The Miami Dolphins have officially invited former Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn to the team facilities, an indication that the team may be moving on from their pursuit of Peyton Manning. The Dolphins have publicly acknowledged that their primary focus for the offseason is to upgrade the quarterback play the team has had in recent years. With that goal in mind, the Dolphins were thought to have Manning as their primary target, even before the 4-time league MVP was released by the Indianapolis Colts last week.
But now, the writing on the wall seems to be that the Dolphins are not going to sign Manning. Once considered the favorites to bring in the 11-time Pro Bowler, Miami is the only one of the four teams to meet with Manning not at team facilities. The Dolphins had to travel to Indianapolis to meet with the quarterback, while the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and Tennessee Titans all hosted Manning.
Now, with Manning's decision dragging on longer than anyone wanted, the Dolphins appear ready to move on to their Plan B. With that, the Dolphins have scheduled a visit with Flynn, most likely on Sunday. Flynn spent the last four years as the Packers' second string quarterback, where new Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator.
Flynn is scheduled to meet with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night and Saturday morning, before moving on to the Dolphins. Seattle is thought to covet Flynn, and could try to sign him before he can leave town. The Seahawks already lost out on another possible quarterback, as former Miami starter Chad Henne signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, just before a scheduled meeting with Seattle.
Now, the team could be looking to do the same thing to the Dolphins. However, with Flynn's familiarity, and comfort, in the type of offensive system Philbin and Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman will be running, it's unlikely Flynn will skip a meeting in South Florida.
The Dolphins are thought to have $5 - $7 million left in cap room for the 2012 season. Seattle, meanwhile, has around $30 million left, meaning if it comes down to a money issue, the Seahawks are in a better position to land Flynn. However, his relationship with Philbin could mean he will sign for less with the Dolphins.
As the NFL free agency period enters day four, the quarterback watch for Dolphins fans is still ongoing, even if the target may have changed a little.