Dolphins pre-free agency position analysis: QB’s
By Brian Miller
While the Miami Dolphins will be looking primarily to the defensive side of the ball in free agency, and the offensive line, quarterback is a position that is flying below the “need” radar.
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The Dolphins currently have Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback but beyond him, there are a lot of question marks. Matt Moore has been the back-up in Miami since Tannehill entered the league and was the final 8 game starter in 2011 but his contract is now up and the Dolphins may finally move on from the signal caller.
Moore has been o.k. but in reality he hasn’t been required to play on Sunday’s. The body of work you need to examine is his practice play and pre-season play and neither of those works are impressive over the last two seasons. Two years ago Moore was re-signed to an extension but there is little talk this off-season about him remaining.
The problem for the Dolphins is two fold. On one hand, Moore is well liked and respected by his teammates and he knows that his days of competing for a starting job are over. On the other hand he doesn’t play very well when the opportunities have presented themselves. In other words, he is completely replaceable when looking strictly at his on-field participation.
Ryan Tannehill is amazingly healthy given the number of hits he has taken in his four seasons. Miami may very well decide to let Moore leave for another back-up job and promote Logan Thomas to the active roster in Moore’s place. Thomas was highly touted out of college but the Arizona Cardinals couldn’t wait for him to develop. Miami can and likely will. Adam Gase will work with both Tannehill and Thomas but will that make Thomas a viable option at quarterback if Tannehill goes down?
Of course not, so lies the teams conundrum. Re-sign Moore, sign a free agent, or look at the draft in April. Or they could simply use Thomas as the number two.
There really are very few options for the Dolphins in free agency but if the Dolphins went that route, assuming they don’t re-sign Moore, there are options for a back-up role. Chase Daniels of Kansas City, Drew Stanton of Arizona has some starting experience and could have a future if he can be coached up. Veteran Matt Schaub no longer is a starting quarterback but his experience is ideal at this stage of his career for a back-up role.
The Dolphins could also look at a quarterback like Pat Devlin who was on the Dolphins practice squad a couple of years ago. Devlin was most recently with the Browns. The Dolphins don’t need to find a starter, they won’t in free agency but may take a long look during the draft.
Team Need – light to moderate
Free agency need – dependant on Matt Moore situation
Target in free agency or draft – both