Luke Falk, a 2018 sixth-round pick, and Jake Rudock, a former Lions sixth-round pick, are currently the only two quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster after the team parted ways with Ryan Tannehill on Friday afternoon.
It’s safe to say that won’t be the case for long.
The Dolphins are rebuilding under new head coach Brian Flores, but even the loftiest of remodeling projects must be legitimized quickly in order to have a long-term backing from ownership. That means signing a veteran (or trading for one), along with the possibility of picking one in the first round of the 2019 or 2020 draft.
While some of the free agent jostling at the position has already taken place––Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater and Brett Hundley are spoken for––there are plenty of options at the Dolphins’ disposal. Some that may not even cause much of a net loss in talent (if keeping Tannehill was their next best option).
Here’s what they’re looking at heading into the weekend:
TRADE FOR JACOBY BRISSETT:
I’m going to stop myself before falling into one of the most tired (and inaccurate) clichés in football – Player X will fit with team Y because coaches from his past are there. Dolphins’ offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea was a long-time receivers coach in New England, and while the Dolphins may be able to hit the ground running with a carryover in terminology, this an entirely different set of personnel. It’s a different offensive line. Brissett is not Tom Brady.
Looking back at 2017, though, he played better than statistics show (NFL’s Next Gen Stats had his expected completion percentage about six points higher than his actual completion percentage). He’s a plodder in the Case Keenum, Eli Manning category of average air yards, but he’s probably Miami’s best option right now.
The downside: The Dolphins need to put a roster together and has their standard pick bundle from rounds 1-6. Is it worth missing out on a talented skill position player or a second crack at filling out their defensive front just for a bridge passer? The same can be said for Brissett, who, like Teddy Bridgewater, may prefer the tenured backup life instead of the cruel slog of a placeholder.
SIGN BLAKE BORTLES, RYAN FITZPATRICK, SAM BRADFORD, MIKE GLENNON, BLAINE GABBERT or A.J. MCCARRON:
This is the veteran lot you’re picking from right now. Sam Bradford is going to eat up a good deal of cap space, while Glennon and McCarron aren’t giving you much upside over playing the season with Rudock or Falk and seeing if either have enough talent to remain as a backup steeped in the new offense for the long term.
Bortles would be an interesting reclamation project for an offense that, for the first time in his career, might focus more on using backs to create mismatches and easy throws instead of establishing them as bell cow runners, thus allowing Bortles more time to see the field off play-action.
Everyone in this class comes with their faults, which is why they’re all available. Fitzpatrick is uneven, McCarron struggled to convincingly knock Nate Peterman off a roster in Buffalo (despite being the better quarterback) and Glennon won’t stretch the field.
I agree Dolphins sage Armando Salguero over at the Miami Herald that the fact that these are their options isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The team has been digging in on bad quarterbacks for almost two decades and sinking money into a Nick Foles type would only exacerbate years of destructive roster management.
The one departure I have there, is that their willingness to let both Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater go may indicate to other potential starters that the quarterback situation here is less than ideal, and that they might be better off staying at an arm’s length and joining a team with injury issues during training camp.
TRADE FOR JOSH ROSEN:
Another option that comes down to their willingness to sacrifice high-end draft capital for a young starter with upside, when ultimately the goal may be to get one of the top choices in 2020.
I think it’s up to each individual team to do their own character assessment on Rosen since there are so many out there, but to say there isn’t a franchise in the NFL that could maximize his effectiveness is ludicrous. There are teams he would fit well on. O’Shea and Flores both have a background working with players from all across the personality spectrum, from the aloof to the competitively maniacal.
CALL JOSH MCCOWN:
A chance to get a player on your roster who is the consummate backup and spot starter at this point, especially if you plan on drafting a rookie. However, McCown is taking some time away from the game to figure out his family situation. The soon-to-be 40-year-old may be taking some down time before springboarding into a career in coaching, which he’s certainly well-suited for.
SIGN COLIN KAEPERNICK:
Here’s the one we’ll be talking about on a theoretical basis, but probably not substantively. It would be a major victory for Kaepernick to get a legitimate workout at this point. CBS reported Friday something similar to what we’ve heard in the event of other high-level vacancies: He’s working out and ready for a chance. However, there is an additional layer to the typical political fodder, given Kaepernick’s missteps on a separate issue close to many in the area.