With the possibility of signing free agent quarterback Peyton Manning appearing more and more remote by the hour, the Miami Dolphins have begun to move in an effort to sign their second choice, former Green Bay Packer Matt Flynn.
According to the Miami Herald, the team "engaged in serious talks" with Flynn's agent on Tuesday, while head coach Joe Philbin spoke with Flynn directly. Miami wants to be able to move quickly to snatch up Flynn should they be rebuffed by Manning.
That possibility is looking more likely as time passes. Manning will meet with the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday, and the Dolphins are no longer considered to be among the front-runners for his services.
The Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns are also said to be interested in Flynn, necessitating the Dolphins maneuvering. On Tuesday, SI.com's Don Banks called the Dolphins and Seahawks the most likely suitors for Flynn's services, with the runner-up likely to select Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the April NFL Draft.
The Dolphins are also looking to solidify the offensive line, and will host former Houston Texan (and UM standout) Eric Winston on Wednesday. He is considered the best right tackle on the market, and has ties to the team through his brother, who is a Dolphins scout. Kansas City and St. Louis are also courting Winston.
The team's efforts to replace Brandon Marshall (traded on Tuesday to Chicago) with another top receiver via free agency appear to be dwindling. Reggie Wayne re-signed with Indianapolis on Tuesday, while Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon received fat contracts from Tampa and Washington, respectively.
Things are very much up in the air in Miami, and until the quarterback situation is resolved this will stay the case. Trading Marshall had seemed like a move to both free up cap space for Manning and acquire more pieces to ease his transition with the Dolphins. But now it appears that the Dolphins could end up without either Manning or a receiver who scares opposing defenses.
Barring a miracle, the Dolphins might come out of the first burst of free agency looking worse than when they started.