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Sage Rosenfels Returns To Miami - Fans React With Outrage

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It's amazing how many fans talk about wanting to "Suck for Luck," yet react with outrage when the Dolphins do something they see as not "trying" to win.  It can't be both ways.  But, that's exactly what seems to have happened this week when the Miami Dolphins signed Sage Rosenfels to serve as the backup quarterback behind Matt Moore.

And, I think, that's the biggest statement people are missing.  Rosenfels, a 6- foot 4-inch, 222 lbs. player, was signed to be the backup quarterback.  The Dolphins weren't looking for a starter to come in and suddenly save the season.  That's Moore's job.   Rosenfels was signed to essentially be the third string, emergency quarterback.  You know, the guy last year who wouldn't even have been active on game day.  

That's Rosenfels' role in this offense.  Unfortunately, that position is now actually the second string quarterback, one play away from being in the game.  With the loss of starter Chad Henne for the season, the Dolphins suddenly were desperate for a quaretrback.  But, they weren't desperate enough to cave in to demands they saw as unreasonable.

The Dolphins, reportedly, tried out several quarterbacks, including David Garrard, Jake Delhomme, Brodie Croyle, Trent Edwards, Jim Sorgi, Brett Ratliff, Charlie Frye, Kellen Clemens, and J.P. Losman.  It was thought that Garrard and the Dolphins actually talked contract, with Garrard wanting something in the $1-$1.2 million range, with the money guaranteed, to ensure he would be on the roster the rest of the season.  The Dolphins', meanwhile, reportedly wouldn't go above the $800,000 veteran minimum for a backup quarterback, and have stated that the real issue with Garrard was a lack of interest in playing this season, not the money.  Garrard has denied that, saying he wants to play, and is still available if the right team comes along. 

Delhomme, who the Dolphins contacted last Monday, turned the team down immediately, not having interest in coming to an 0-4 team, and to a team where he wouldn't be the starter.  

The Dolphins then brought in Rosenfels to backup Moore, because, as head coach Tony Sparano said, Rosenfels performed the best out of all the quarterbacks they worked out.  Rosenfels, in his 11th year in the league, played for the Dolphins from 2002-2005.  He was originally selected by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft, serving as their third string quarterback throughout his rookie year.  

Miami then traded a 2003 seventh round pick for Rosenfels in 2002.  During his four years with the Dolphins, he appeared in 13 games, starting twice.  He threw for 776 yards, with 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with the team.  His highlights with the Dolphins include his first pass as a starting quarterback, when, in 2004, which went 76-yards for a touchdown.  In 2005 Rosenfels also engineered the Dolphins' largest comeback victory since 1974, when he entered Miami's Week 13 game against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter in relief of a concussed Gus Frerotte.  Rosenfels brought the Dolphins back from a 23-3 deficit to beat the Bills 24-23, throwing for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns in less than a half of football.

Following the 2005 season, Rosenfels signed with the Houston Texans as an unrestricted free agent.  During his time with the Texans, he was often predicted to have breakout seasons, and establish himself as a starter in the league.  However, it never fully materialized.  He did start 10 games for the Texans, compiling a 6-4 record.

In 2009, the Minnesota Vikings traded for Rosenfels, sending a 4th round pick to Houston for the quarterback.  He was brought in to pressure starter Tavaris Jackson for the number one spot.  However, Rosenfels ended up being relegated to the third strong role when the team signed retired/unretired quarterback Brett Favre.

Prior to the 2010 season, Rosenfels was again traded, this time to the New York Giants to serve as the backup to Eli Manning.  He appeared in one game as a quarterback (he also served as the team's holder on field goals and extra points) in 2010, in cleanup duty in a victory over the Seattle Seahawks.  His 2011 season with the team was cut short when he developed a blood infection, following strep throat, during the preseason.  The team placed him on injured reserve prior to the start of the season, releasing him last Tuesday.  

The Dolphins brought him back to Miami just two days later.

Rosenfels has a 62.5% career completion rate, throwing for 4156 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions.  He has a career passer rating of 81.2.  However, he hasn't thrown a pass in the NFL since 2008.

Fans, who probably remember Rosenfels best for his 2008 "helicopter" play when he was with the Texans, reacted to the team's signing of the backup quarterback, with outrage, bordering on anger.  It was often declared as a sign of the team's desire to not win games.  Rosenfels was declared a failure in Miami, so why is the team bringing him back?

But, it seems like the fans have forgotten, Rosenfels isn't in Miami to be the starter.  He isn't seen as the savior for the team.  He's a guy who, should the need arrive, could serve as an emergency backup.  Rosenfels has often been seen as a guy who has the potential to be a successful starter in the league.  Now, as he hits the twilight of his career, he's being asked to come to Miami, stand on the sidelines, and be ready in case something happens to Matt Moore. 

Rosenfels should prove to be a solid choice to serve in that role.  If, however, something were to happen to Moore, with the Dolphins losing him for a long period of time, I would think Miami would again be searching for a quarterback, this time a starter.  Maybe then, Garrard or Delhomme would make since.  Until that happens, though, Rosenfes was the choice that made the most sense.