Now that Stanford sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck has declared that he will not forgo his remaining eligibility in school for the 2011 NFL Draft, one less star quarterback is available in what could have been the best quarterback draft class since 1983.
So, where does this leave the Miami Dolphins, who many experts have said needed to use their first selection in the draft on a quarterback?
Having the 15th selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, there are several teams ahead of Miami in need of help at the quarterback position.
It seems likely that unless one of the big names fall (right now those would be Cam Newton, Ryan Mallet or Blaine Gabbert) into the Dolphins lap, that the team could look elsewhere to address their problems at the quarterback position.
Same Man, New Plan
One option is to stick with Chad Henne for another year.
Most likely Miami will be hiring their new offensive coordinator in the next few days and whoever that may be will have the chance to develop Henne into the starting quarterback that Bill Parcels drafted him to be.
There have been quarterbacks who have taken off in their fourth year with the same team.
Then in 2004, in his fourth season with the Chargers, Brees threw for 27 touchdowns to only seven interceptions leading the Chargers to a 12-4 record and first place finish in the AFC West.
With Henne under contract for only $550,000 for next season, he will definitely be on the roster and with a fresh face calling the plays for the Dolphins offense, it is hopeful that Henne could finally blossom.
It may just be ideal with so many veteran quarterbacks set to be available, that the Dolphins could snatch one up.
The thinking behind acquiring a player like Donovan McNabb would be to hold over the position (much like Gus Frerotte did in 2005 when he was 9-6 as the Dolphins quarterback) for a year or two until a player like Henne can step in and succeed or until the Dolphins can find a permanent solution at quarterback in future free agency or the draft.
While McNabb was benched for the final three games of the 2010 Redskins season, in his 2008 and 2009 seasons with Philadelphia he managed to have a completion percentage over 60 percent and threw for a combined 45 touchdowns to 21 interceptions.
The idea would be to surround McNabb with weapons on offense, like he was in Philadelphia. In those two season under McNabb, the Eagles went 20-11-1.
The last time Miami had 20 wins in two combined seasons was 2001-2002, when the team went 20-12.
The idea though of acquiring a Matt Hasselbeck would not go well with the fan base who is looking for an exciting player to strike up hope again.
Open Up That Checkbook Mr. Ross
After seeing owner Stephen Ross open his wallet in pursuit of Jim Harbaugh, the idea of spending money on the actual players doesn't seem to far fetched.
Ross has said he is willing to pay the players whatever he must but when the new CBA is struck the NFL will again be under a salary cap.
The Titans, who are poised to draft a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft, and owner Bud Adams have recently been quoted as saying that Vince Young will not be in Tennessee next season. Instead of paying him the $8.5 million base salary and a $4.25 million roster bonus, the Titans will more than likely cut Young in February.
Young does bring a play making mentality to whatever team he will join. On the other hand, the inability to grasp the NFL game and escape the run-first mentality he has, coupled with his immaturity on and off the field have made for a tough run with the Titans and one of the more respected coaches in the NFL, Jeff Fisher.
Other options could be to trade for the Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, but that seems more unlikely due to the fact the Kolb recently signed an extension to stay in Philadelphia and simply with Michael Vick's style of play, it is mostly impossible for him to play quarterback for all 16 games next season.
Not to mention the price tag of two first round selections in the NFL Draft that the Eagles have said Kolb is worth to them.
An intriguing option would be Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton.
The 28-year-old quarterback has never thrown more than 13 interceptions in a season (his rookie campaign) and has had back-to-back 3500 yard passing seasons with the Broncos.
This past season he threw for 3653 yards in only 13 games to go with 20 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, all after losing his primary target WR Brandon Marshall, TE Tony Sheffler and now star RB Peyton Hillis.
The question that remains is the price tag that Orton demands. Some have said a second round selection, but with the Dolphins not having one for the upcoming draft (traded to Denver last season for Marshall) it may have to be some type of package.
No Luck This Year
Andrew Luck's decision has now thrown the Miami Dolphins into these types of decisions.
Do they draft a quarterback who may have been the third or fourth best quarterback available, had Luck chosen to go to the NFL?
Do they go with a veteran quarterback or simply give Chad Henne another chance in a new system?
With the growing demand for a successful product on the field and head coach Tony Sparano seemingly being given new life with the Dolphins organization, he is going to want to make the most of the opportunity.
Besides, if all else fails why not go after Jim Harbaugh next year, should he stay at Stanford, and draft Andrew Luck in 2012.
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