To the surprise of no one, the Miami Dolphins will not extend a contract offer to QB Chad Henne when he becomes a free agent next month. With the team set to try and acquire a new signal-caller this offseason, there is simply no room on the roster for the team's 2008 second-round draft pick.
The Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday that Henne will become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. With backup Matt Moore under contract for the 2012 season, the team apparently sees little need to hold onto Henne, who is now seen as a backup quarterback at best.
This move has been expected since the team got off to an 0-7 start last season, heightening the sense that the Dolphins need to upgrade at quarterback in order to compete in a crowded AFC East.
Henne missed the final 12 games of the season after separating his shoulder in a Week 4 loss at San Diego, but had done little to warrant a contract extension up to that point.
In four seasons with the Dolphins, Henne threw for 7,114 yards over 31 starts, with a 60.7% completion percentage and 31-37 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Comparatively, backup Matt Moore, who succeded Henne after his injury, completed 60.5% of his passes in 2011 with a 16-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Who will succeed Henne is still an open question. The team has been rumored to be interested in both Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning and Green Bay backup Matt Flynn. Manning is expected to be released by the Colts before he is due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8, while Flynn is a free agent.
Both quarterbacks will see interest from other teams, and it is possible the Dolphins could end up with neither. In that doomsday scenario, Moore could end up starting the 2012 season with the team drafting a mid-to-late-round quarterback in the NFL Draft to develop over the long term.