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I'm a salmon swimming upstream on the Manning issue

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Dolphins are going to chase Peyton Manning if he becomes available in free agency. That is already decided. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross loves the idea of Manning and has established him as the offseason quarterback priority.

Manning first.

Matt Flynn second.

Drafting a quarterback third.

The Dolphins see Manning as a way to win games, sell tickets and become relevant again. Within their circle of power, they think Manning can do for Miami what Joe Montana did for the Kansas City Chiefs in the early 1990s -- and if you don't remember, that included one failed trip to the AFC title game in Buffalo.

So why am I against the addition of Peyton Manning?

Let me count the ways:

He is a huge injury risk. Huge! I'm not so much worried about his neck, which has undergone three surgeries in the past 20 months and is clearly a big issue. I'm not worried that a Rex Ryan blitz or Vince Wilfork would catch Manning in precisely the wrong position and injure his cervical spine that has undergone three surgeries in less than two years. The risk of neck injuries are a fact of life for all NFL players.

I'm more concerned with Manning's much-discussed dead nerve condition that has affected his triceps in his throwing arm and has weakened his ability to throw. I was told Sunday that Manning's arm strength has diminished by as much as 40 percent as a result of the weakened triceps muscles. And I was told the issue wasn't just to the point where he can throw on game days, but there would be legitimate worry he can throw four or five times a week.

If you know Manning, you know he relies heavily on building an instinctive relationship with his receivers. He wants them to see what he sees. He wants to know how they run their routes and he wants them to know where he's likely to place the football. The only way to gain that is to throw to them -- a lot.

But there is doubt he could throw day after day even if his nerves regenerate because the muscles in his arm could fatigue more easily than they once did.

But put all that aside for a second. Seriously. Cast that to one side and suppose for a second that Manning's arm will eventually be capable of working about as well as it did when he was in his prime. The fact will remain he won't be in his prime with Miami.

He's 35 years old now and will be 36 next month. That's about the time Dan Marino started his precipitous and sudden decline. Montana, too. Troy Aikman was done by age 34. Steve Young was done by 38. Warren Moon had his last excellent season at 36 although he hung on a couple of more years, toiling in mediocrity.

The fact of the matter is if Peyton Manning plays in the NFL in 2012, he would be the second-oldest starting quarterback in the league and that assumes that Matt Hasselbeck will be starting for the Tennessee Titans -- something the Titans are prepared to change because former first-rounder Jake Locker will be coming into his second season and is the future in Tennessee.

So unless Hasselbeck wins a starting job, Manning might be the oldest starting QB in the NFL.

What about that fact suggests a long-term solution to Miami's quarterback troubles? Oh, that's right, nothing! 

The fact of the matter is if the Dolphins sign Peyton Manning it will be because they cannot solve their QB problem the tried and true way -- through the draft. They will have admitted they cannot identify a potential franchise QB at age 22 or 23 and have the conviction to draft that player, develop that player and win with that player for years and years. They will be saying they must instead take someone else's discarded quarterback, one whose best days are behind, and gamble he still has something left in the tank to serve Miami's desperation.

This is akin to treating a deep wound with a band aid. The band aid may stop some of the bleeding for a short time, but it will not help heal the wound. It will not keep the wound from becoming infected. The Dolphins quarterback situation is a deep, deep wound. And the only way to heal the hurt is finding a player that can fill the spot and play it at a high level for the next 7 or 8 years, not the next year or two ... maybe.

Now, I understand the allure of Manning. You see the possibility and think the Dolphins would be adding Manning in his prime. You see the possibility and think he would make the Dolphins instant contenders and get them to the playoffs. It is a gleaming vision of the possibilities.

I say to you all that shiny stuff reflecting in your eyes is fool's gold. The Dolphins have been down this road before. Four years ago, having no answer at quarterback, the Dolphins turned to often-injured Chad Pennington who fell to them like a blessing from the sky.

And it was good for one season. Pennington's great play led the Dolphins to the 2008 AFC East championship. It was fun. But it was fleeting.

NFL games have a way of finding a man's weakness and Pennington's surgically repaired shoulder was eventually exposed just as Manning's injury will eventually be exposed. And when that happened, the Dolphins were left right back where they started -- looking desperately for a franchise quarterback that they didn't spend a high enough draft pick to select.

(The fact Pennington helped Miami to an 11-5 record also pushed the team well to the back of the pack in the ensuing year's draft.)

That's what would happen if Manning comes to Miami. If Manning signs, the pressure will be on to win now. We'll be in win-now mode even though the coach is new and has a bit of a honeymoon period coming. He will have to produce and general manager Jeff Ireland will have to surround Manning with as much talent to win now as possible.

That means addressing must-haves -- like a right tackle and a pass-rusher. That probably means not drafting a quarterback in the first round because Matt Moore is still under contract and that, along with Manning, is enough use of resources at one position.

So, again, the Dolphins will return to all-in mode with a quarterback that needs to be in that mode because his time is running out. Except the rest of the Dolphins roster isn't ready to be all-in. The rest of the Miami roster needs significant upgrade along the right side of the offensive line, at tight end, on the defensive line and possibly in the secondary where a nickel corner and free safety are needs.

It simply does not fit. And so, I predict, if the Dolphins go with Manning, they may have some short-term gain (at best) but have again set themselves up for more long-term pain -- like 2008 and the years that followed. History repeating.

I know, I know, many of you are all in on Manning. If he comes in and wins a division title, you'll be happy with that. Some of you think he might even win a Super Bowl in Miami in his declining years even though he won only one in 14 years with Indianapolis while he was in his prime. (I admire your ability to dream.)

Me? Give me a free agent chase of a great pass rusher. Give me a trade-up for Robert Griffin III or the selection of whatever rookie QB the personnel department gets most comfortable with. Give me the signing of 27 year-old Matt Flynn even. Get me some more improving and building for the long haul. Get me the short-term pain in exchange for the long-term gain.

I know I'm in the minority. I am like a salmon swimming upstream and the Miami plan and the Miami fans are big brown bears waiting in the middle of the flow to swallow me because of my opinion.

That's fine. Let's talk in two or three years when we're right back where we started and you're screaming for a young QB and a new coach and a new GM -- again.


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Anyone who thinks that Chad Henne was the problem the past 3 years, or even that he has had a fair opportunity to shine given he has had no O line, no running game, no WRs, and no defensive support, knows nothing about football.

Henne will start in the NFL next year and will likely make the pro bowl.

I'm out for the day.Not this discussion about how chad is a better than average back-up qb again.Adios.CHAD HENNE IS I N E P T !!!!!!

I don't get it, you guys want a QB, well if Manning can play get him, all you people with lets get a rookie to play. Seems to me it is the same risk. We are not going to get the two top tier QB, Luck and Griffen are #1 and #2 going in the draft. Manning already said he is not looking for blockbuster contract, and bring him in and then grooming Moore Henne is not a bad thing. Next year bring in a rookie to train under Manning, plus Reggie wayne will probably sign which opens our recieving.

Of all the QB options (excluding luck and rg3) who would perform better than Henne in 2012?


Can See it now, Henne not signed goes to Jets becomes Qb over Sanchy andsomoke the Phin. Ewww, nope he just goes to Greenbay.

Not me Lou. I want either Manning or Rg3 - first round qbs. Everyone else may or may not be what we already have.

One The Best articles I have ever seen from you Armando. Like you I think Manning would be a short term fix and in a few years we will be right back where we started. Flynn would be my choice in this situation as he know the system. Kolb is a bad comparison here seeing as he is not running a system he was in for 3 yrs in Philly, which is why i think he failed. Grab Flynn Draft a young qb and groom him. I fear we will dash for the quick money though, gives me a sick feeling in the stomach, it will bring temporary joy but the years after of once again losing after 1 or 2 yrs of bliss sits in the back of my mind. Lets do it the right way for once guys, lets build a team!

Go Phins!!!

Im he biggest Dolpphin fan but if anyone thinks Dan Marino is better than Tom Brady is delusional. Brady has 3 rings with garbage with replaceable scrubs on his team Brady > Marino.

Clue, Now I have heard it all... Time to skip your posts.

Marino had one great year. Big deal.

Forgive them Dan, they know not what they say ...

I remember when the Fish passed on Brees because his shoulder "would never be the same again". That was such a great move, Brees can barely throw the ball now that he's on the Saints. Man, good thing the Fish didn't sign him - Drew's shoulder kept him on the IR season after season since that decision.


Marino did it during a team in the NFL when the defense was allowed to play football too!!! And he didn't have a dream team either!! Patriots haven't won a SuperBowl since the year they were caught cheating!

If Marino was in his prime today, with today's stupid rules, he would kill Brady's numbers. All of Marino's receivers had guys hanging all over them while they were making the catch!

I'm freaking P'd now...........coffee break

Sparano said he wouldnt rule out signing Henne to the Jets practice squad.

Don't be fools and respond to clue's comment. he is doing that to irk you all,

Gisele - stop posting under the name "Clue"

Andy - nice post at 10:13 am.

I agree with you on Jeffrey and I don't think he's gonna go in the first at all.

I do think you left out a very good possibility in the 9 spot though. Courtney Upshaw will go pretty high in the first.

Dear Ohio Dolfan

"I see your nemesis yeah! has returned. unless it was an impostor."

Yes I did see his name recently...back to torment me.

YEAH! is my Khan to my Captain kirk......Khaaaaaan !

But I've always thought Jean Luc pickard to be the better Captain.....I would rather have Captain Kirk serving as my wingman in a bar.

Soiled :)

Haha Soiled! YOU are the man!

My kittycat, Mr. Tip Top, licks himself with great enthusiasm when the Dolphins score.

Mr. Tip Top says GO DOLPHINS!!!

Why are you little girls here always saying things like "don't respond" to this or that?

Presumably, these are adults posting here who don't need (or want) 'guidance' on what is appropriate to respond to.

Worry about your own affairs. And grow the hell up.

See my full article response to this on the hot new South Florida sports blog

Guys, are you serious? Brady has worst talent than Marino had in his days. Marino had the Mark Brothers. Brady for a couple of years had Moss thats it!. 3 superbowl rings, and the talent on thoughs team were not that great. Marion made it to 1 superbowl cmon its not close.

Ohio, its 1pm and you still drinking coffee?

Armando is pretty much always against what would make this team better. It's upsetting that he is our only blogger for the dolphins on this...just ridiculous
Manning goes to the playoffs. Period. He doesn't get hit even with a mediocre line because he sees blitzes and reads defense better than anyone in the world. Armando, write about something else or don't write at all. He is the best qb of all time not named Marino and we have a better team than kc did with joe montana.

If Payton manning can get us to the second round of the playoffs that will be a success, i have been a fan since i was 7 when i started to watch it with my dad which is cuban so that meant i would always here him say OYE tira un DUPER lol. By the way Armando I love your column but that fact is i rather have Manning then Jay fielder, Gus Ferrotte, Ray Lucas, Trent Green, Chad Henne. Also keep in mind that we went to the playoffs with a QB named Chad Pennigton and i know for a fact that Manning is better than Pennigton even with missing one leg, so i dont think its a bad pick up at all.

Dear Mr. Clue

Since spygate the Patriots have not won a superbowl....They have still been a very good team.

Why did Roger Goodell destroye all the tapes after reviewing the evidence....just wondering why thats all

Not hating just why destroye evidence...why wasn't the general public or outside sources able to see what was taped.

Luv my Phins

Soiled :)

Giovanni, if Manning get get us to the playoffs period. That will be a sucess.

Yea Clue......

I hit a wall at work at like 1:00PM or 2:00 PM and coffee is a must.

Luckily my office has coffee here I don't have to go out to get it.

Ohio, Try B12 or Multi Vitamins, Ive learned to cut back on the coffee

The Miami Dolphins have announced they will honor AFC Champion NE Patriots next year when they play the Miami Dolphins in Sunlife Stadium. The Dolphins are thrilled to have the AFC Champions play in their stadium and would like to honor the Patriots for making it to the Superbowl!

It's a LONG way until March. I hope we're not going to have the Henne conversation for the next 30 days.

henne sucks!! im gonna flip if i see one more post about Chadwick Alberto Henne

DC, I dropped it... But he bsing the scapegoat for our problems was ridiculous.

But I am finished. Until Philbin resigns him... lol

god help us.

Whatever conversation we're having, I'm sure you can be counted on to say the same thing 8 billion times.

irelandsucks, now THAT one was freakin hilarious. good one.

DC, the only think you need to know is that Chad Henne is an elite QB in this league. You will see. He has 8 or 9 350-yard games and a 400 yard game, 60% completion %, all with Sparano as his coach and no O line or running game, at all, and no wide receivers to speak of.

Poizen, check this idea (I've brought it up a bunch of times, to little fanfare) from an article on the SS:

"Long is coming off an injury plagued season, so its hard to tell if his declining play is a fluke, injury related, or declining skills. Long is under contract for the next two seasons, but he could be used as trade bait to move up to the No. 2 pick considering the Rams need offensive line help. Long’s contract could also be restructured to create more cap room. His cap number is $12.8 million in 2012 and $12,350,000 in 2013. Problem is teams typically don’t re-sign players coming off their worst season, especially one that was impacted by injuries."

What do you think of using Long as trade bait?

Dudes, chill. We were 12-4 this year. With either Moore or Henne, we go 13-3 next year. #winning.

Lord, if you say so. I'll keep watching (tell me when not to blink).

I will rank the all time greatest QBs:
1. Joe Montana
2. Steve Young
3. Terry Bradshaw
4. Peyton Manning (has had ZERO help his entire career--this year's MVP)
5. Tom Brady
6. Warren Moon
7. John Elway
8. Jim Kelley
9. Roethlisberger
10. Marino

Phin fans

Its official Dolphins pick 9th in the draft

Armando, It just dawned on me you are absolutely right, just like the salmon that swim upstream to lay eggs and die...turning red in the process..if your amazingly short sighted vision / delusion becomes reality, you will have laid a huge pile of eggs, you will be embarrassed and red faced, and your prognosticating career should die

Hey Justin credible..just want to clear up a detail regarding your Henne hypothesis...you do realize that Super Bowl refers to the NFL championship game and not a great toilet right?

QBs are valuable, have a lot of resale value. I'd rather get more than I need then less (at that particular position).

Posted by: DC Dolfan | February 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM


But you guys trying to sell us on a 2nd rd QB as a viable franchise QB- STOP IT ALREADY!

If we can get a few good years with Peyton Manning, we might accidentally win a Super Bowl. That would be awesome, right?

But eventually, we'll have to draft a 1st Rd QB and let him grow and flourish. That's how it's done by marquee franchises.

I'll take Pennington 2.0 over anything the Dolphins have trotted out on the field in the last 10 years.

Well DC, It is definitly intriguing. But me, and my past, to have Jake Long on the blind side is a huge issue already resolved.

The point is the injury, I am scared about this also. I just can't give a good yay or nay not knowing how his further health looks.

If we go Peyton, Long has to be here. If you have RG III you dont need him as badly.

I think Fisher would bite on long being available, considering he is a 2 time pro-bowl player, and hell.. made it after his worst year...

You may refer to me as "My Lord and Savior." That would be accurate and acceptable.


Peyton should just retire.....

Miami should go after Flynn....and barring that go get RGB3

After all these years you have written a column that makes sense. Seriously though tell us who helped you with it. No need to be ashamed - it's a good article! Even the grammar is passable.

c'mon Ross you idiot, why can't you see that Manning is one good hit away from NOT playing ever again!!! WAIT FOR FLYNN!!! It really is the RIGHT thing to do!!!

1st I hope Philbin is laying low on Flynn and we sign him. Manning could still have it, but with one hit, he could be done.
As far as Marino vs Brady - anyone saying Brady is better never saw Dan in his prime.
Brady's def. won his 3 rings, more so than he did. Shula forgot how to build a def after getting Marino. His def sucked. Not to mention the rules. He would be crazy good with todays rules.

I say Miami picks up Manning, sign Flynn and Draft Kase Keenam in the second round from the Houston Cougars.

As a life long Phin fan I'll say this if Manning is healthy you sign him especially if it's for an incentive laiden contract.I would then draft Riley in the first at RT with him Long and Pouncy anchoring our line we could protect Payton all day after that I'd trade back up to the bottom of the 1st or early 2nd what ever it took to grab Tanehill the 3rd best Qb in the draft with Payton and Sherman his old coach showing him the ropes until he's ready to take the reins it's all GOOD.After that it's easy take our cap
money sure up our other positions threw FA and the Dolphins are on there way back GO PHINS

STOP, STOP, STOP !!! We don't need Manning! There is no way this team is ready for even a playoff berth much less a 35 year old QB. By the time the team comes together with a new offense, new defense, new coaching, a new QB and so one Manning will be like 38 years old and hanging up the arm and boots. Sign FLYNN and let the guy learn and grow with his new team. Signing Manning is nothing more than to put people in the seats and not creating a winning team and franchise. Jeezus, the Dolphin's never do anything smart or correct. We always rebuild the wrong way and select the wrong players. The only thing we know how to draft is offensive lineman and the occasional Linebacker.

Manning would be another blunder by Ross. Either sign flynn and it costs only money or trade up. Manning won't play more than another two years at a high level, if, a big fat if, he comes back at all. They need long term stability. Manning doesn't give you that. Besides, manning is a guy you sign if you are only a QB away from a SB. The Fins need more than a QB. Don do it Ross!!!!!!!!

Armando your a beached Manatee, not swimming at all.......Armando I know it sells but forget about Peyton Manning. He is done as an elite QB. Even if he plays his level will never be elite again.

Take manning now, draft an ol or de. the take Foles in the 3rd or Osweiler in the 4th and develop hin for when Manning is done for. Or take nboth of them and remove all doubt that we have a b of the future. It's a no-brainer!

The reason I say take Manning now is I think that it's a "done deal". But we can still pick up an ol or de at #1 and one or the other at 2; leaving picks 3 and four for our b of the future. After all. Isn't that just how the Packers did it wth Farve, Rodgers, and now Flynn? Oh.sorry about the misspells in the above post, I was in a hurry.

Let's Face Facts.. WE are NOT Going to Get Manning. This is a Pipe Dream Created by the Miami Media..

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