Dolphins Lose on Flynn, Have to Settle for Smith or Garrard

Worst case scenario unlocked in Miami, can the Dolphins salvage 2012?

By David Hill
|  Monday, Mar 19, 2012  |  Updated 7:14 AM EDT
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The Dolphins' Post-Marino Era

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Matt Flynn is out, will the Dolphins have to settle for Matt Moore in 2012?

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First Peyton Manning, now Matt Flynn. It's beginning to seem like the Miami Dolphins can't convince anyone to come play quarterback for them in 2012. 

 
Factor in the surprise trade of Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears last week, and it is quite easy to argue the Miami managed to make itself a worse team during the first week of free agency.
 
The only way the week could have gotten worse for the Dolphins was to learn that the team would have had a better chance with Manning had Bill Parcells (a friend) still worked for the team. Even the absence of Parcells manages to screw the Dolphins.
 
When Manning kicked the Dolphins to the curb last week, it seemed like the team would quickly scramble to secure the services of their Plan B, Flynn. Between his familiarity with coach Joe Philbin (his former offensive coordinator in Green Bay) and the dearth of other suitors (Seattle was the only other team to show interest in Flynn), it seemed like a sure thing that Flynn would be the next quarterback attempting to slay the ghost of Marino.
 
But reality intervened, and as usual for the Dolphins, the results are not pretty. Flynn signed for a three-year deal worth up to $26 million with incentives - not exactly an out-of-this-world offer. 
 
The Miami Herald reported Sunday that the Dolphins deemed Flynn's $9 million per year price tag to be too high. They may be right (Flynn has only made two starts in his four-year NFL career, after all), but considering Miami's other options, six months from now they may wish they had ponied up the cash.
 
So instead of Manning (who apparently was never anything better than a pipe dream) or Flynn taking the reins next year, the Dolphins may have to trot out Alex Smith or David Garrard.
 
Smith came to Miami to visit with the Dolphins on Sunday. Coming off his best year in San Francisco, Smith could become available if the 49ers can make a late play for Manning, who is now considering them. Smith was a former first overall pick, but mostly disappointed until 2011. It is anyone's guess as to whether last season was a new dawn for Smith or just an aberration.
 
Additionally, David Garrard will get a workout with the Dolphins this week, he announced on Twitter Sunday. Cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the lockout, Garrard spent 2011 out of football. The 34-year-old played nine seasons with the Jags, making one Pro Bowl in 2009 and putting up a similar completion rate and yardage per game as Smith.
 
One of these two might be the Dolphins next quarterback, and if it's not one of them, Miami may be forced to let backup quarterback Matt Moore take the reins again. Surely there are some Dolfans thinking, "Moore had a decent second half last season, why not let him keep the starting job?"
 
One team let Matt Moore keep his starting job after a similarly okay second half the season before, the 2010 Carolina Panthers. They went 1-15 that year, getting the first pick in the 2010 Draft and using it on Cam Newton.
 
We're not saying Jeff Ireland should start Moore in order to draft Matt Barkley in 2013, but it would probably be a better idea than anything he is currently thinking about for the Dolphins in 2012.

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