Matt Moore Re-Signing in Miami Leaves Little on NFL Free-Agent QB Market

Ethan GrantAnalyst IMarch 8, 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

Matt Moore decided to re-sign with the Miami Dolphins on Friday (as reported by Fox Sports), and, in the process, he completely decimated what was an already weak crop of free agent quarterbacks.

As the old saying goes, it's going to be slim pickings for the teams in need of QB help—at least on the free-agent market.

Moore made his decision official on Friday, choosing to rejoin the Dolphins behind sophomore-QB-to-be Ryan Tannehill in a reserve role. As noted by Ben Volin on Twitter, Moore thinks that the Dolphins are headed in the right direction, and he wants to be a part of it:

While the second Miami move (the other was wide receiver Brian Hartline late Thursday night) to re-sign players from last season has provided depth at key positions, it also obliterates the rest of the free-agent market to a mere pulp.

Ross Tucker noted that it opens up the trade market for Matt Flynn, and he's dead on in noting that there is little else to be had with the current free agents left when March 12th's opening bell sounds:

While guys like Matt Flynn and Nick Foles are jumping for joy that teams wanting to foster a culture of competition at the QB position will now have to look elsewhere, a guy like Jason Campbell now also corners the market on what's left of the free-agent pool.

As noted by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Campbell now has a weird kind of leverage over a team like Minnesota, in need of a capable QB to stem the tide if Christian Ponder goes down again in a playoff situation. Throw Pittsburgh into that bucket too, specifically because Ben Roethlisberger has been out and missed time the past two seasons, and the Steelers haven't had a capable replacement ready.

If you don't believe me, go down the list of available free agents and tell me what player you would rather have as a backup above Moore or Campbell. Please, feel free to stop me when your ears have had enough.

Brian Hoyer? Matt Cassel? Derek Anderson? Chase Daniel? Matt Leinart? Josh or Luke McCown? David Carr? Curtis Painter? Rex Grossman?

If those names don't hurt your ears as an NFL team looking for a capable backup, then I'm not sure I know what kind of player you are looking for to help bridge the gap in case of an injury or to create a situation where the current starter feels a push for his time on the field.

Just to be fair, Moore and Campbell aren't exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to QBs in the first place. Moore has a career 13-12 record as a starter and just a 59.1 completion percentage, while Campbell has a 31-40 career record as a starter and took a beating as Jay Cutler's backup in Chicago.

To be clear, Moore is a quality backup, and so is Campbell. These two guys don't blow you away when you look at them play, but both have NFL starter experience and will likely wind up being the top two players signed in free agency when this thing is all said and done.

Sure, Matt Cassel could probably help a team, but would you touch him on anything more than a one-year deal after last year's debacle in Kansas City?

As we approach free agency and the NFL draft in April, one thing is becoming painfully clear: This is just a weak time period for QB movement all the way around.

We were spoiled last year with the return of Peyton Manning, the influx of five rookie QBs who ended up starting for their new teams and the top two picks in the draft (Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III) both ended up being QBs.

This year, that's not the case.

Sure, retaining Moore makes Miami stronger in the event of an injury, but it isn't a flashy signing by any stretch of the means. The same will be said for any QB signed when March 12th signals the start of NFL free agency.

Expect the draft and trades to be the primary source of NFL movement on the QB front.

Foles, Flynn and Matt Hasselbeck have all been isolated in their current situations, and there's a good chance each could move on before the start of the regular season. However, the players available in free agency just don't have the pedigree to get us up out of our seats, and they'll leave NFL teams with even less to get excited about when finding a new signal-caller for 2013.