Dolphins officially out of Manning race, Flynn and Anderson to visit

We now know why the Dolphins have moved on to Matt Flynn as their primary target at QB.  According to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network, the Dolphins received a phone call from Manning himself on Thursday, letting the team know what they were no longer being considered as an option for him in 2012.  The Dolphins moved quickly and called on Matt Flynn to arrange a meeting with the team this weekend.  Flynn is currently in Seattle making a free agent visit with the Seahawks.  At this point, it appears only the Dolphins and Seahawks are interested in Flynn.

Thankfully, this closes the book on the Peyton Manning mania that swept through South Florida.  As time goes on we learn more and more about the Dolphins pursuit of Peyton.   According to Jeff Darlington, it turns out that Peyton met with Joe Philbin, other members of the coaching staff, and Jeff Ireland or Stephen Ross.  Among those that helped in the courtship process included Dan Marino, Reggie Bush, and Jason Taylor.  Also according to Darlington, Peyton liked the Dolphins roster, but his lack of familiarity with the front office was the deciding factor.

A lot of Dolphins fans are worried that Flynn will be wooed by Pete Carroll and he’ll sign with the Seahawks before he ever gets to meet with the Dolphins this weekend.  I highly doubt it.  Although the Seahawks run a West Coast offense, there is much more familiarity between Flynn and Philbin from their time in Green Bay.  PLUS, Flynn knows that Stephen Ross needs a QB and will open up his wallet to get his man.  While I’m comforted by the fact that the Dolphins will probably sign Flynn at all costs, it also scares the hell out of me.  Flynn has shown flashes, but he has only started 2 NFL games.  I’d feel much better about the Dolphins bringing in Flynn at a decent contract and not overpay for him.  Hopefully the Dolphins can sign him to a team friendly deal that gives the team outs if Flynn does not develop into a franchise QB.

I think Flynn can be a very good NFL QB in Philbin’s system.  Peter King of SI.com agrees and thinks Flynn could be a top 15 NFL QB.  Read his story here about Flynn and you’ll feel better about his potential.  Flynn certainly has some things to work on, but given his familiarity with Philbin’s offense, he has the opportunity to succeed if he signs with the Dolphins.  Flynn  would be able to help Philbin implement his offense and would be an extension of the coach on the field.  Also keep in mind that Philbin spent the last 4 years with Flynn in Green Bay.  He knows his strengths and weaknesses.  If Philbin is willing to vouch for Flynn as a franchise QB, given this is his first head coaching opportunity, you have to trust him.  We’ll see how it shakes out, but I fully expect the Dolphins to get a chance to speak with Flynn this weekend.

A lot has been made (me included) about the Dolphins lack of wide receivers.  I’ve backed away from the ledge.  Joe Philbin has said this offseason that the Packers offenses were built through the draft.  He wants to get his type of guys on offense, which makes sense considering the Dolphins have been adding pieces to the defense thus far this offseason.  The Dolphins will probably look to sign a veteran receiver at a minimal salary and then focus on the WR position in the draft.  If I had to guess, I’d say the Dolphins will look at a pass rusher at #8, then focus on offense the rest of the way.  Maybe a TE like Dwayne Allen in the 2nd round (if he’s there)….Maybe they’ll double up and take 2 receivers in rounds 3 and 4?  Remember, the Dolphins have 4 picks within the top 75 this season, so they have options in the Draft.

Also notable is that defensive end Mark Anderson will visit the Dolphins today.  Anderson will be 29 this season, but could provide pass rush compliment to Cameron Wake.  Anderson tallied 10 sacks for the Pats last season.  Before New England he played a year with the Texans after being drafted by the Bears in 2006.

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