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Next Week May Be Crucial for Dolphins at QB


Are you getting just a little tired of reading all the articles about Peyton Manning and his potential ties to the Miami Dolphins?  I saw “8 Reasons the Colts Legend Should Join the Miami Dolphins“, “5 Reasons Why Ex-Colts QB Would Look Good in Miami“, “4 Reasons Why Peyton Manning Will End Up in Miami“, and “8 reasons why Peyton Manning and the Miami Dolphins are a good fit“.  There are also multiple articles about the latest sports betting lines on what team Manning will wind up with.  And, there are a seemingly infinite number of articles about what important people think to include Dan Marino, Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Marshall Faulk, Tony Dungy, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday, Bob Griese, and more.  Heck, I am surprised the media hasn’t asked the President.  Or, that Congress hasn’t passed a Resolution about the matter.

Personally, I say “let’s get on with it already“.

In a recent article, I focused on the NFL calendar of decision making in the Dolphins QB search saga.  This past week, two important questions were answered.  Matt Flynn was not franchised by the Green Bay Packers and Peyton Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts.  So, they are officially on the market.  Plus, it appears almost certain the Andrew Luck will be selected by the Colts with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  So, he is basically off the market.  Next week may be crucial for the Dolphins at QB.  Why?  On Tuesday the 13th, NFL Free Agency begins at 4:00 pm.  And, the bidding war for Matt Flynn can begin.

Look, there are four NFL teams that are desperate to acquire a QB this offseason.  They include (in draft order) the Browns (4th), Redskins (6th), Dolphins (8th), and Seahawks (12th).  And, there are several other NFL teams that are looking to upgrade the QB situation,  They include the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.  However, there are arguably only four quality QBs available this spring.  They include Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, Robert Griffin III (RG3), and Ryan Tannehill.  So, the question is which QB will wind up with what team?

The most shocking news of the week might have been that where Peyton Manning will wind up may not be determined in time to allow the above question to be answered sequentially.  After being released by the Colts, Manning stated “I probably need to ask someone what these next few steps are … I don’t know how this process works“.  He also added that he did not even know what teams were interested in him.  I am not sure I believe these statements.  But, Manning’s free agency knowledge (or lack thereof) combined with his health and playing status issues, which teams must have time to diagnose, may mean that he will not sign with any team by Tuesday.

So, Tuesday is when things start to get really interesting.  The dance begins with two partners on the floor.  With the start of NFL Free Agency, teams can start negotiating with Matt Flynn or Peyton Manning.  And, to complicate the matters further, the St. Louis Rams have placed the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (likely RG3) on the open market to the highest draft bidder.  So, there are really three dance partners on the floor just waiting to be taken home with the right offer.

[Update … while writing this article, ESPN just reported that the Redskins have traded three first round draft picks plus a second round pick to the Rams for the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  The Redskins will almost certainly select RB3.  So, only three desperate teams are left to match up with three quality QBs.]

Next week may answer the question which home two of the dance partners wind up in.  I suspect that both Manning and Flynn will sign with teams within the next seven days.  If one of the desperate teams focus on one, they may lose out on the other.  With respect to the Dolphins, it is expected they will focus on signing Peyton Manning.  This means they may lose the opportunity to sign Matt Flynn.

[Update … Looks like they already lost the opportunity to sign RG3.]

In the recent article, I discussed a possible nightmare for the Dolphins where they may be left without one of the four good looking partners for the dance.  This could still happen.  Many of the experts believe that the top two teams in the hunt for landing Manning are the Arizona Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins.  And, the top two teams in the hunt to land Flynn are the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns.  Well, if the Cardinals land Manning and the Seahawks land Flynn.  That leaves the Browns, Redskins, and Dolphins to battle it out for RG3 and Tannehill with the Browns and Redskins being in better draft positions than the Dolphins.

[Update … since the Redskins have now moved up to the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, this means that if the Cardinals get Manning and the Seahawks get Flynn, the Browns and Dolphins would have to battle it out for Tannehill.)

In order to prevent the nightmare scenario, I sure hope that Jeff Ireland can multitask pretty well.  I think the Dolphins should pursue Manning, Flynn and Tannehill simultaneously … not sequentially.

What do you think?

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