Late last week, Peyton Manning was “kind” enough to inform the Miami Dolphins that he was not interested in playing with them next season. To make matters worse, Jeff Ireland “low-balled” an offer to Matt Flynn over the weekend and allowed the Seattle Seahawks to sign him to a modest contract. But even after striking out twice, the front office can still wipe the egg off their face and provide the fans with some glimmer of hope for next year. Miami’s search party for a franchise quarterback ends with Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill. If the Dolphins fail to acquire Tannehill in this year’s draft, this offseason will be deemed a bust for the Dolphins.
Stephen Ross and Ireland have made it clear it’s their number one priority to find a franchise quarterback this offseason. “We need a quarterback that can get us over the hump” is a direct quote from Ireland during the week of the Senior Bowl. They had their opportunities at top tier free agents as Manning and Flynn. However, it appears they may have their sights on a developmental quarterback with a high ceiling as Tannehill. Well, at least that’s what I’m convincing myself to believe.
The 6’4” 222 pound Aggie did finish his senior year with a solid performance. Tannehill completed 61.6% of his passes for 3,744 yards and 29 touchdowns. Most people tend to forget that Tannehill out-dueled RGIII, blowing out the Baylor Bears 55 to 28. That Saturday afternoon, he shined under the spotlight performing in the clutch, throwing for 415 yards and six touchdowns. Many NFL scouts and experts claim Tannehill is more NFL ready than the highly touted RGIII.
New Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, was Tannehill’s coach at Texas A&M. Wouldn’t he have the best Intel on Tannehill’s skill set and potential of becoming an NFL franchise quarterback? It makes sense to believe that Sherman has been the man behind the scenes from the very beginning, lobbying for the Dolphins to select him with that eighth pick. That’s of course if the Cleveland Browns don’t pick him with their fourth pick.
Regardless, It’s no secret that fans are losing faith in the Dolphins’ search for a franchise quarterback by the hour, and rightfully so. According to most people, the sky is falling around the city of Miami. Especially now with the Dolphins talking to Alex Smith and setting up meetings with washed up “retreads” as David Garrard. It’s no wonder everyone is already reaching for the panic button, including myself. Can Ireland actually address the media with a straight face and say Smith or Garrard will be the starting quarterback for the Dolphins in 2012? Is this some early April Fool’s Day joke?
This franchise has been walking around with a limp and two black eyes since free agency started on March 13th. If anything, this team has taken a huge step backwards since practically “donating” their only playmaker, Brandon Marshall, to the Chicago Bears and failing to find his replacement. Manning basically painted the Dolphins as the “ugly duckling” among the teams interested in his services. Meanwhile, Ireland’s poker game with Flynn and his agent was so bad it made Kenny Rogers blush. We have reached a moment in time where Dolphin fans are barely holding onto a sliver of hope. Right now, it’s Tannehill or bust!