There is no doubting the fact that Chad Henne, the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback, is not living up to expectations. After a relatively good rookie campaign, Henne seemed to step backwards last year, and the fan base has let it be heard.
I personally still believe Henne has potential. But, I also agree, he needs to be on a short leash. With new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, on board, I am excited for what this could mean for the offense. You know, things like not running the Wildcat out of 3rd and long just because we can, or throwing a pass to the flat on 2nd and a mile. I also hope that, with head coach Tony Sparano on the hot seat, and Daboll's "opening up the playbook," maybe Henne will break out of his overly cautious style of play, and start showing us all the arm we believe he has.
And, I believe, a big part of Henne's difficulties at the position last year was a fear of the turnover. Following and learning from Chad Pennington, Henne learned to not make turnovers. Sparano's number one concern was not making turnovers. When all you hear is how killer the turnover is, you don't take chances. Maybe, just maybe, Henne can be coached out of his over-coaching.
But, even if Henne is the man this year, the Dolphins have made no secret that they are going to sign/trade for a veteran QB to challenge Henne.
But, who is it going to be? There are rumors. There are possibilities. There is no CBA. No matter what the Dolphins would like to do, the lack of a CBA makes it harder and harder for whomever comes in to unseat the incumbent Henne. But, that leash will get shorter and shorter depending on who it is.
Here are the possibilities:
Carson Palmer(CIN) - Palmer is demanding a trade, but the Bengalsrefuse to allow it. Palmer says he will retire rather than play for the Bengals again. He's probably the top target for Miami, but I doubt this deal happens. This seems like a bigger stalemate than the CBA.
Donvan McNabb (WAS) - McNabb's most likely going to be available. But, will it be trade or will he be released by the Redskins, who seem set on either Rex Grossman, or - try not to laugh - John Beck. I don't think the Dolphins will consider McNabb seriously, either way.
Brett Favre(MIN/retired) - No, no, no. Well, maybe. But no. Either way, I have seen/heard rumors that Miami would be interested if Favre wanted to come back...again. I think they are just that. Rumors and stories. There is no way that (1) Miami wants him and (2) he wants to come to Miami. But, there are stories...
Matt Hasselbeck(SEA) - Intriguing possibility. Seattle seems 50/50 on if they want to resign Hasselbeck. Being up here in Seattle right now, there are radio and news stories about him constantly. Fans want him back. Fans don't want him back. Fans want him back. Either way, I think he wants a two year deal, and the Seahawksare only offering one. If you are looking for a veteran QB to challenge a young player, or be ready to go if that young QB fails, Hasselbeck may not be a bad choice.
Kerry Collins(CHI) - Veteran QB? Check. Starter experience? Check. Quarterback that has been beaten out of a starting role by Kurt Warner, Eli Manning, Rich Gannon, Marques Tuiasosopo, and Vince Young(multiple times)? Check. Collins announced his retirement a week ago, but he's still a name out there.
Vince Young (TEN) - Young has been tossed around by Tennessee for a while, and finally was released. The story behind Young seems to always return to an immaturity/inability to handle the pressure of being an NFL QB. He has his hot streaks, but as soon as things go bad, it seems like he falls apart completely.
Rex Grossman (WAS) - Technically a FA, but I don't see Washington letting him go. They love Grossman and Beck, so he shouldn't be available long.
Marc Bulger(BAL) - This is the player that most intriguing to me, personally. His last few years in St. Louis were ugly, but reports in Baltimore say he was sharp and on his game as their backup. Bulger knows his place on a team right now is as a backup (read, not looking for starter money). He's got experience. He's still got talent (according to those reports). He could very easily come in and add some pressure to Henne. I think Bulger makes a lot of sense in Miami this year.
Miami has a lot of choices out there, and could very easily go a completely different route, especially in this lockout shortened free agency period. Like I said, I still believe Henne can produce. He can fix his issues. But, he has to do it now, or else he's got to move over and let someone else try.
Either way, the hunt for Dan Marino's replacement continues.