Potential Backups for Tannehill in 2015


For the first time in what seems like forever, there is a minimal amount of discussion regarding the Miami Dolphin’s starting quarterback position this offseason. Meanwhile the status of the quarterback backing up starter Ryan Tannehill remains to be unanswered.

Matt Moore, who spent his previous few seasons as the Dolphin’s backup quarterback is entering an offseason being regarded as a hot commodity for teams with quarterback concerns.

At the end of the 2012 season, Moore signed a two-year, $8 Million contract and is currently entering 2015 as an unrestricted free agent. In his four years with Miami, Moore started 12 games and totaled 17 touchdown passes, 16 of which were in 2011. Moore has a career record of 11-12.

The Dolphins will unlikely sign Moore back to back up Tannehill, due to Moore’s pay potential from teams who are desperate for a starting quarterback. With that said, here are a few quarterbacks who could fill Moore’s vacancy as the Dolphin’s backup quarterback.

Christian Ponder- A man who has had a shaky start to his NFL career after being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft is looking for a change of scenery. Ponder, who is entering free agency for the first time, lost the starting job this season during training camp when rookie Teddy Bridgewater took over the starting spot.

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Although Ponder may also be looking to cash in on a new contract and change of scenery this offseason, the Dolphins may be looking to make an offer and have a trustworthy backup at the helm behind Tannehill.

Ponder led the Vikings to the playoffs in 2012 with a 10-6 record, the same season Adrian Peterson made the Vikings seem like a contender in the NFC North. Since then, Ponder’s productivity fell off with a 2-7-1 record, including a loss in his one start last season.

If the Dolphins are willing to spend a good amount of money on another backup quarterback, one of their best options may be Ponder. A change of scenery may just be what Ponder needs to survive in the NFL.

Colt McCoy- Yes, Colt McCoy. Despite his uncommon NFL stature and his inconsistencies in the past, McCoy may make an intriguing backup in free agency.

McCoy was a notable standout quarterback at the University of Texas, but since has had an unproductive career in the NFL. Starting 25 games in his five-year career, McCoy has shown flashes of potential with nearly every team he has been with. Most recently, McCoy led the Redskins to an overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys, a game in which McCoy threw for 299 yards, and also rushed for a touchdown.

McCoy likely won’t be as targeted as other quarterbacks in the 2015 free agency period, but could make a dependable injury-replacement quarterback with nearly any team.

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Blaine Gabbert- Similarly, Blaine Gabbert has also had a shady past when looking back at his NFL career, yet alike the previous mentions, Gabbert is young and may have untapped potential.

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Gabbert was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the number one pick before being traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2011 NFL draft and was expected to be the franchise quarterback for the Jaguars. After just three years with a 5-19 record, the Jaguars separated with the quarterback and sent Gabbert to the San Francisco 49er’s for a sixth round pick.

Now entering his fifth NFL season, Gabbert will hit the free agency market for the first time. Gabbert has a relatively sub-par NFL resume and likely won’t attract too much attention for teams searching for a new face of their franchise. Throughout his career Gabbert has thrown 23 touchdowns along with 24 interceptions, surely a statistic Gabbert will need to improve.

However, learning behind someone like Tannehill who has made strides throughout his career may be beneficial for Gabbert, and may land him a spot on an NFL roster, more specifically the Dolphins.

Shaun Hill- Next up is an NFL veteran who has been dependable for numerous teams in their times of need. Shaun Hill is coming off of a season in which he replaced Sam Bradford with the St. Louis Rams, and led them to a 3-5 record in his eight starts with the team.

Through those eight starts with the Rams, Hill completed 66% of his passes and completed eight passes for touchdowns.

Although Hill put up decent numbers with the Rams, questions remain regarding the Ram’s depth at quarterback. With Bradford facing injuries throughout his career, the Rams will likely make a decision throughout this offseason to either keep Hill or Austin Davis.

If the Rams happen to let go of Hill, he could come in handy for the Dolphins in progressing Tannehill.

Matt Flynn- Possibly most intriguing of the quarterbacks listed above, Matt Flynn nearly landed in Miami only a few summers ago.

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Following his productive four-year career with the Green Bay Packers, Flynn hit the free agency market looking to land a big contract. Among the teams looking to land him, the Miami Dolphins.

Flynn eventually landed with the Seattle Seahawks before losing the quarterback battle to rookie Russell Wilson, then made a brief stint with several teams including the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills, before rejoining the Packers in 2013.

Throughout his career, Flynn has started seven games, six of which were with the Packers. Throughout these seven games, Flynn went 3-4 and set a career-high in passing yards with 480 against the Detroit Lions in 2012.

Flynn, who may enter another free agency as a hot commodity, will likely go somewhere he can get a starting spot. However, if the Dolphins are looking to spend money on a backup quarterback in the scenario Tannehill gets hurt, Flynn would likely be the best option for the Dolphins.

Is there any quarterbacks you would like to see the Dolphins pursue in 2015 free agency?