QB In The Future?


The Miami Dolphins have some tough decisions ahead when it comes to the QB quandary they have on the roster.  Where is the future signal caller?  Is it Chad Henne?  Tyler Thigpen?  Is it Tom Brandsater? Those are the only rostered QB’s and will be the only rostered QB’s unless the NFL is forced to end their lockout in early April and free agency returns before the draft.

If not, then the draft may be the best and only option for the team.

Of course this is not a surprise to any of you considering that the Dolphins number 1 position has been argumentum ad nauseam since the middle of last season.  Still, it rages today on message boards and news sites.  It doesn’t miss a beat when networks turn to discussing the team and is sure as hell hasn’t been forgotten on this site or on this sites forum.

All that being said, as the draft gets closer and hopefully a resolution to the work stoppage, this topic will run rampant until the Dolphins actually are able to do something.  Then it will get worse.

I hardly want to approach this as another “the Dolphins should take so and so”.  It’s been done and it will be done again.  Here, there, and everywhere.

What we do know, or at least we think we know, is that the team will look at the draft and to free agency for their 2011 signal caller.  How do we know?  Well, by putting pieces of the puzzle together starting with the edges first of course.

The concern entering the off-season was that Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano would have their jobs on the line this year and if they failed they were gone.  That breeds a “must win now” mentality or rather a draft to win now.  Which would exclude the addition of a signal caller that wouldn’t be ready for at least a year if not two.  That would simply pin the hopes of jobs on the incumbent, Chad Henne.

Henne is starting off the “off-season” with his name in the news.  The team has apparently been fined by the NFL for illegal player contact.  Despite the rumors this did not occur during the lockout but instead during the NFL’s “dead period” that runs from the Super Bowl to March.  It’s an absurd NFL rule that prohibits players from having any organized team activities, including meetings with coaches.  Henne met with new OC Brian Daboll shortly after his hire to get his hands on the playbook in an effort to study the offense and teach it to the rest of the offense in the even of a work stoppage.  4 other teams were also found to be in violation.

Regardless, Henne will be competing for the starters job and in all likelihood will open the 2011 season as the starter.  That no longer means that his competition will be what’s currently on the roster.

With the proclamation from owner Stephen Ross that both Ireland and Sparano need to focus on the future of the team, an indication that both are safe for at least another year, the Dolphins have supposedly shifted their focus to interviewing more QB’s in this years draft including the top of the class Blaine Gabbert.  This hardly means that the Phins will toss their 15th overall pick on a quarterback, but it does indicate a willingness to use a first rounder on one if they find one they like.

Rumors continue that the Dolphins will try everything to move down and acquire their missing 2nd rounder used last year in the Brandon Marshall trade.  With a team like San Diego who has a surplus of picks in the first two rounds, it seems likely the two teams will pull the plug on yet another draft day deal.  IF the Phins can find a partner to move with, it’s possible that a first round QB could be selected in the latter half of that first day.

Enough with the draft prospects though.  While it seems almost inconceivable that the team will leave the draft weekend without a new QB on their roster, regardless of where he is drafted, the question about a starter for this season to challenge Henne will be the one they find in free agency.  If of course there is an FA period.

If you believe Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have their sites set on Carson Palmer currently of the Bengals.  To make it short, Palmer is refusing to play for Cincy again and their owner says he will not trade him.  In other words it’s going to be a push up there until someone gives in to something.  Salguero stated in an article this week that Palmer’s interest from the team is not his own thoughts but what he is hearing from within the organization themselves.  He also on several occasions has stated that if you believe anyone right now then your basically an idiot because no one knows anything.  So take his “contacts” at face value and know only this.  The two or three people that would be in the know here, are not talking to anyone about what they plan to do.

With free agency on hold it’s hard to tell where the Dolphins may turn to find a legit starter to challenge Henne.  In reality, free agency is only a part of that equation as “when” free agency happens could have a lot more to do with it.

Consider this, the Dolphins as we know do not have a 2nd round pick so they won’t trade their first rounder for say, Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb.  They could trade down in round 1 and gain a 2nd and then trade that later first rounder but it’s really unlikely that they would trade a first for either of those two QB’s.  It’s also being reported that at least in the case of Kolb, a 1st won’t be enough.

If the FA period doesn’t start until after the draft, then the Dolphins may find themselves more willing to part with draft picks.  Why?  Simple, the picks won’t happen until 2012 or beyond.  The NFL recently told teams that they can trade draft picks and future draft picks now, while not for players until the lockout is lifted, they cautioned teams that until a new CBA is done, all future draft picks is at each teams own risk, because their may not be future drafts when those picks come due.

So, it’s possible the team could seriously consider parting with future picks for a starter now.

Outside of Kolb and Orton, players like Vince Young are the talk of the market and none of those free agents come with the qualities on and off the field that the Dolphins may be looking for, however, it’s very possible that they don’t look to one of the street free agents as a their future, but instead a 2011 fix while their rookie develops a little more.

So much is going to happen between April 6th (the first hearing regarding the lockout) and the NFL draft that as Salguero has pointed out before, anyone who thinks they know is simply lying.

Do I know?  Nope, it’s anyone’s guess, but if you put the straight edges together of a puzzle you start to form the puzzle itself and the edge is the easy part once you locate the pieces.  It’s the middle that gives you fits, and the Dolphins are going to have their hands full when the middle is finally allowed to be worked on.