Free agency is going to start at 4pm EST today. This is a nice break from the past when free agency used to start at 12:01am. Many will be following twitter tomorrow during the late afternoon or evening. They may sit on their favorite sports website, like The Phinsider, and constantly refresh the page to see if there are any major signings. The Dolphins have have approximately $14 million in cap room and could around $10 million more in space by restructuring a few contracts. The Dolphins could make a quick signing the minute free agency starts like they did with Justin Smiley in 2008. Except they won't.
The Dolphins will likely sit out the initial free agent frenzy unless they believe they're not major players in the race for Peyton Manning or if Manning makes an unexpected decision and chooses a team tomorrow. The Dolphins may very well sign a player, but expect them to be a cheaper signing of a low or mid-tier player for less money. Just don't expect them to land a major player like Mario Williams or Vincent Jackson.
Most will judge Jeff Ireland and Stephen Ross by what they do or don't do with Manning and to a lesser extent, Matt Flynn. If the Dolphins fail to land Manning, it will be viewed as a colossal failure by many fans. Peyton could choose to go elsewhere for reasons that Ireland and Ross aren't responsible for, but they will get blame. That's just life for front office executives.
In the worst case scenario, the Dolphins will head to the NFL Draft with only Matt Moore and Pat Devlin under contract as their QBs. If that is the case, some will have Chicken Little Syndrome and others will advocate Miami draft Ryan Tannehill at #8 overall even if they believe it is a reach. Personally speaking, the thought of Brandon Weeden in the second is just as tempting. Miami could also trade back and hope to get a first rounder for next season. Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, Tyler Wilson, and EJ Manuel will all be available in the 2013 NFL Draft. Tyler Bray may also be available. Even if we have to/choose to endure another year of Matt Moore, there is at least hope. Perhaps Moore improves as some think he can. If not, we're at least looking forward to another promising draft class for QB prospects. Until then, here is to hoping for Manning today, but one of those top QBs next year. No matter what happens, we shouldn't let the CLS get to people simply because of where Manning chooses to go. People tend to get depressed when they put all their eggs in one basket. We overreact to situations. After all, CLS was hitting fans hard after Miami failed to trade for Kyle Orton last August. Whatever happens starting tomorrow, don't think the season is over before it ever starts.