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What does Favre retirement mean to Dolphins?

First of all let us assume that Brett Favre's retirement announcement today sticks. Let us assume he won't vacillate and want to return to the New York Jets before this offseason ends. Let us assume he won't be New York's starting quarterback next season or even be on Gang Green's roster.

What does that mean to the Dolphins?

Quarterback Chad Pennington, who came to the Dolphins when Favre was hired by the Jets, declined to comment Wednesday.

Coach Tony Sparano, whose team will face the Jets twice in 2009, also declined to comment while suggesting it is not his concern.

But it is something for Miami fans to think about because the strength or weakness of the Jets at the QB spot will help determine the outcome of two Miami games in 2009. So let us analyze the situation:

The knee-jerk response suggests this is a good thing for our locals.

It means a player who someday will be in the Hall of Fame will not be New York's quarterback in 2009. It means the Jets have to go searching their roster, free agency, or the draft for next year's starter. It means uncertainty at the most important position on the field for the Jets, and uncertainty there is a scary, scary thing.

"I wouldn't say we're better off, I wouldn't say that," Jets safety Kerry Rhodes said on ESPN.

The Jets have Kellen Clemens as the possible heir to the starting job, but the team has never really seemed committed to giving him the reins to the offense. Clemens will be in his fourth season out of Oregon and has started eight games, all in 2007. He has five touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his career.

The Jets also have two other quarterbacks on the roster -- Eric Ainge and Brett Ratliff -- but neither has taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game. Good stuff for Miami.

So it looks good at first glance for the Dolphins. But I remind you uncertainty is a two-edged sword. Today's retirement can also be a blessing for the Jets. After all, who knew the Patriots would find a franchise quarterback in their midst upon losing Tom Brady?

The Jets are suddenly without an aging player who dipped dramatically at the end of last season as his team lost four of its final five games. Favre's arm was tired and he looked all of his 39 years, as he threw seven interceptions versus only two TD passes the final three games.

So the Jets don't have a fading starting QB anymore, which might be understood to be an upgrade. The Favre retirement also clears $13 million in salary cap space for a team that was projected to have serious cap issues this offseason. That is a relief that club will welcome as now the Jets are projected to be $11 million under the cap.

The Dolphins, by comparison, are projected to be $22 million under the cap. And while we're at it, the Bills are projected to be $25 million under the cap while New England is projected at $4 million under. New England's number will change if Matt Cassel is traded as he is currently counting $14.65 million against the cap.

Back to the Jets: There are experienced starting-caliber quarterbacks expected to hit the free agent market in the next few weeks. That list includes Jeff Garcia and Byron Leftwich and former Giants starter Kerry Collins.

Bottom line: It can be argued the Jets have an opportunity to upgrade from a quarterback that threw 22 TD passes and 22 interceptions in his final season, a quarterback who took 30 sacks, a quarterback who was something of a distraction because he often seemed bigger than the team itself.

OK, so where do you come down on this issue? Is Favre's retirement a good thing or a bad thing as it ripples out to the Dolphins?

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