The Miami Dolphins offseason has been underway for about a month. But after Super Bowl 46 concluded last night, the rest of the NFL officially entered the offseason. We figure it’ll be a day or 2 until everyone unwinds from the Super Bowl. Usually, February is a slow month in the NFL as teams reassess their situations and construct their plans for the next season. Last year, the predominant theme for February was the Lockout.
However, this February won’t be like the others. Why? There’s a very real posibility that a future Hall of Fame QB will be available in a few weeks. I’m sure by Wednesday we’ll return to hearing the latest on Peyton Manning’s health and his status with the Colts. It will probably be a daily occurrence, so get used to it. The thing is, we’ll read every story we can find…. Why? Because the thought of a healthy Peyton Manning on the Dolphins excites fans. A healthy Peyton Manning on the Dolphins turns the Dolphins from a laughingstock into a serious contender. Look no further than how far the Colts fell in 2011 without Manning. They went from 10-6 and division champs to 2-14 and the worst team in the NFL. Yes, he’s THAT good. Imagine what he could do with a 6-10 Dolphins team that has a solid defense and some serious weapons on offense (Marshall, Bush, Bess).
It seems like months since the Miami Dolphins last took the football field, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s because the Dolphins’ season ended over a month ago and so much has happened since they officially knocked the Jets out of the playoffs. Since the season ended, the Dolphins have hired a new coach, and almost an entirely new coaching staff. Dolphins fans have already started looking ahead to 2012. Quarterback talk has dominated the headlines. Whether it’s the Dolphins making a run at Peyton Manning, taking a chance on Matt Flynn, or trading up to get RG3, we all have an opinion on which way they should go. But, for today, we’ll watch the Super Bowl that features 2 teams that the Dolphins played in the 2011 season. The Dolphins went 0-3 this season against the Super Bowl teams…Last season they went 1-1, beating the eventual Super Bowl Champion Packers.
So who’s going to win the big game today? Will it be the Dolphins hated rivals, the New England Patriots? Or will it be the recently hot, New York Giants? Everyone seems to think that the Giants are too hot to be stopped AND that they have the Patriots number. The health of Rob Gronkowski is certainly a big question for the Patriots. Will the Giants ferocious pass rush be able to contain Tom Brady and the high octane Pats offense?
The Peyton Manning hysteria is reaching near fever pitch. And many of Dolphins fans are loving every second of it. There is a divide, however. Some Dolphins fans think Manning would be a great addition, while others think getting a younger QB is the better move (Flynn/RG3). The biggest question out there is whether or not Peyton Manning will even be able to play like himself, in the 2012 season. Yes, he’s been medically cleared, but that doesn’t mean his nerves will continue to regenerate, giving him the arm strength that he needs to play at a high level.
One thing is all but certain: He won’t be playing for the Colts. The ‘fight’ between Manning and Jim Irsay continues to escalate. Yesterday, it was leaked that Manning has been cleared to return to the NFL by 2 doctors. Today, Jim Irsay said on Twitter that Peyton hasn’t been cleared by the Colts, nor has he even passed a physical. Then, Mannings agent (Tom Condon) said that Peyton’s neck is structurally sound and expects to play in 2012. This story just continues to grow. And with it, the anticipation of where Peyton will end up does as well.
This week, we’ve been breaking down the Miami Dolphins offseason and how it might play out. As we’ve mentioned, the Dolphins offseason will largely depend on what happens within the next 4-6 weeks. Just think that 6 weeks from now, we’ll probably know who the Dolphins are targeting as their upgrade at QB…..We will probably know where Peyton Manning is going to play in 2012 (or if he’ll retire)…..We will probably know which team is going to give Matt Flynn a long term contract. There are a lot of possibilities and it sets up to be an exciting next few weeks….even after the NFL season is over! Today, we want to know which direction you like best for the Dolphins. We’ll recap our plans below and provide links for you to reference. After that, please vote in our poll as we are very interested to know which direction Phin Nation wants the Dolphins to go.
Ah, the most talked about topic at the Super Bowl…Not the Giants…Not the Patriots…But Peyton Manning. Maybe it’s just interesting to me because I’m delusional and think Peyton will be back to full strength and that the Dolphins will sign him. BUT, I’m fascinated by the public relations war that has unfolded between Manning and Colts Owner, Jim Irsay. Irsay has a lot to say on Twitter and is now disputing the report that not 1, but 2 doctors have cleared Peyton Manning to return to the NFL. Make no mistake, Irsay is making the case that Peyton isn’t ready to play so that it softens the blow and makes it seem like a no brainer for him to release Manning. It makes it easier for the fan base to understand (or, at least, it’s supposed to). Manning and Irsay are supposed to talk next week to decide the fate of the QB. The question doesn’t seem whether Peyton will officially be released by the Colts, but when. Then biggest question is whether or not Peyton can regain the arm strength needed to return to the 4 time MVP winner we all know.
The Miami Dolphins and other QB needy teams may have one other QB to choose from. Moments ago, Chris Mortensen of ESPN tweeted that Peyton Manning has been medically cleared to return to the NFL. According to a report 2 different doctors agreed that clearing Manning to return was a safe move. One doctor went so far as to say that if Manning were his son, he would have cleared him to return.
So what does being cleared mean? It means that Peyton Manning’s neck is healed to the point where he can return to the NFL. It does not, however, mean that the nerves have fully regenerated and his arm strength will return immediately (or ever).
Peyton seems determined to return to the NFL, however it probably won’t be with the Colts. We’d expect the Dolphins, Redskins, and Cardinals to make heavy pushes for Manning.
First, though, Manning and the Colts will need to officially part ways. Manning is expected to meet with Jim Irsay within the next week or so. As soon as the Colts release him, expect Stephen Ross and the Dolphins helicopter to make a landing on Manning’s lawn.
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Today,we conclude our 3 part series on potential Miami Dolphins QB Plans by looking at Robert Griffin III (RG3). We’ve already looked at the Peyton Plan and the Flynn Plan, but today we want to look at the youngest QB option of them all. The truth is that all 3 of these QB Plans have risks. Peyton’s health is a big concern. Matt Flynn’s inexperience at the NFL level is a concern. And obviously a rookie QB like RG3 would be a concern for the Dolphins, especially considering what they would have to give up to get him.
Later this month, a coin flip will determine if the Dolphins select 8th or 9th in the April Draft. The reason for this is because the Dolphins and Panthers finished with the same record and the same exact strength of schedule. The consensus #1 pick in the draft will be Andrew Luck, no matter how much the Colts tell lobby that they are considering RG3 and Luck. Don’t buy the hype. That means that the St. Louis Rams are in the spot that all RG3 hungry teams will want to get to. According to the Draft Value chart, the #2 pick in the draft is worth 2,600 points. The Dolphins 8th or 9th pick will be worth 1,400 or 1,350 respectively. To create a package that would equate to the 2,600 points needed, the Dolphins would need to surrender this year’s 1st and 2nd round picks and next years 1st rounder. The wrench that could be thrown in here is that this might not simply be a value chart transaction. There will probably be multiple teams bidding for RG3 (Cleveland, Washington, etc.). Cleveland, by the way, has 2 first round picks this year and has the #4 pick in the draft. So, this could turn into a bidding war. But, before you think about how much the Dolphins would be giving up, watch RG3′s highlight reel:
Sorry Dolphins fans, but it seems like a day can’t go by without Peyton Manning’s name surfacing. Maybe it’s because Super Bowl Week just happens to be in Indianapolis. Or maybe it’s because one of the best QBs of all time is about as close as a player can be to being a free agent…without actually being one. Peyton Manning is expected to meet with Colts owner, Jim Irsay sometime after the Super Bowl to discuss the future plans of the QB and the Colts. However, Bruce Arians, the Colts new offensive coordinator, may have tipped the Colts internal thoughts when he said “Hopefully Peyton can come back and get ready to go. But, there will be a new quarterback and a new beginning.” (per @AdamSchefter). Interesting comment, isn’t it?
The Peyton Manning spin game has been all over the news. Yesterday, we saw report after report from ‘sources’ saying that they future Hall of Famer’s career is likely over. Here’s a thought that I shared on Twitter: What if those ‘sources’ are being fed information by the Indianapolis Colts? What if Jim Irsay, who is in a very tough spot, wants to diminish the possibility of Peyton returning to football at all. Think about it, he’s about to tell his fan base that their Hall of Fame, Super Bowl winning QB is about to be replaced by a kid from Stanford, Andrew Luck. This isn’t meant to slight Andrew Luck, I’d take him on the Dolphins in a second….But, couldn’t Irsay be motivated to ‘leak’ news that Peyton is probably done? At least, at this point it seems Peyton may never play again and he has to make a decision, right? Selling the Colts fan base on worries about Peyton’s health is a lot easier than saying that they want a fresh start with Luck. Irsay might simply be trying to reduce the backlash.
Today is day 2 of our Miami Dolphins Offseason QB Plan series. Today, we’re going to look at a QB that the Dolphins new head coach is very familiar with, Matt Flynn. The Dolphins hired their new coach, Joe Philbin, hoping he would bring an exciting offense to Miami. Philbin has already said that he plans to use an up-tempo offense, even throwing in some no huddle looks. What better guy to run his offense than a guy that he’s been working with since 2008. Flynn is the most likely candidate of the 3 QB’s we’ll feature, to end up on the Dolphins. Peyton Manning’s health and Robert Griffin 3rd’s cost (to trade up) will make them longer shots than Flynn.
Matt Flynn has been the backup in Green Bay for the last 4 years, so he has only had limited playing time. For his career he’s completed 82 of 132 passes (62.1%) for 1,015 yards with 9 TDs and 5 INTs (92.8 QB Rating). This is an extremely small sample size, but you can’t help but get excited about Flynn after seeing him throw for 480 yards, while completing over 70% of his passes and 6 TDs/1 INT against the Lions. You might say that it was the last game of the season and it didn’t matter. However, the Lions needed that game to keep their playoff hopes alive. You could, however, say that the Lions had the 22nd best pass defense in the NFL this season.
The Miami Dolphins have done a nice job finding a good head coach and have assembled a pretty good coaching staff. However, now the hard work is about to begin. The Dolphins have made it very clear that they intend on upgrading the quarterback position this offseason. So, for the next 3 days, we’re going to give you 3 potential QBs and the plans that might involve them. Peyton Manning is first up. We’ll then take a look at Matt Flynn and Robert Griffin III. As you can guess, depending on which quarterback the Dolphins chose to make a run at this offseason, it will alter the rest of their plan for the offseason. On Friday, after we’ve laid out all 3 plans, we’ll ask you to vote on which plan you like best.
So Peyton Manning is first up….and truthfully, he’s probably the longest shot of the 3 QBs we’re looking at. Today, we don’t even know if Peyton Manning will ever play football again. In fact, Peyton Manning doesn’t even know if he’ll play again. Gil Brandt who is a close friend of the Manning family has said recently that if he had to give an answer, he thinks we may have seen the last of Peyton Manning in the NFL. Even today, reports indicate that Peyton is probably done…Peyton said in an interview with ESPN that he has no plans on retiring. Go figure! Having said all of that, there is still a chance that Peyton is healthy come September and if he is, he’ll be playing football in a city other than Indianapolis. The early March deadline will come and the Colts will refuse to pay him the $28 mil bonus he’s due. He’ll then be a free agent and if he feels he’s healthy enough, he’ll look for a new team.
The Miami Dolphins might be in full-swing with their offseason plans, but a couple of Dolphins actually played football on Sunday. Brandon Marshall did a little more than play football. He had a MONSTER game in the Pro Bowl. He grabbed 6 catches for 176 yards and 4 TDs. Congratulations to Brandon on that accomplishment. Here’s a video of his luckiest most amazing catch of the day:
Yes, we may be saying some of this jokingly. After all, the defense played at the Pro Bowl is as bad, if not worse than what you see in the NBA All Star Game. It’s essentially 7 on 7 practice. The AFC won the game 59-41. That’s 100 points. So yeah, not a whole lot of defense was played. It was great to see a Dolphins player do something special though. No receiver had ever caught 4 TDs in a game. His ‘Beastly’ day earned Brandon Marshall the MVP of the Pro Bowl.