Will we see the return of checkdown Chad?
It’s no secret the Miami Dolphins will be exploring every possible scenario involving the quarterback position this offseason.
Without holding back any punches, the quarterbacks, mainly Chad Henne, were a nightmare. They collectively ranked 28th in the league in passer rating at 74.5. In contrast, the two Super Bowl teams last year in Green Bay (third) and Pittsburgh (fifth) ranked in the top five in that category with Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, respectively.
We know they need to get better in the passing game, arguably the single most important facet of today’s NFL with all of the rules favoring the offense. It’s very difficult to win consistently in this league without an elite quarterback.
So the question is, what will Miami do?
There are several quarterbacks who will likely be drafted in the first round of April’s draft, but there are a few concerns. First, the so-called elite quarterback prospects in Blaine Gabbert and Cameron Newton may not last beyond the top 10, while Miami picks at 15. Second, both are considered too raw to be immediately reliable.
Would this regime really be willing to use a high pick on a player who may be of no immediate use, even if it’s what’s best for this franchise’s future? It’s highly debatable, because despite the contract extensions gifted to Coach Tony Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland, they’re both on a short leash. They don’t have the luxury of sacrificing potential short-term wins for consistent long term stability.
There will be several options available in free agency or via trade, a group that will likely be headlined by Kevin Kolb, Vince Young and Donovan McNabb. Trading high draft picks for an unproven barely used Kolb presents a huge risk. McNabb is nothing more than a short-term bandaid, while Young is notoriously known as a hot head.
Also, Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen are doubtful to return.
There is no easy route for the Dolphins in their elusive quest for a franchise quarterback. The most likely scenario unfortunately involves Henne getting another shot as starter with the team bringing in a veteran. But another issue is the lockout, which could last well into the season. Everyday there is a lockout bodes better for Henne.
So for all of those chiming for the Dolphins to draft an elite rookie in Newton or Gabbert, your prayers will likely go unanswered.