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2011 NFL Free Agency Preview: Quarterbacks

Everybody wants to connect VY with the Dolphins. Are you buying in?
Everybody wants to connect VY with the Dolphins. Are you buying in?

Despite little "puff pieces" being written about Chad Henne in the local papers about how he's becoming the "alpha dog" this offseason, we all know that the Miami Dolphins are going to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete for the starting job. That's just a fact.

"The one thing we’ve had time to do is a lot of homework and study," Sparano said during the annual Fins Weekend charity event. "And I would tell you when you put Chad’s numbers up against some of the better quarterbacks in our league, his numbers are pretty impressive. They hold up. Now what has to happen? We have to cut down the impulse throws, the interceptions that happen late in the fourth quarter."

We all know the major issues with Henne outside of the interceptions. His overall performance in the fourth quarter of games was well below average last year. His deep ball accuracy must improve. And he needs to produce in the red zone. ESPN analyst KC Joyner, though, did share this interesting stat with the Miami Herald. Henne's completion success rate (which includes things like defensive penalties resulting in positive yardage for the offense) on passes thrown between 10 and 19 yards was the best in the NFL.

What does that mean in the grand scheme of things? I don't know. But it gives us hope.

Now let's move onto the guys who the Dolphins will be considering to bring in as competition for Henne once this lockout ends - both via free agency or via a trade. But first, let me mention that Caron Palmer will not be listed below. Make no mistake about it - he's the front office's top choice. I firmly believe that to be the case. But the Bengals are not going to trade him. So there's no point in even mentioning Palmer...for now.

2011 NFL Free Agency/Trade Market: Quarterbacks

Trade Market

Kevin Kolb - Some people seem to think that Kolb is going to be some kind of star quarterback in this league. I don't see it. Never have. I think he's over-rated and that some tram is going to overpay the Eagles for him. Luckily, it won't be the Dolphins.

Kyle Orton - Now if you want to know which quarterback outside of Carson Palmer I would surrender a high draft pick (as high as a 2nd rounder) to acquire, it's Orton. I think he could fit in perfectly in Miami's run-first offense. I think he has the intangibles you look for in a quarterback. He's also accurate with the football. And I think he would be able to pick up the offense in the shortened offseason without a problem. Think of Orton as a "Pennington Light."

Matt Flynn - I'm still not sure what to think of Flynn, who has one year remaining on his rookie contract. He was a "winner" in college but wasn't too highly regarded during the draft process. Since his LSU days, Flynn has started just one game - a four point loss to the Patriots in which he threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns. I really have no idea how he'd fit into Miami's offense or if he'd even be able to beat out Henne. Considering he's the only insurance GB has if Aaron Rodgers was to get hurt, I don't believe Flynn would come cheaply in a trade from GB, either.

Free Agents

Vince Young - He isn't a free agent yet, but will be cut sooner rather than later. He's the guy that many are predicting ends up in Miami. Bernie Kosar even said last week that Young has been in South Florida this offseason in hopes of getting some face time with the Dolphins. We know what Young can do when he's "right." But his mental stability is obviously a cause for concern. His ability to lead has continually been questioned at the NFL level - though he didn't seem to struggle being a leader in college. I wrote a piece earlier this month about why Young wouldn't fit in Miami. But at the end of the day, it comes down to risk versus reward. And for two guys like Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano, would they be willing to risk their jobs on Vince Young?

Matt Hasselbeck - The soon-to-be 36 year old quarterback is coming off of two very mediocre seasons in Seattle after missing nine games in 2008 due to injury. In his prime, Matt was in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the league. He's been to a Super Bowl. He's a great leader and an all-around good guy. Over his last 36 starts, Hasselbeck has won just 12 games while completing under 59% of his passes and averaging a pedestrian 6.3 yards per attempt while throwing ten more interceptions than touchdowns. At this point, I'm not even sure he'd beat out Henne.

Marc Bulger - I can see why people think Miami could be a landing spot for Bulger. Getting him in an environment where he's protected in the pocket could rejuvenate the formerly productive quarterback who was relegated to back-up in Baltimore last year and didn't even see action in a regular season game in 2010. But it's been five years since Bulger has been any good. And rumors are swirling that he might just be happy settling for a backup role to close out his career. Is this the kind of player the Dolphins need?

Donovan McNabb - Like Young, it's expected that McNabb will be released as soon as a new CBA is reached. At 34 years old, there's a question of how much Donovan really has left. I mean, we're talking about a guy who was benched in Washington for Rex Grossman, who then went on to out-produce McNabb. Regardless of what he has left, McNabb is a classic west coast offense QB who isn't an obvious fit for Brian Daboll's offense.


Matt Leinart
Matt Moore
Rex Grossman
Billy Volek
Troy Smith
Kerry Collins
Bruce Gradkowski