2012 NFL Free Agents: Why the Miami Dolphins Must Sign Matt Flynn

Nick DeWittAnalyst IMarch 14, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 01:  Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packerslooks for a receiver as Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions rushes at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 45-41.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Peyton Manning to the Miami Dolphins? Why not Matt Flynn?

Manning has name recognition and a resume that every football fan knows very, very well. He also has a lot of mileage on that right arm and no guarantee that he'll be able to come back and be the same quarterback he was until the end of 2010.

Matt Flynn also comes with risks, but he also has a longer career ahead of him than Manning does.

The Dolphins are at a crossroads with this decision.

If they sign Manning, they have their first viable starter since Dan Marino. If they sign Flynn, they are betting once again on an unproven player to be the one that takes them where Marino didn't.

That is, to a Super Bowl victory.

I like Flynn better in Miami. He'd be working with his former coach, Joe Philbin. He'd also be working with a talented backfield, which includes Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas. The team could potentially add a receiver to the mix in the draft.

The Dolphins are likely betting on either Manning or Flynn, and Manning seems to be leaning another way.

The team didn't make a deal with the Rams for the second overall pick, where they could have landed Robert Griffin III. This tells me they'll land Manning or Flynn.

Flynn is the more likely option. In all reality, he's also the better guy for them. Flynn gives them the best option for building long term.

Manning may only have a few years left, too. The Dolphins aren't as close as you'd think to being a viable playoff team. They have a lot of work to do.

If they give Flynn a long deal, they can build around him and put together a team that could contend for a long time once another season or two passes.

Miami needs to do the unconventional thing and pass on the big name for the guy who gives them a chance at a bright future.