franchise. For all I know he will be a monumental bust. The Dolphins however need to take a risk and frankly, that time is now.
Peyton Manning is the first in line when the debates start. Signing Manning would immediately improve the offense. He alone can take an also-ran squad and put them at the top of the division. He will not however come cheap. You can expect around 12-15 million a year taken off the cap immediately. Possibly more. He will turn 38 by seasons start and is clearly in the twilight of his career.
He is also injured. Not just sort of injured, by life-threatening injured. The nerves in his neck are not fully fused into his body and after three surgeries, he still has not been cleared to play. Don’t believe for a moment that he will take a wait and see approach before signing a contract with another team. If a deal is offered, he will take it whether he plays again or not. Truth be told, Peyton Manning is too high a risk for the money he will command to sign in free agency. I would have to pass.
Matt Flynn is no Manning, not even close. However he is cheaper, younger, and healthy. How much cheaper? He likely would sign a deal that will pay him between five and six million a season.
We can forget about discussing Kyle Orton, Matt Moore, or Chad Henne. All three are no longer viewed as starters but instead viable options as a back-up. For the Dolphins, they can draft a back-up if that is what they want. Matt Moore will go into the season the starter and it will be whomever is penciled in as the future guy to beat him out. Unless of course it’s Flynn or Manning. In other words, land one of them and Moore is a back-up once again.
The easiest name to toss out of this list is Andrew Luck. The Dolphins do not have enough to get him and Indy is setting their sites on drafting the top prospect over the last two decades at QB. Since, well Peyton Manning. Luck is so much an afterthought anymore that no one bothers to mention his name as a possibility. So instead let’s focus on RGIII.
RGIII is the consensus number two overall pick in this years draft but that may not be the case come April. St. Louis will not likely draft him and instead try and trade the pick. Rumors are flying all over the internet that Cleveland and their two first rounders will jump up two spots and get him, but what if Cleveland lands Manning or Flynn instead? Suddenly, they are no longer looking to move up. The same can be said when mentioning Washington. If that scenario played out and both the Browns and Redskins took free agent QB’s the Dolphins would not have to move up to number 2 but instead allow RGIII to fall a bit further as the top QB hungry teams would all have their guys.
Matt Flynn costs the Dolphins nothing. Not one draft pick unless he gets tagged. Only money. Something they can afford. Joe Philbin knows him well. Maybe more than anyone else in the NFL. Can Miami make the right pitch to land him? They can if money isn’t a concern. Why? Simple, the best chance that Matt Flynn has to succeed in the NFL is with Joe Philbin. Which means he will likely want to come to Miami. Unless of course he never liked Philbin to begin with.
Washington and Cleveland can’t offer him the same system as Philbin can. Flynn will be a starter wherever he goes and the Dolphins know this. It’s his job if he wants it, provided his monetary demands are not crazy out of this world and that Philbin endorses him. There is little change for this QB if he comes to Miami. It should equal an easy transition from back-up to starter. It’s an absolute rare event when a back-up free agent QB can join another team with a similar system with his old coach calling the shots.
Flynn obviously would take Miami out of the running for a first or second round draft pick at the same position and that is fine. He may lack the experience as a full time starter but he has started two more games in the NFL than any of the rookies heading to the NFL…again, no learning curve. Free agency starts prior to the draft so the Dolphins can have a plan in place heading into the draft and should have a QB in place to lead the team, alleviating the need to move up for a guy that they will inevitably over pay for.
So why is Matt Flynn the best option?
Flynn has two more NFL games under his belt than any of the incoming rookies and his salary will be manageable. He will also come with no additional draft picks required by the team, something that would be spent to move up to grab Luck or RGIII. Flynn knows the system, the coach, the signals, and the game planning structure that Philbin will use. It’s also a perfect fit for Flynn to succeed. He is younger than Peyton Manning, healthy, and will come a lot cheaper. Yes, he is no Manning, but he can lead, something that the Dolphins have not had in a long time.
Mostly however, Flynn is the right fit because if he is the wrong fit, it won’t cripple the team. Ross is out of some money, and the Dolphins move on. If it’s RGIII and he busts out, forget it. You are out of money and draft picks to move up. If it’s Manning, you may never see him actually take the field, or he may do so for a short period of time. He will also be looking to retire in the next two seasons as well.
When you put it all together, Matt Flynn is no closer to becoming the next Dan Marino than he is to become the next Chad Henne. But he does make the most sense.