Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
QB Brady Quinn has signed with the Miami Dolphins, sources tell me.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) August 11, 2014
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald had previously reported on John Skelton and Quinn being considered as a backup in Miami:
John Skelton is unlikely to be signed by the Dolphins. Brady Quinn remains in the hunt and team is also considering "other options."— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) August 11, 2014
A league source tells PFT that Grossman won’t be signing with the Dolphins.
The Dolphins also won’t be signing Tim Tebow, who took the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who reports that Skelton also won’t be signed, made the case for Tebow at least getting a workout on Monday’s PFT Live.
With injuries hampering backup quarterbacks Matt Moore and Pat Devlin, most expected the Miami Dolphins to make a signing to fill out the margins. The names they're linked to, however, might point to the severity of those injuries being more serious than most thought.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Monday that the Dolphins are currently looking at veterans Rex Grossman, Brady Quinn and John Skelton:
Besides Rex Grossman, Dolphins also have been considering Brady Quinn and John Skelton— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 11, 2014
The Dolphins find themselves on the market after Moore and Devlin both were banged up this month. Moore has been absent in practice and missed Miami's 16-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in its preseason opener. Devlin was also scratched against Atlanta and remains limited with a hamstring issue.
The backup duties fell entirely into the lap of undrafted free agent Seth Lobato, who played every snap with the second and third team units. Lobato went 14-of-28 through the air for 124 yards. His fourth-quarter fumble inside the Falcons' red zone ended Miami's comeback bid Friday night.
"Considering everything, I thought he did a good job," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin told reporters. "I thought he had poise and good command of what we were doing."
Working out the likes of Grossman indicates what's likely obvious: Philbin isn't comfortable going forward with Lobato as his second-string quarterback. It may also signal some internal fretting over the statuses of Moore and Devlin, each of whom is a capable player when healthy. Moore is among the better backup quarterbacks leaguewide.
While Devlin has been on Miami's 53-man roster, or practice squad for the past three seasons his lack of arm strength limits his ability to make some throws that are necessary in the NFL. It would be troublesome if the Dolphins went into the 2014 season with Devlin as the only backup to Tannehill.
The names the Dolphins are linked to, then, are interesting because each would likely require some financial guarantee to sign.
Grossman hasn't thrown a regular-season pass since 2011 but comes with more than a decade's worth of NFL salary as financial flexibility. The former Florida star has found a niche the last two seasons working as a mentor for Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. He's not going to come in just to be a camp arm.
Quinn has made no bones about wanting to continue his football career, but he already has a pretty lucrative gig lined up. Fox Sports announced last week that Quinn will be part of a three-man rotation of color commentators alongside Dick Stockton for their NFL coverage. He is also serving as a college football analyst for games and Fox Sports 1.
Like Grossman, it's hard to see Quinn signing a deal knowing he's likely to be cut.
Of the three potential targets, Skelton seems the most likely. A fifth-round pick with only four years of NFL experience under his belt, he does not have the financial security of Grossman or the television deal of Quinn. He has also struggled throughout the summer to catch on with an NFL roster after cycling through the Bengals, 49ers and Titans organizations in 2013.
In 20 career appearances with the Cardinals, Skelton has thrown for 3,707 yards and 15 touchdowns against 25 interceptions. He's completed a paltry 53.2 percent of his passes and has a career quarterback rating of 63.0.
If the Dolphins are looking for a fungible commodity who can be let go whenever Moore and Devlin are healthy, the likes of Skelton are much more realistic than Quinn or Grossman. That said, if either of the latter two sign in the coming days, it may be a sign the Dolphins are prepared to go into the regular season without their primary backup.
Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.