Some high profile names at quarterback remain available this offseason three weeks after the start of free agency. That has some people speculating on whether or not Miami should consider bringing one in to replace Matt Moore. The speculation stops here.
Today marks three weeks since free agency kicked off. Since then, about a dozen of free agent quarterbacks have signed new deals. Some big names, however, remain unsigned with no rumored options available. Guys like Colin Kaepernick, Jay Cutler, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, all remain available. All three could still play in this league, possibly as starters, which has some Dolphins fans believing the team should consider bringing one in as a serviceable replacement for Matt Moore.
The truth is the Miami Dolphins are not going to let their longtime veteran go in exchange for any of the aforementioned players, all of which come with some sort of baggage. Both Cutler and Fitzpatrick are getting up there in age (33 and 34, respectively), and have shown inconsistencies to say the least throughout their careers. Just the idea of Kaepernick coming to the Dolphins angers the majority of Dolphins fans for obvious reasons.
Since his kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in America, Kaepernick has become one of the most hated players in the NFL. There were other players who would follow in his footsteps, but Kaepernick remained the key figure in the move. To replace a fan-favorite like Matt Moore with the likes of him would not sit well with the Dolphins faithful even if they did believe Kaepernick to be a better player.
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The only way this makes sense for Miami to consider replacing Moore is if they find a suitable trade partner for him. There’s nothing wrong with the Dolphins entertaining trade talks for Moore, but unless some team blows them away with an offer don’t expect anything to materialize. Moore was excellent in place of Ryan Tannehill to end last season to help get the Dolphins to the postseason, but an intriguing offer for the 32-year old is unlikely.
Prior to the start of last season, I advocated the idea that the Dolphins should move on from Matt Moore. I recuse that belief, however, at least for one more season. Moore is a veteran leader on this Dolphins team, and one that the players believe can help them excel should he be called upon to do so again.
When Tannehill went down with a season-ending injury, Moore stepped in and the offense did not miss a beat. In some ways, they even looked better as Moore lead Miami to a win against Arizona then wins at the Jets and Bills to clinch a playoff spot. His ability to lead the team may have come as a surprise to many around the league, but not for the Dolphins. Signing with the team a year prior to Tannehill being drafted, Moore is Miami’s longest tenured quarterback, and now has a year under his belt with head coach Adam Gase.
All other players available on the market come with some form of controversy, inexperience, or a mixture of both. The team could also look to the NFL Draft for a quarterback, but to find a replacement here for Moore is even less likely. Any quarterback Miami selects in the draft (if at all) would be in the late rounds as a project and potential replacement for third-stringer Brandon Doughty. Doughty was drafted by the Dolphins last season in the seventh round, and has already been cut by the team once.
The big names remaining on the free agency list, primarily Kaepernick, have given some fans the idea of replacing Moore, but it’s really nonsense when you think about it. Some pointed to the possibility of Miami signing Cutler because of his ties with Gase, but the Dolphins have already announced they are not interested. The bottom line is that Moore is a better scheme fit player and leader than anyone left available, and it’s not even close.
Sure some of these guys have starter potential, and it can be argued are better than most of the free agents that have already inked deals this offseason. That has no influence on Miami, who already has one of the better one-two punches at quarterback in the league, and chemistry with Moore. They will continue to stay that way too with Moore spending his seventh straight season with the team. Eventually, Kaepernick and others will find new teams but it won’t be in Miami.