The Miami Dolphins' sudden string of success has jeopardized the team's chances of landing a top-tier quarterback in the 2012 Draft.
Meanwhile, Matt Moore's spectacular play over the past several weeks has inspired some to ask if he might be the answer to all of Miami's quarterback quandaries. Especially since this year's free-agency class offers a platter of quality QBs.
So, despite the near-unanimous assumption that Miami will draft a quarterback in the 2012 Draft, there happens to be a slim—but fairly decent—chance that they do not.
Here's six plausible scenarios in which the 'Fins take an alternate avenue to finding their "quarterback of the future."
Slowly but surely, Matt Moore has won the heart and respect of the Dolphins' fanbase.
The scrappy castoff has led Miami's improbable resurgence from laughingstock to formidable playoff spoiler. Even though Moore has played nearly flawless football over the past several weeks, general consensus around Miami still suggests that the 'Fins will draft a quarterback with their first-round pick.
But what if Moore keeps winning? What if he leads the Dolphins to victories in each of their next four games, leaving them with an 8-8 record? At such a juncture, Moore will have finished the year with an impressive 8-4 record as a starter.
If Moore were to actually pull this off, the Dolphins might choose to ignore the quarterback position in the 2012 Draft and hand him the keys to the offense.
Nothing beats watching the Dolphins trample their opponents every Sunday, especially after their embarrassing 0-7 start. But considering this team is still in dire need of a franchise quarterback, it feels bittersweet.
At the rate they are currently winning, Miami could easily play themselves out of contention for Robert Griffin III and Matt Barkley (if he enters the draft).
There are a few other quarterback-hungry teams out there who could end the season with a higher draft pick than the 'Fins. In this unfortunate scenario, the Dolphins might have to resort to free agency or stick with Matt Moore (those aren't terrible options, but there's no doubt this team needs to land a blue chip QB prospect).
Ultimately, nobody knows how Indy's quarterback conundrum will unfold, but the odds of Peyton Manning playing elsewhere in 2012 seem to be increasing—and the Dolphins might be the likeliest destination.
Even if the 'Fins manage to acquire Manning, there's a chance they will still draft a quarterback; however, they could easily opt to fill out the rest of the roster and prep for a Super Bowl push.
Between the 2012 Draft class and the 2012 free-agency class, there will be a heap of quality quarterbacks available this summer. So how will the Dolphins choose just one? Well, the team's decision will hinge almost entirely on who manages and coaches the team.
One name that has been prematurely tossed into the ring is Packers' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. If the 'Fins hire Philbin, then he might reel in Matt Flynn off the free-agent market rather than draft a raw quarterback.
Philbin has served as Green Bay's offensive coordinator since the Pack drafted Flynn in 2008. Flynn, who led LSU to a national title in 2007, has been pretty impressive in the little playing time he has received, and he already knows the system that Philbin would likely install.
Plus, Flynn probably wouldn't carry a particularly hefty price tag as he has been learning behind Aaron Rodgers for the past few seasons.
NFL Network's Mike Lombardi says that he would have traded for Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer had he been offered the 49ers general manager position last summer. He even went as far as to claim Hoyer superior to Kevin Kolb.
Even though Hoyer has thrown only 42 passes in three NFL seasons, he has looked very polished in his assorted preseason appearances. Plus, Matt Cassel's success suggests Hoyer could enjoy similar fruition.
It would be awesome for the Dolphins to finally turn the tables and plunder a player from the Patriots' roster, but Hoyer's inexperience makes it a long shot. Still, don't rule it out. New England doesn't need to carry Hoyer and Ryan Mallett behind Tom Brady, so Hoyer could hit the trading block following the season.
Few quarterbacks have been dealt a worse hand than Jason Campbell.
Drafted in the first round of the 2007 Draft by the Washington Redskins, Campbell never had any dynamic weapons at his disposal. Despite mild success, the 'Skins shipped Campbell off to Oakland where injuries derailed his chances of growing into their franchise quarterback.
Campbell will hit the open market this offseason, and he could be a huge bargain for any team in the market for a quarterback. At age 29, Campbell isn't the youngest option available, but he is one of the most polished.
Given another opportunity to shine, Campbell could fulfill his potential in Miami.