Matty I over at SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, is asking his readers this weekend which veteran quarterback they most want to see their team bring in to become starter. I think it would be interesting to see the opposite perspective. Which quarterback do we as rival fans least want the Dolphins to bring in? Of the quarterbacks Matty has listed, I think they fall into three categories.
Retreads (Carson Palmer, Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, Donovan McNabb): This group does not particularly scare me. These are all guys who have had productive years, but their franchises have deemed them no longer quarterbacks they believe can take their team all the way. If a team like the Jets, already with a strong defense and running game and only in need of a quarterback to make a few plays, these options would be interesting. I am not sure the Dolphins are there.
Miami seems like a team I could call between the 10's. They are not an awful team by any stretch of the imagination. They also do not look like a big time contender. If they catch a few breaks and get a couple of good bounces, they could go 10-6. If they get nothing but bad breaks, they could go 6-10. The chances of them finishing outside this range seem far less to me. Any of these guys might make them better and closer to that 10 win mark, but I am not sure they improve their ceiling too much.
McNabb would probably be the guy from this group I least want them to get because he was the best player in his prime and only a year removed from some really good football. He also has an excuse for his bad play, he did not mesh with the coaches or system on a new team. Palmer, Hasselbeck, and Bulger all have been in decline, and Orton is limited. He has only been super productive in Denver's pass happy offense. It also feels like Miami has tried this a lot recently with Daunte Culpepper, Trent Green, and Chad Pennington (albeit Pennington was very successful for one year).
Unknowns (Kevin Kolb, Matt Flynn): This would probably be my least desired route for the Dolphins to go because it has the most upside. These are unproven young guys with potential who have not had a chance to hit their ceiling. They both have question marks, though. Flynn played very well in a difficult spot, making his first career start at New England this year. It was his only start, though. The biggest question might be whether he will be available. The Packers would probably be wise to hold him for as long as possible. Considering Aaron Rodgers' concussion issues, having a capable backup seems like more than a luxury.
I am even less enamored with Kolb. I do not really get why he is such a hot commodity. It took him one week to lose his starting job in Philadelphia. He had 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with a 76.1 rating. I saw a guy who doesn't have a great arm, makes questionable decisions, and get bouts of Trent Edwards don't test a defense down the field syndrome. He does have some good performances on his resume, though. Perhaps with more time, he will become more consistent. Despite my reservations about Kolb, I'd still rather see Miami go with a non McNabb retread with a more limited ceiling.
Busts (Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn): This would be my favorite route for the Dolphins to go for obvious reasons. These guys were all talented enough to be first round Draft picks but have not found success on their original team and in Leinart's and Quinn's case two teams. Young might be the best of the bunch. He showed signs of life in 2009 and put up decent numbers in 2010. The Titans are still giving up on him, though. Part of it is inconsistency. Part of it is the numbers are a bit deceiving. Chris Johnson made his life much easier to the point he only had to put up 20 passes three times in 2010. Mainly, though, he was a bad locker room guy lacking the leadership capabilities necessary for the position. Maybe a change of teams will make him get it, but the Titans gave him chance after chance to no avail. Leinart and Quinn have shown nothing to suggest they can even play the position adequately as pros.
What are your thoughts on this? They say true franchise quarterbacks never become available. There is a reason. Teams do not let them go. That seems to be the case in Miami. Life without a franchise guy leaves a buffet of flawed and unattractive options.