We move into the quarterfinals of our Phinsider bracket of the best free agent signing in Miami Dolphins history. We have taken the top free agent signings in team history, since the start of the NFL's true free agency in 1993, and formed our own NCAA tournament style bracket.
Today will feature the second half of the quarterfinals. Here is the full bracket:
The third contest of the quarterfinals features kicker Olindo Mare against quarterback Chad Pennington.
Mare signed as a free agent with the Dolphins before the 1997 season, having spent his rookie season the year before on the New York Giants' practice squad. Known as a kicker with a huge leg, but with accuracy issues, Mare played for the Dolphins for 10 seasons. He originally pushed Joe Nedney off the team's roster, then a decade later saw something similar happen to him as Miami traded him to the New Orleans Saints as Miami turned to Jay Feely as their kicker. In his ten seasons with the Dolphins, Mare connected on 80.9-percent of his field goal attempts and 98.4-percent of his extra points, scoring 1,048 points - a team record he still holds. Mare led the league in field goal attempts and makes in 1999, and in field goal percentage with a 90.5-percent connection rate in 2001. He was also named to the Pro Bowl and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 1999. Mare also had 11 punts with the Dolphins, averaging 37.5 yards per kick.
No player may have been able to shake the hatred of an AFC East rival to become a Dolphins hero like Pennington did. After being selected in the first round and serving as the New York Jets quarterback from 2000 to 2007, Pennington signed as a free agent with the Dolphins in 2008. Pennington played for three seasons with Miami, though he only saw major playing time in that first year, as repeated injuries allowed him to only appear in four games for the last two years. That 2008 season, however, saw Pennington start all 16 games for Miami, just the second time in his career he had done that, leading the team to an 11-5 record, throwing for 3,653 yards and 19 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. His 67.4-percent completion rate led the league, and he led Miami to the AFC East division title and their only playoff appearance since 2001.
Which player moves on to the semifinals of our bracket?