Miami Dolphins: The Marino Curse

Michael Dunbar@dunbarnationContributor IIIAugust 5, 2011

Miami Dolphins: The Marino Curse

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    Every year, Miami fans build up hope that they have finally found the true successor at the QB position for Dan Marino.

    Unfortunately, drafting a QB in the NFL Draft hasn't exactly paved out that well. 

    However, trading for veteran quarterbacks under the "Marino Curse" has not exactly panned out over the past decade either. In fact, in most cases, it has often resulted in devastating situations. 

    So here are the list of veteran quarterbacks that have been either signed through free agency or traded for under the "Marino Curse."

1. Jay Fiedler

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    There is no question that Jay Fiedler has had the best Dolphins career out of any of the players on this list...and that is the most disturbing fact.

    At 36-23 in five seasons with the Dolphins, Jay Fiedler led the Dolphins to two playoff appearances. In fact, it could have easily been four playoff appearances if the Dolphins could have won the tiebreaker for the wild card position in both the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

    Unfortunately, although he produced an impressive record, his on-the-field performance was often criticized due to him throwing countless interceptions in inopportune times.

    This led to the Dolphins signing veterans such as Ray Lucas and Brian Griese. Moreover, they also traded for AJ Feeley hopeful that Feeley or these veterans would overtake him as the starter.

    Somehow, he usually found a way to win the starting position except against Feeley.

2. Ray Lucas

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    Dolphins fans were ecstatic to have Ray Lucas sign as a backup in 2001 because of his performance as a starter in 1999 where he went 6-3 and won a late-season game against the playoff-bound Dolphins. 

    Therefore, when Jay Fielder went down with an injury during the 2002 season, many expected Lucas to thrive as the starting quarterback.

    Unfortunately, that didn't go as planned.

    Lucas would post a 2-4 record, throw more interceptions than touchdowns, and play terrible to the point that fans started clamoring for Fielder to recover from his injury and return as the starter. 

3. Brian Griese

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    Miami signed Brian Griese from the Denver Broncos in the 2003 offseason and he seemed like the perfect fit for the Dolphins.

    He was a decent starter for the Broncos the previous four seasons and his dad was Bob Griese, whom is a Hall of Famer and former Dolphins great.

    Fortunately, Jay Fielder encountered another injury that placed him into the starting position. 

    He had a terrific game in his first game starting against the San Diego Chargers where he completed 20 of 29 pass attempts for 192 passing yards and three TDs. 

    Unfortunately, his next four games didn't follow up as well and he was eventually replaced by Jay Fielder in the Washington game when he followed a beautiful 80 yard pass with two interceptions. 

    In addition, that would be his last game as a Dolphin as he was released after the 2003 season.

4. AJ Feeley

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    If any quarterback should make any fan leery about trading picks for a relatively unproven QB, it is AJ Feeley. 

    During the 2002 season, he had a surprising regular season performance where he led the Philadelphia Eagles to an improbable 4-1 record as the third-string QB in place of an injured Donovan McNabb. This enabled the Eagles to go to the playoffs when McNabb became healthy.

    Moreover, this enabled a lot of teams to be suitors for his talents during the 2003 season when it was evident that he was still their third-string QB.

    Not pleased with the performance of Jay Fielder over the years and wanting a new heir to the QB position, the Dolphins decided to trade their second-round pick of the NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for AJ Feeley.

    Immediately, everyone touted AJ Feeley as the new starter and he eventually would become the opening-day starter for the Miami Dolphins.

    However, he was not as advertised.

    He would eventually be in a QB carousel with Jay Fielder throughout the season and, through eight games started, posted 1893 passing yards on a 53.7% completion percentage, 11 TDs and 15 INTs.

    Moreover, he would lead the team to a 3-5 record, which was at least a little encouraging considering that our overall record for the season was 4-12.

    Sadly, after only one season, he would be traded to the San Diego Chargers with a sixth-round pick for Cleo Lemon.  

5. Gus Frerotte

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    The player most infamously known for headbutting the sideline wall and giving himself a concussion actually gave the Dolphins the most hope at the QB position. At 34 years old, Frerotte had some success with Washington and Denver.

    With Nick Saban taking the reins of the team, renewed confidence was felt throughout the team and it was evident in their play.

    Despite being inconsistent throughout the season, he did lead the Dolphins to six straight victories to end the 2005 season at 9-7. Moreover, he posted decent passing stats with 2996 passing yards, 18 TDs, 13 INTs and a 52 percent completion rate.

    Due to his age and the influx of incoming free agent QBs, he was ousted after one season in Miami.  

6. Sage Rosenfels

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    The Miami Dolphins traded a seventh-round draft pick to the Washington Redskins in exchange for Sage Rosenfels in 2002. 

    However, he would be seldom used for the four seasons that he was on the Dolphins; roster.

    He did have two shining moments during the 2005 NFL season. The first was during Week 13 where he relieved Gus Frerotte, who suffered a concussion during the third quarter. During the fourth quarter when Miami was down 23-3, he would lead three touchdown scoring drives to help Miami pull off its largest comeback since 1974.

    Moreover, in Week 15, he would relieve Gus Frerotte again in the fourth quarter and lead Miami on the game winning scoring drive capped by a 50-yard pass to Marty Booker.

    After the 2005 season, he would be let go by the Dolphins. 

7. Daunte Culpepper

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    In the 2006 offseason, the Dolphins had Drew Brees visit Miami and investigated his shoulder to see whether he was healthy enough to play. After the medical release came in, they decided that his arm wasn't good enough and elected not to sign him.

    Instead, the Dolphins decided to make a similar big-name splash by trading a second-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for former Pro Bowler Daunte Culpepper.

    At the time, reports were coming out that Culpepper was still recovering from his devastating injury during the 2005 season where he tore the MCL and ACL in his knee. 

    Despite that, Miami was confident that Culpepper would make a full recovery and possess the big arm and leadership qualities that were desperately needed at the QB position. 

    Unfortunately, it was fully evident once Culpepper played that he was both not fully recovered and not comfortable playing on his knee. 

    He would play four games as the starter and post a 1-3 record. After the 2006 season, he was released from the team. 

8. Joey Harrington

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    The No. 3 overall pick from the 2002 NFL Draft, Joey Harrington, had an up-and-down career with the Detroit Lions and, after the 2005 season, decided to sign with the Miami Dolphins.

    With Daunte Culpepper as the starter, this was supposed to be a star-studded QB tandem that wouldn't allow the offense to miss a beat if either one got injured.

    After Culpepper was deemed unable to play after four games, Harrington became the starting QB and had a couple of prolific passing games such as a 400-yard game against Green Bay. Unfortunately, the problems that plagued him in Detroit such as decision making continued in Miami, where he led the team to a 5-6 record but also threw more interceptions than touchdowns.

    After the 2006 season, Harrington signed with the Atlanta Falcons.  

9. Trent Green

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    During the 2007 NFL offseason, amidst a "QB controversy," Trent Green contacted the Chiefs to request a trade. 

    After labelling Miami as a place of interest due to his relationship with HC Cam Cameron, the Chiefs agreed to trade Trent Green to the Miami Dolphins for a fifth-round pick in the NFL Draft. 

    He would become the starter during the preseason but had a season to forget.

    He would only start five games, leading the Dolphins to an 0-5 record. However, the most devastating part was the concussion he received during his fifth start that sidelined him for the rest of the season. 

    He would not be re-signed after the season.

10. Cleo Lemon

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    The Miami Dolphins traded AJ Feeley and a sixth-round pick for Cleo Lemon of the San Diego Chargers on October 18th, 2005. 

    However, he was not put into the starting role until during the fifth game of the dreadful 2007 season when Trent Green was declared out due to a severe concussion.

    He would post a 1-6 record during his seven games as a starter and be taken in and out of the starting lineup. Fortunately, he did post that one victory in an OT-thriller against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 15. This helped prevent the Dolphins from becoming the first team in NFL history to have both an undefeated season (17-0) and a winless season (0-16).

    However, that was the only bright spot of the season and, based mostly on his heroic effort in that game, he would sign a three-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars after the season. 

11. Chad Pennington

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    Chad Pennington was considered a godsend to the Miami Dolphins for the 2008 NFL season. Before his availability, the Dolphins were stuck between starting Josh McNown or Chad Henne. Unfortunately, neither quarterback were convincing the coaching staff to start them. 

    The New York Jets decided to sign Brett Favre amidst all the media drama and that allowed them to release Chad Pennington to free agency.

    The Dolphins would sign him and Chad Pennington would be one of the few veteran QB signings to not disappoint the Dolphins.

    Pennington would lead the Dolphins to an 11-5 record, which gave them the AFC East division title.

    He would post a 97.4 QB passer rating, 3653 passing yards, 19 TDs and just seven INTs. In addition, he would also win Comeback Player of the Year.

    Unfortunately, the Dolphins would lose badly in the wild-card round against the Baltimore Ravens 20-3, where Ed Reed and the Baltimore defense simply harassed the Dolphins' offense all game.

    The next two years weren't as kind to Pennington as he incurred shoulder injuries in back-to-back seasons. 

12. Tyler Thigpen

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    Tyler Thigpen had a good 2008 NFL season with the Kansas City Chiefs. This intrigued teams, like the Dolphins, to trade for him during the 2009 NFL offseason.

    However, the Dolphins elected to wait until the 2009 NFL season began before trading an undisclosed draft pick for Thigpen.

    Thigpen didn't really play until the 2010 NFL season when Chad Henne went down with an injury against the Titans. He would enter the game and throw a TD pass and amaze the crowd with his running ability too.

    This pleased Dolphin fans everywhere of Thigpen's abilities. Unfortunately, the high praise quickly vanished after his dismal performance against the Chicago Bears.

    The stats say that he threw for 187 passing yards, but the offense was pretty stagnant for most of the game, which was evident by the team's paltry total of 39 rushing yards.

    Tyler Thigpen signed a three-year deal with the Buffalo Bills during the 2011 offseason.  

So This Leads To..

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    Why QB Chad Henne deserves one last chance. 

    It is evident through the past decade that the Dolphins are more than willing to go into free agency as well as through trades to obtain quarterbacks from other teams.

    However, whenever any problems arise from the quarterback, they deem them as "unable to replace Marino" and go to the next one.

    Therefore, to everyone cheering "WE WANT ORTON!" I hope this is a calm reminder that what we perceive does not always translate to what we receive.