Examining Matt Moore's Future with the Miami Dolphins, and Other AFC East News

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IFebruary 12, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 23: Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins throws the ball prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills on December 23, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Bills 24-10. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have a lot of big free agent decisions to make this offseason, and while names like Jake Long, Reggie Bush and Brian Hartline get all the press, one once-prominent name jumps out: quarterback Matt Moore.

It seems so long ago Moore took the reins of an 0-4 Dolphins team and led them to a 6-6 finish, but all that transpired just a year ago. What has taken place since then—a regime change in the coaching staff and the selection of quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft—has likely spelled the end for Moore's tenure in Miami.

His performance in 2011 made him ProFootballFocus' top choice among free-agent quarterbacks.

It’s a shame then that his play in 2011 didn’t get the press it deserved. He took over a failing Dolphins franchise and breathed life into it with some composed play that none of us expected to see from him.

When it was all said and done, he finished the year our 11th-ranked quarterback on the back of some impressive passes. What he offers that nobody else on this list does is his ability to challenge defenses. He’s no dink-and-dunk merchant as evidenced by the fact 17% of his attempts went over 20 yards in the air (what’s more, his 47.5 Accuracy Percentage on those throws was ninth-best in the league).

Moore also ranked third in accuracy percentage (completions + drops / attempts) on throws while under pressure, behind only Drew Brees and Eli Manning.

There are a lot of teams that could use the kind of reliable quarterback play put out by Matt Moore in 2011. He could have an opportunity to start for another team, which would be awfully more attractive than another season on the bench in Miami.

With so much riding on the development of Ryan Tannehill and so many other decisions to make, it seems incredibly unlikely the Dolphins will keep him.

Here's some more news and analysis from around the AFC East.


New England Patriots

Field Yates of ESPN Boston explores the possibility of the Patriots pursuing a trade for Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Matthew Jones of NEPatriotsDraft.com examines how the Patriots 2013 offseason moves could affect their financial flexibility in 2014.


New York Jets

Conor Orr of the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reports that linebacker Bryan Thomas got probation after being arrested in the alleged assault of his wife.

Bleacher Report Jets featured columnist Ryan Alfieri recounts Tim Tebow's journey to becoming the NFL's most unwanted man.

Joe Caporoso of TurnOnTheJets.com invites Rotoworld's Evan Silva for a Jets debate.


Buffalo Bills

B/R Bills featured columnist Joshua Cornwall  lists three Bills players who are poised for a breakout season under head coach Doug Marrone.

Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com looks at where the Bills stand at the wide receiver position.


Miami Dolphins

Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post lists six reasons why it's not crazy for the Dolphins to give Sean Smith $7 or 8 million per year.

Adam H. Beasley of The Miami Herald shares his thoughts on how the Dolphins should prioritize key free agents this offseason.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.