With head coach Adam Gase acknowledging that knee surgery is an a option for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, a playoff team from last year is left with major question marks as far as who will be taking snaps this year.
Several solutions are being rumored. The Dolphins are a pretty solid football team. Thus, they cannot afford to knock on the wrong door here. If they do, their season could be over before it really starts.
That said, let’s dissect Miami’s quarterback situation and dive into the team’s options.
The safe bet: Matt Moore
Matt Moore is the perfect backup quarterback. That is exactly what he has been for most of his career. He has started 28 out of 46 career games played and posted a 15-13 record as a starter. This includes leading the Dolphins to a pair of wins that locked down last year’s playoff spot in relief of an injured Tannehill. Not many quarterbacks last a decade in the NFL, backup or otherwise.
The Dolphins are in a tricky spot though. Unless they figure out time travel and bring back Dan Marino, they are not taking the AFC East from New England. However, they are suited to finish ahead of fellow division rivals Buffalo and the Jets, even with Moore. The 32-year-old can take care of the football well enough to keep Miami competitive.
It is difficult for me to get past Miami’s 30-12 playoff loss to Pittsburgh last year. More looked overwhelmed, as did the rest of the team. Sticking with Moore in Tannehill’s absence could get this franchise back to where it was last year, but certainly no further.
The bad idea: Jay Cutler
It makes perfect sense for Jay Cutler’s name to be thrown around when it comes to Miami’s quarterback situation. However, that does not mean it is a good idea.
The recently retired gunslinger had his best season as a pro in 2015. That year, current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was his offensive coordinator in Chicago. Even so, Cutler’s career best 92.3 passer rating was not good enough for the Bears to post a winning record.
To put it mildly, there have always been questions about Cutler’s passion for football. Now that he has shifted his focus to broadcasting, it is debatable as to whether or not he would be able to flip the switch back into competitive athlete mode. Worse yet, I am not even sure he truly wants to. The Dolphins have reportedly had casual conversations with Cutler and his representatives. That is as far as this flirtation should go.
High risk, high reward: Colin Kaepernick
With all the controversy surrounding him, the fact that Colin Kaepernick still has it in him to be a very dynamic dual threat NFL quarterback is getting lost in the shuffle.
In 11 starts for an atrocious 49ers team last year, Kaepernick tossed 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Imagine what he is still capable of with real talent around him. Real talent is something the Dolphins definitely have.
We all know that his political activism is why Kaepernick remains unsigned. However, if dogfighting and domestic violence do not disqualify you from being on an NFL roster, voicing your opinion should not either.
Could signing Kaepernick alienate parts of the locker room and fan base? Of course. However, there is a very simple remedy to that: Be a productive player and deliver this franchise its first playoff win since the 2000 season.
Of the options on the table for Miami, Kaepernick is the only one who has shown that he may be capable of doing that. That is good enough for me. The Dolphins need to suck it up and sign him.