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For the Miami Dolphins I'd pick .... quarterback No. 1

Quarterback No. 1 threw 20 touchdown passes and nine interceptions last year, culminating two seasons in which he threw 41 touchdowns and 21 interceptions while collecting 7,455 passing yards.

Quarterback No. 2 threw 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last year and in the past two seasons has thrown 36 touchdowns and 25 interceptions while his spirals have covered a total of 6,930 yards.

QB No. 1 is 28 years old, which suggests he still might have more upside left. Quarterback No. 2 is 34 years old which suggests you've probably seen him at his best already.

Quarterback No. 1 has played in a system very similar to the one the Dolphins will run in 2011. In fact, he's been in that system for two years.

Quarterback No. 2 has never played in a system similar to the one the Dolphins will run in 2011. QB No. 2 has always played in a West Coast offense.

So quick, pick one.

QB No. 1, right?

You just selected Kyle Orton over Donovan McNabb.

And the more I think about it, as the Dolphins and the NFL barrel headlong into next week's free agency-slash-trade period, Orton is becoming more and more attractive to me as Miami's logical acquisition.

We know McNabb will be available. The Redskins have demoted him to the No. 3 QB slot after he fell out of favor with coach Mike Shanahan. Geez, if you're a QB and cannot excel under Shanahan that means something's up-- but that's another story for another time.

McNabb will be available relatively cheaply -- perhaps for a fourth or fifth-round draft selection.

Orton? The Denver Broncos haven't exactly put him on the trade block. But there are whispers that are growing in volume as the league's first day draws closer that Orton will indeed be available. The Broncos seem to want to measure what they have in Tim Tebow and then decide where to go from there. Orton is a veteran caretaker luxury they seem willing to part with.

The price, contrary to popular belief, likely will not be objectionable. Perhaps a fourth-round pick. No higher than a third, I'm guessing.

So the question: Why wouldn't the Dolphins make a run at Kyle Orton? It makes perfect sense to me.

Ah, yes, the angry gallery chimes in with various complaints and yeah-buts.

He's not a franchise QB. True, he is not a franchise QB. But considering his statistics, his experience and relative youth, he would become the AFC East's second best QB if the Dolphins get him. Yes, Jets fans, that means Orton has been better the last couple of years than Mark Sanchez and that isn't likely to change in 2011 unless Sanchez improves by leaps and bounds. Beyond that, think of what the Dolphins might have done with a QB that provided the stats Orton posted last year. He threw 20 TD passes after losing his best offensive threat when Brandon Marshall went to the Dolphins.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, scored a grand total of 25 offensive TDs with only 14 of those coming from their starting quarterbacks. (Henne threw a TD vs. Tennessee but did not start that game.)

Anyway ...

As someone following me on twitter argued Thursday afternooon, Orton isn't likely to be a franchise QB because, well, those type of QBs don't historically go from one team to another. Really? Steve Young, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Brunell, Matt Schaub, Jim Plunkett, and Michael Vick all were discarded by teams and went on to become quality starters. Kurt Warner was discarded by a several teams both early and late in his career and he will eventually be in the Hall of Fame conversation. So much for that.

Well, someone else complained, the Dolphins should not add someone like Orton because they should solve their QB issues through the draft. The draft indeed would be the right way to do it, but there is no draft planned for next week that I know of. So that argument is simply childish.

The Dolphins feel the need to do everything they possibly can to improve as much as they possibly can as quickly as they possibly can. Kyle Orton is a better QB than Chad Henne. Adding him would be an improvement. So do it!

There were will a chorus of folks saying the Dolphins would be better served sticking with Henne. That groups says Henne is worthy of that confidence because he's about to blossom. A smaller portion of that group believe perhaps the Dolphins should simply try to stink so they can position themselves for a high draft pick and a nice college QB to draft in 2012.

All of those thoughts have holes.

If Henne indeed is on the verge of proving you can suddenly become fantastic after struggling for two years, why would that preclude a move for Orton? If Henne is about to get suddenly good, he'd simply have no problem winning the starting job over Orton. And the Dolphins would then have a star being born in Henne and a competent reserve in Orton. It's a win-win.

And to the folks thinking a tank is in order in 2011 to line up for college star, I assume your last name is not Sparano or Ireland or anyone associated with the Dolphins. These guys are in the game to win. They are not going to sit around and stink so a good QB will be available to the next coach or general manager. That idea has no basis in reality so stop having it.

There are undoubtedly reasons why trying to add Kyle Orton to the Dolphins roster might not be a grand idea for the Dolphins. His name isn't Dan Marino, so I guess that's one reason. But I cannot think of many others.

It cannot hurt to investigate and negotiate. Maybe it doesn't work out. Maybe it does. Doing the work costs nothing but sweat. Time to work in my opinion.

Please follow me on twitter.

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