Down Goes Tannehill: QB Options for Dolphins

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Quarterback Ryan Tannehill hurt his knee again, unfortunately. I saw the video, where he scrambled right, and stuttered stepped his way out-of-bounds. The knee tweaked without contact. Early word says that there is no structural damage, but it still may require surgery, which in turn would end his 2017 campaign before it really began.

Bummer. I was looking forward to Tannehill’s continued progression under Adam Gase. I’m a fan of watching quarterbacks develop, and I like the glimpses that he gave us. A few seasons ago he ranked 8th across several major categories at his position. He missed the end of last season and the playoff game due to a knee injury. I did believe that the Miami Dolphins would be playoff bound again, but as you know, the free agent options at the most important position are less than stellar. No offense to back up veteran Matt Moore.

Those options: The vocal Vince Young. The celebrity that is Johnny Manziel. Christian Ponder, who has more game off the field than on. Shaun Hill is 37 years old, although, the Dolphins are only looking for a fill-in for this season. Josh Freeman last played for the Colts in 2015. Thad Lewis played in 7 total games since 2012, was on the roster for 8 different teams, and he’s also coming back from an ACL injury from 2016.

Is there a chance that the Fins could lob Tony Romo (CBS) or Jay Cutler (FOX) a call? You know, the two newly retired QBs that have joined the media side of sports. They both threw passes in a live game last season, I just can’t tell you if either one is still in shape. I don’t know where their mind or body is at, but that’s what the reporters are for if the Dolphins cross that bridge.

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Out of all of the signal callers, this would be my preferred order to start:

  • Get Cutler back with Coach Gase. He’s familiar with the offense and would be a stop-gap while Tannehill recovers, since he already has one arm out of a jersey and the other in a suit.
  • Romo is the best quarterback, without question. The real question becomes, is Miami interesting enough for him to come back? I think not, but the AFC is wide open. Well, in terms of being the second best team and getting a date with Tom Brady and the Patriots. I think the odds would be stronger if he were filling in for Brady or Aaron Rodgers, so I don’t really see a Romo return coming to fruition.
  • Other than those two, I guess I would prefer the current backup, Moore, as opposed to the other free agents out there. He’s been with the team since 2011 and has suited up for at least one regular season game in every season. That’s what a backup is for and he’s probably one of the better ones that you’re going to find. Teammates are more likely to rally around a known veteran, as opposed to some outsider that would leap-frog Moore and assume the leadership role. That’s challenging for the free agent player available.
  • Hill is a career backup that has taken snaps in every season dating back to 2007. He would be the last adequate option, but most likely as a backup to Moore.
  • Vince Young and Johnny Manziel have starting experiences and a lot of baggage. It is doubtful that either gets to even sniff a chance to start again. I would choose Young over Manziel because he has won some games in this league and is more put together than Johnny Football.
  • Ponder and Freeman, they’re playing days are likely over.

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Am I forgetting somebody? Anybody else out there floating around? You’re probably reading this saying “Colin Kaepernick” the entire time. I agree with you, completely. He doesn’t have retirement in his head like Romo and Cutler. He is still good enough to play AND start in the NFL, unlike ALL of the other available options.

Yes, I would easily go with Kap over Cutler. Cutler quits on his teams, rather, he checks out mentally. He has retirement on his mind and signed a contract for a second career. How am I supposed to expect, if I were part of the Dolphins front office and coaching staff, an outsider like that to come in and put the work in every week? The snaps with new teammates, the film, all of the work that leads you to game day.

Kap is still all about that and I think he would command more respect and more followers from day 1. The only reason Cutler is being brought up is because of his past with Coach Gase in Chicago. Any other team and coach and we’re not bringing his name up. Nonetheless, he is still a top 3 option for Miami’s 2017 season, along with Kap and Moore.

There aren’t many teams that I would consider great, but Miami is a good team. Coming off a playoff appearance, Gase is a coach that I like and the offensive has young talent that is expected to develop. Jay Ajayi had a 1,000-yard season. Jarvis Landry is one o my favorite wide outs, kind of like Julian Edelman. DeVante Parker is a first rounder that they expect to take a leap this year. Julius Thomas reunites with Gase after both moved on from Denver. If you recall, Thomas’ best seasons were under Gase, and of course, with Peyton Manning. The O-line would come together a even more if Mike Pouncey can find a way to play more games.

The defense is a work in progress, but again, we’re talking about a team that just made the postseason. Far from perfect, but a very favorable situation for a quarterback to step into if called upon.