The Miami Dolphins played themselves out of contention for a franchise quarterback in this draft thanks to the heroic play of Matt Moore and the rest of the offense. Matt Moore played excellent, mistake-free football after his debut against the New York Jets.
There's no question he outplayed Chad Henne and earned the respect of the rest of his teammates as well as the respect of the fans. However, as good as he played, everyone knows Moore is not going to take this team to another level. Miami needs someone that will take them an extra step further and compete year in and year out for a Super Bowl.
This isn't the strongest class of free-agent quarterbacks, but Miami should definitely take a long, hard look at these candidates.
It seems somewhat unrealistic that the New Orleans Saints would let Drew Brees walk away. The city loves him, the team loves him and, more importantly, he loves being there. He recently turned 33, but his playing days are far from numbered. He's fresh off recording one of the best seasons ever for a quarterback and doesn't seem to be slowing down.
Miami had a shot at signing Brees after his shoulder injury when he was with the Chargers, but instead, Miami decided to go with a more proven quarterback in Daunte Culpepper. Yea, that worked out for us.
New Orleans has some key players that are hitting the free-agent market this offseason including wide receiver Marques Colston, and offensive lineman Carl Nicks. It will be interesting to see if they can re-sign all these players.
This may be the most logical option for Miami. With the hiring of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, the Dolphins have an edge on anyone trying to sign the young quarterback. He has played and succeeded in Philbin's system and will be happy to join him in South Florida if the Dolphins are willing to pay.
Flynn is still highly unproven as he has only played in a few games in the NFL but his outing against the Detroit Lions in Week 17 of the regular season proved any of his doubters wrong. Flynn threw for a franchise record 480 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Packers to a blowout victory. In his collegiate days, he also led LSU to a national championship in 2007.
This would be an upgrade over Matt Moore and if Flynn does indeed pan out, it would give the Dolphins a franchise quarterback for 10 years.
Ah yes. Who can write an article without putting the words "Dolphins" and "Orton" in the same sentence. This was another mishap in the Stephen Ross-Jeff Ireland era which includes missing out on San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. It was almost a done deal that Kyle Orton would be joining the Dolphins last summer but things just didn't work out between the two sides.
Orton isn't at the level that Drew Brees, or potentially Matt Flynn is in, but he can come into camp and compete right away for the starting job against Matt Moore. Orton is an experienced starter who won't give you the exciting plays, but also won't cost you the game.
This would have made a lot more sense if the Dolphins had hired Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who worked with Orton while he was in Denver, where he had his best season in the NFL.
Before any of you say anything, I'm going to go out and defend Jason Campbell. He was a highly regarded quarterback coming out of Auburn, but was immediately thrown into a bad situation. The Redskins offense has been lethargic for quite some time. His best target was an aging Santana Moss and a running back that couldn't stay healthy in Clinton Portis.
Things didn't get better in Oakland when, again, his best running back couldn't stay healthy and his best target was Darius Heyward-Bey. Campbell has a lot of qualities that can make him a very good quarterback in this league and the Dolphins shouldn't pass up the opportunity to sign him.
He will compete right away with Matt Moore and will probably beat him out to begin the season as the Dolphins starter.