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Free agency timing could affect Flynn-Manning decision

Do you have a calendar?

If you don't, you're in for a sobering experience. If you have one, you probably already understand that what I'm about to share is truth.

The calendar says March 8th is precisely 17 days away and falls on a Thursday. That is the deadline by which time the Indianapolis Colts must either pay Peyton Manning his $28 million bonus or allow him to become a free agent.

Five days later, on Tuesday March 13th, unrestricted free agency will begin. That is ostensibly the first day Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn is expected to hit the open market.

Now that we've established those two facts, you might begin understanding where we're going ...

The facts are that barring a sudden and unexpected return to health in the next 17 days, Manning may quite possibly become available and no one will have any certainty he will be 100 percent recovered from his multiple neck surgeries and nerve problems when the deal is done. In fact, it's likely that no one will be able to even predict with certainty by March 8 that Manning will be 100 percent by the start of the NFL season.

Nerve regeneration is simply next to impossible to predict.

Teams will be able to look at the nerve response and strength charts and predict Manning will continue to get better, but know for sure? No way.

So get used to the idea that certainty is not something any team chasing Peyton Manning is likely to enjoy, assuming he's available.

And because of the timing of it all, it will be practically impossible for any team to go through a logical progression of decisions on Manning and Flynn. In other words, it will be impossible for one team to say, "We'll sign Peyton Manning if he's available and healthy and if he's not, we'll sign Matt Flynn."

That progression of decisions will probably not exist, again, because Manning will probably not be 100 percent in three weeks while he is on the market at the same time as a healthy and avaliable Flynn.

In cases where teams are dealing with two healthy free agents, they can bring both to town, check both out physically, and then make a decision on which best fits. But with Manning and Flynn, the team might bring both to town, and only one of the players will be healthy.

It's like shopping for a quarterback but comparing apples to oranges -- a healthy unproven young quarterback versus a veteran unhealthy proven quarterback.

Some teams won't chase Manning as a result, while others will pass on Flynn and gamble Manning return to his old form. The two play the same position. They will be available at pretty much the same time. But they are vastly different in what situation they must be signed under.

Either way, you're taking a gamble. Both require teams to project. Neither quarterback comes with the luxury of certainty.

The team signing Flynn won't know for sure he's a starting-caliber player until he does it for much longer than his two games worth of experience. The team signing Manning won't know for sure he'll be back to 100 percent -- until the season gets going and he proves it one way or the other on the field. It's all a million-dollar guessing game.

And here's another wrinkle: Because Manning isn't likely to be 100 percent, he might decide not to expose himself to visits and exams right away. He might decide to wait until he gets better.

So what does a team do then?

Do you wait on Manning and likely lose out on Flynn, who will sign with the a more aggressive team? Or do you pass on the possibility of Manning regaining his greatness for the chance to sign an unproven, young, but healthy an readily available Matt Flynn?

Flynn certainly isn't going to wait for Manning to be signed for him to sign. Someone will chase him and he will sign. That will leave the team waiting on Manning at risk because, well, what if Manning never gets better? What if Manning retires? What if he requires another surgery as Sports Illustrated speculated?

There is nothing that will keep teams from chasing both Manning and Flynn at the same time. I imagine you can bring both in and give both the once over and then pick based on which projection discussed above you're most comfortable with.

But the idea that anyone will have the luxury of knowing that Manning is definitely healthy or not before moving on to Flynn is not realistic based on the timing of things.

And even if Manning decides to wait to sign, a team must decide whether to jump at Flynn or not early because, again, he won't wait for Manning to decide where he's going. Flynn will simply go to the combination earliest/highest bidder who has obviously eliminated Manning as a possibility.

So this won't be an "If not A, then B" scenario." This will be more a scenario where a team makes priorities and then moves on those priorities accordingly based on an educated guess.


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2 CHOICES;;;;;;




For the last time, you go with Flynn, Manning is that choclate bake cookies in your oven DONE!

Pass on both. They are fools gold.

Ross will end of making the wrong decision as usual and we'll be doomed to mediocracy. This is just our luck

I say take flynn its just to much of a gamble f
or manning nice post manning

Dear Mr. Salguero

Joe Philbin told Mike Sherman all he needs to know about Matt Flynns feet.

If Matt Flynn wasn't a keeper wouldn't Philbin have told his superiors this is a practice squad guy or just cut our loses he was only a 7th rounder anyway.

If Shermman and philbin both like his feet expect Rex Ryan to give Matt Flynn a good looking over.

Soiled :)

P.S. I see pictures of Casey Keenum in Chemtrail clouds

Dont mess this up like you did the Brees decision! Take Flynn if Coach believes he's the guy that should play qb for the Fins! I would rather go with RG3 but it probably isnt goinng to happen.

you gotta get Flynn now. make the decision and skip Manning. If Flynn bombs, well you're looking for another qb in 2-3 yrs--which you'll be doing if you sign Peyton anyway (and that's being optimistic). Plus you'll pay less for Flynn.

Tannehill or Weeden

Tag day starts today Dolhin fans. Let the franchise tagging begin.

I don't know what's all the excitement over Flynn is all about. He only had two starts against teams with poor pass defenses. 132 passes and he is worth breaking the bank over? Flynn can't even throw the deep ball accurately. Why wait for next year to trade up and get a qb when we can do it this year. The Flynn hype is A.J. Feeley and Kevin Kolb hype all over again. There is a reason be was drafted in the seventh round.

I have read Sherman's comments and I'm convinced now that if he can convince Ireland that he's the guy and he's still there, the Dolphins will draft him. Sherman talks about the poise that Tannehill has, likes his feet and above all believes he makes those around him better. He compares that last quality to what Favre did with his teammates and what Rodgers does for his. He is not saying he will be that good, only stating what he sees.

So, I'm starting to buy into this idea that the Dolphins will draft Tannehill in the first and let him develop. In no way does this preclude them signing Manning or Flynn but it's a good contingency plan....start it now.

I say take Kellen Moore. He reminds me of Drew Brees coming out of college.

The only thing I don't agree with is Flynn going to the highest bidder. Unless you know the kid personally you don't know what's in his head. He could have four offers, Wash,Clev,Seattle,Miami or more. Washington could offer him more than Cleveland but maybe he likes Cleveland's offense better. Maybe Philbin talks him into Miami for a little less because he could be more successful in an offense he is already familiar with. This is all hypothetical as Clev and Wash are in good spots to draft rg3, just making a point.

It's not always about the most money with these guys. Say Seattle offers him $500,000 more than Miami but he hates the offense while loving Philbins. He's still going to be a millionaire and set for life. He can make up what he lost by not taking the biggest deal by making smart investments. That money could come back to him in less than a year!

So yes I want to sign Flynn and draft Weeden or Tannehill in the 2nd. Use the 1st pick on the DE Coples if he's there.

Good comments Craig. Now Dex you need to go back go the drawing boards. Flynn almost beat the patsies and last time I checked they played in the last SB.

Glad scott not the GM

I've got a calendar that pops up on the computer screen (when needed)- it's pretty cool! Really.

Mando....I broke this calendar story over two weeks ago right here on your blog.
I also predicted that the Fins would pass on Manning and sign Flynn because there is now way that RG3 gets past the Browns or Skins.

Tannehill poses an interesting dilemma for the Fins as he will NOT be available by the 2nd round and not worthy of our first pick @ #8/9.

IF the Fins pass on Flynn, then they are signaling to the rest of the NFL they are either going to WAIT on Manning to heal, or will make some type of trade in the draft to get Tannehill.

Either way...yes Mando, we are all watching days tick off the calendar and understand the implications.

Sign Flynn. Keep Moore. Release Henne. Draft best available player in the draft. If it happens to be a QB, so be it!

Repost regarding Mike McCarthy's belief in Flynn's feet(these guys sure like the feet) -

Here's a quote from Mike McCarthy right after he announced Flynn beat out 2nd round pick Brian Brohm to back up Aaron Rodgers. Once again with the feet.
"I like the way (Flynn) makes plays with his feet. He can get you out of a bad play," McCarthy said. "(He's) instinctive, very calm, his disposition is excellent. (He has good) pocket awareness and is comfortable in the pocket. I've been impressed with him so far."

Wow. I am impressed by so much knowledge about Peyton Manning’s health and his capabilities to play again.

Here are some points to consider, and if you do it right, Miami does have a shut to be a leading team in the AFC again, and this for a long period of time.

Matt Flynn is an unproven QB and will be released, which we don’t know yet. If he is as good as everyone proclaims then why would the packers let him go? If he is not as good, then why would Miami won’t him? Are we going back to all the mediocre QB’s we had before? I hope not.

Who says that Peyton is not in a process of recovery and will be 85% - 95% by season start? Those 85% to 95% gives me more security of becoming a playoff contender as all the other options. Now let’s see what really goes on here. Jim Irsay cannot come out and tell the fans that their idol is going to be released. He has already started to reorganize his team and is in the process of rebuilding it around Andrew Luck. Of course, Peyton will not be a back-up for a college kid, even if he is the number 1. So for Irsay the best thing to do is to stir things up, since Peyton did not talk about retirement.

I think that Peyton Manning is a Dan Marino kind of a QB and would have said already: “I am retiring because of my injury and neck surgeries.” But he did not do it, because he wants to play. He and his doctors are the only ones who know exactly what’s going on, and as far as I’m concerned, it does not look like that he is done with football.

I would like to see Stephen Ross getting Peyton no matter what. Then draft a talented QB in round 3 or so, and have him learn from Peyton for the next two to three years (that’s what I think we can get out of Peyton on the field). Then we move Peyton as QB coach where he can mentor, develop, and improve the young and we can rest assured that we will be great for a long period of time.

Trust me, Peyton Manning is healthy to play and will do so in 2012. So, let’s get him. If he says he can’t play anymore, than shake hands and let it go, but ‘til then, try to get him to Miami.

RG3 is never happening. Cleveland and Washington are closer in line and have WAY more to offer in compensation as well as both being desperate for a QB. Everyone needs to forget about him because you're all wasting your time.

How can you release Henne when he's a free agent Tracey

This has been discussed some here already. As an executive working for a Billion Dollar operation, it's not a decision I would envy having to make.

I take exception with anyone calling Flynn's record amazing. No matter how you look at it, Flynn has had only two starts. He's looked good in two brief appearences. Amazing? A little premature for that.

So the obvious situations are extremely limited experience and in Mannings case, age and injury. What other criteria do we use to evaluate the two?

1. Salary cap. I'm not positive but I believe Manning will be more cap friendly.

2. Scheme. Flynn would fit right in and hit the street running so to speak. Manning operates in a brand of the WCO, but it's more of a spread. A few tweaks here and there would be needed. Personally I'm not convinced it would be enough to really make any differences.

Flynn would require a tweak or two as well considering Rodgers was actually operating Philbin's last offense. With Sherman returning to work with Philbin, I would guess some minor changes will be coming/needed either way.

3. Risk vs. Reward. I think this is the most important.

Manning will be the least risky in my opinion. Less money, less cap space and biggest potential for reward. He'll instantly boost ticket sales and if his nerve regenerates we have one of the best in the game. Virtually instant challengers.

Flynn will cost more, take up more cap space and still need to prove he can hack it at this level. The kicker in Flynn's favor obviously is his age. If he does become "That Guy" we could FINALLY be set at QB for the next decade.

I thought the same when I heard sherman wants a qb w legs. Either rgiii or tannehill would fit that bill. Don't count Weeden out either

We may as well face reality, or sort of at least for this present post.

I said earlier that Andrew Luck is NOT a Lock that he will be a Colt which puts Miami into play. The stars would need to line up with Orion's Belt perfectly for us to offer trades for Luck. for now.. I am not betting on getting luck but I keep the possibility at around 10% at best.

Forget about RGIII. He wont fit into our system as he's another Vick and in the NFL, he will get hurt as well as our O line running all over trying to defend the kid. We don't need a kid who's first instinct is to run for his life. Sure, through aggressive behavioral training that can change but it will take a while and I'm concerned that he will get injured before he even has a chance to change into a pocket passer/

So that leaves us with FA.

Manning is a crap shoot at best for anyone. Flynn is a young two game wounder with records.

Flynn has an upside and Manning has the choice of remaining the same, getting worse or getting back to full strength. he's a crap shoot.

Do we want to chance waiting on Mannings condition? There IS a long time before practices and pre season but in the end...

If I were going to take a chance It would be on Flynn. BUT.. with this disclaimer... Philbin will make the ultimate call on if Flynn is "that good" or just had a good game or two.

If Philbin says take Flynn, take him and walk away from Manning. If Philbin says punt on Flynn... Well, you make the next call.

"Flynn almost beat the patsies and last time I checked they played in the last SB."

So did Henne, he put up over 400 yards and 3 TDs. There needs to be a better argument for signing Flynn than that! :)

I've heard the talk about Flynn being compared alot to A. Rodgers in that both of their time behind the starter they've continued to get better. So Rodgers got better waiting behind Favre and Flynn has gotten better behind Rodgers. The talk of him being a 7th rounder on this blog cracks me up considering everyone here knows first hand how the 199th pick can light you up every week and is considered by most to be the best player in the NFL (BRADY). I think if Philbin believes in Flynn the Dolphins should pursue him.

As to Flynn we certainly have the advantage and clearest picture of his potential. Philbin couldn't have worked with him week in and week out without knowing how far the guy can develop. With this knowledge the timing between choices should not be an issue as written by Armando. If they are sold on Flynn's ability they wait, if not they go after Manning if we are to believe they covet him.

Bring in whatever QB you want!!! Let the competition begin!!

NH -- I have a feeling we are going to reach and take Tannehill at 9.

Keep in mind that Seattle is right there at 12 and could move ahead of Miami to take him.

If the Dolphins are convinced that Tannehill can be something down the road then draft him at nine. I don't care where the experts say he should go, if they are convinced then draft him. Tired of this franchise getting cute and finding out afterwards that they made a mistake. Time to step up and roll the dice....don't get cute.

RG3 is not another Michael Vick. Both can run but have many other differences that separate them. None of that matters though considering we won't even be close enough to think about drafting him.

Any chance we sign Flynn on March 16th...lay low until Manning's nerve is 100%...cut Moore and keep Devlin as our #3.

Asked another way...does it make financial sense to sign BOTH Flynn & Manning, so if Manning goes down we have Flynn to step in?

I realize this is screwing Flynn, but I just need to hear why this does not make sense.

Phins78 @2:34pm,

You're dead right! SO tired of hearing this point. Guys take a 1-2 game sample and are convinced that Flynn is the answer. He's the answwer.....in terms of COMPETITION for the starting job ONLY. No way do I want this team to open the vault for him and throw all kinds of crazy money at him and hand him the starting job and that's what some guys are advocating...it's INSANE! TI'd rather have all thay money spent on improving the pass rush and finding another WR for the QB or adding a safety.

Or better yet....sign Flynn & draft Tannehill @ #9 and use Moore as trade bait.
Imagine we could have a pretty good QB competition this summer.

Problem is, Tannehill is Sherman's boy, while Flynn is Philbin's...could make for a messy family feud.

Men...it sure is nice not typing Tony Sparano into my keyboard anymore!

So, I'm starting to buy into this idea that the Dolphins will draft Tannehill in the first and let him develop. In no way does this preclude them signing Manning or Flynn but it's a good contingency plan....start it now.

Posted by: Craig M | February 20, 2012 at 02:23 PM


Sherman's comments on Tannehill could just as easily be a smoke screen as well.

First off, I can't recall any Coaches coming out in the press and trashing a former player. Especially in the instance that said player is entering a draft in which he'll potentially earn millions.

Besides it looking like sour grapes on Shermans part, it would ultimately be needlessly affecting Tannehill's ability to provide for himself and his family(I know this is an "extreme", but a very REAL "extreme").

Secondly, assume Sherman doesn't want or believe in Tannehill. It would still be in his best interest to build the guy up as much as humanly possible. In this case he might be helping a competing team to choose Tannehill, leaving other players available for us. This is a multi billion dollar industry and people do tend to get dubious.

I don't know which is the case and I'm not going to pretend like I do. I'm just saying, you can't/or shouldn't read too much into what a Coach says about his former players. Especially in the months leading up to the draft.

I have seen Flynn he is the real deal and are coach knows it.


I don't get the point of trading Moore. He's more valuable to the team than what he would bring back in a trade. Tannehill's not ready, so why rush him. He's probably 2-3 years away. Keep Moore, let them fight it out and let Tannehill take his time. I don't see the team getting any more than a third or a fourth for Moore. To me that's not worth it.

If Tannehill becomes great n Sherman n fins pass on him it will make him look terrible

Worst case scenerio with Manning is he can't throw the deep ball and becomes a Matt Flynn, except Manning is a proven winner and possibly the smartest QB ever.

What about Brady Quinn? He is a free agent as well. He will come cheap and he is still very young. We just need to take a close look at him...He played with a horrible OL and zero playmakers in Cleveland, set to fail. Bad timing in Denver where at the time Orton was benched they decided to please the fans and sell tickets with Tebow...Seriously, we need to at least bring him to town and see what he can do.


Your not wrong on your comments. Everything that is said this time of year should be taken with a grain fo salt. I know you're not high on Tannehill and don't want him coming here but the reality of the situation is the kids has skills and intangibles too. I see Washington, Seattle and KC as being our biggest competition for the kid. I'll be surprised if he's thee at 9 if we don't draft.....that's all I'm saying.

Hey Armondo,

Can you tell us if Flynn would be a big upgrade over Matt Moore? I would be curious to see how they match up with arm strength and other intangibles. With Matt Moore proving he can play and win in this league and if there is not much difference between his and Flynn's physical skills, would it be more prudent to take a flyer on Manning with Moore as a fallback to run the west coast O. Isn't the basic premise of the West Coast Offense to get the ball into the skilled players' hands and utilize the short passing game anyway?

Just a quick observation, Why are so many people so down on Matt Moore? Is he Brady,or Manning? No. But he did a good job last year considering the lockout etc. Improve the O-line,get a stud wr opposite Marshall,and use Bush in the slot a little more. Just my opinion.

One thing I like about Tannehill, he moves VERY well. Good, athletic runner....interested to see more of him this week at the Combine, assuming of course that hes participating.

Jake Long, 2012 #1, 2012 #3, & 2013 #2


2012 #1

No no no Brady Quinn

I live in the Cleveland Area, saw him play........I just don't think he is worth the time.

Pretty quick release too. Not a big arm necessarily but gets rid of the ball well.

The odds of Manning being healthy & knowing the playbook are slim. With a 1st year HC, new playbooks etc. the playoffs is asking alot. Especially from a 36 year old Qb who hasn't played in a year & is in totally new surroundings.

Sign Flynn. Trade down to the mid teens for a 2nd rounder & try to grab Tannehill if you can. If he's gone, trade further back, grab another 2 & draft Weeden late 1st or early 2nd.

A Combo of Flynn, Moore & Tannehill/Weeden is more exciting than any with nerveless, old man Manning.

Interesting article on Flynn -


Just a clip -

GMs and coaches can't speak publicly about impending free agents, but several have told me their scouting reports on Flynn state: good to very good in the following categories -- arm strength, quick release, accuracy, athleticism and mobility (especially moving in the pocket); hard worker, smart, tough, composed, great competitor, an excellent teammate and leader; good character.

They like that he has been tutored by Packers coach Mike McCarthy, former Packers offensive coordinator and now Miami head coach Joe Philbin and his QB coach at Green Bay, Tom Clements -- all well known for their ability to develop top quarterbacks. And he has soaked up QB savvy watching and learning over the last four years from Rodgers, the NFL MVP.

What a dead story, how many times is this manning FA fiascio going to end and then start up again on this blog(Armando, your worse than anyone cuz you keep bringing it up).....I pray the colts resign him so we can wash our hands on this injured depleted HOF'ER....

Take a chance on flynn or try and trade up for RG3...either option is better than a 40% healthy manning who may not even play for more than 1-2 games, let alone 2 years....

You sign Manning, Period.

Dear Clue, my bad! I knew that. Just speaking figuratively. In other words, don't even consider bringing Henne back. I think Moore has more upside.

I hope this new regime will take the best player available in each round of the draft regardless of position. This would probably give us a pass rusher in the first and maybe an O-lineman in the 2nd. Somewhere around 3rd to 5th round, it may give us a young QB to groom. No one knows what's going to happen this draft. Or, how the new CBA will affect it.
Look for some trades, even I the first round, as teams scramble to figure it all out.

Go Fins!!!

I'll be surprised if he's thee at 9 if we don't draft.....that's all I'm saying.

Posted by: Craig M | February 20, 2012 at 03:01 PM


I was saying similar things about Cam Newton last year. I've put my foot in my mouth enough times to know............you just never know.

I wouldn't mind taking Tannehill as a project.........MAYBE-LOL. But like you said above, he probably won't be around long enough. I just don't want to use a first on a Big Project.

I know if he turns out to be the guy it doesn't matter where we get him. It's just gambling with them high picks............Scary Crazy!

You have a descent QB on the roster already, so sign Manning, he already said he'd take a low budget deal, then go after RG3 and it that doesn't work Tannenhill...that way you're covered either way...if manning comes back then RG3 or tannenhill have no better mentor to learn from...it's not a hard decision folks.

Craig, Tannehill is going to the combine but for interviews and weigh-in only. He will have is pro day late March is what I read.

Sure bobbyd12,

Lets have manning come down behind our "REBUILDING" offensive line and injured on and off again jake long as our only stud in hopes that manning will be able to stand back there and take the punishment after not playing a single game last season........with regenerating nerves....how much damage do you honestly think he can take in that kind of scenerio without being carried out on a strecther????!!!

Wonderful Idea!!!

Perfect Surgarnuts........we sign Manning, then we get RGIII

Then we could beat every other team on Madden!!!!!

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