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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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Ok, Iam out.

I will sign the Great Meyton Panning and win the Soap Bowl.

LOL,u funny

Lots of soap to clean u of that mistake.

hey petty just won the 81 daytona 500

I watched the Baylor/Texas A&M game on youtube where Tannehill is matched against RG111 and RG111 was the loser. Tannehill had the better arm and aim, and was much better at avoiding sacks. I don't know if RG111 was sick that day but he sure looked sick.

Hey Scott - I think K. Moore looks even better than Brees did in college.
Hope we at least give him a serious look!!!

For those of you that are still hung up on the fact that Flynn "beat out a 2nd round draft pick" to become the backup in Green Bay take a look at what a stellar career Brian Brohm has had. Last year he played for the Las Vegas Locomotives.
So, he beat out a guy who went to Buffalo and wasn't resigned during free agency and then played for Las Vegas of the United Football League and was a backup to Chase Clements. So, he basically beat out a quarterback who should have gone 7th round or FA and was picked way too high and the Packers wasted a 2nd round pick on him. Brohm was a BUST.

I can't wait for free agency to come and go so we can hear the sucking sound made when one team pursues Matt Flynn in free agency because his agent tells everyone how much money he is looking for and it goes over like a fart in church.

Nobody will know if Manning is ready until the season starts. He will say he wants to play. Players always do. But until he has to throw every day in practice and during real games, nobody will now how his body will hold up. It's guess work. And for the $ teams need to pay him and the cost of not taking someone else it all just seems too big of a gamble to go with Manning.

This decision seems easy to me. The Fins made a very big investment in Philbin. The reputation of the owner and GM is on the line starting with him. Philbin selected Sherman to run a specific offense. so, if Philbin says to take Flynn the team has to go for him. If not and Sherman feels Tannehill is the real deal then the team should pursue him.

The total equation is simply this:

Philbin + Sherman + System = Flynn or Tannehill

That's what the Fins have already invested in. Anything other than these two players will come across as a gamble and will prove Ross and Ireland are idiots.

Both this blog posting, and Greg Cote's article omit a HUGE option, which to me is the worst possible scenario. That is...the team does nothing regarding the QB position.

Telling me that any of the possible options carries risk is basically telling me the Sun is hot. No ish. Telling me doing nothing is better than trying ANYTHING is saying the status quo (7-9, 7-9, 6-10) will be the best course to take. The CONSENSUS is that's a joke of an idea, and no one with their right mind in keeping a job will (or should) hold that option.

Even getting a QB to develop, who may one day become a franchise QB, would be better than simply wasting another year with no long-term plans at the position.

So, to Armando and Cote, I say next to say Indy's position, sure, these options look tenuous at best. But putting them next to doing nothing, they ALL look WAY better.

JPAO, I disagree. I think it's a gamble no matter what they do. Sticking with Moore is a gamble. Getting a guy with a broken foot (thinking he'll compete against Moore to get the best QB on the roster on the field Week 1) is a gamble. Getting a guy via FA who's played in all of 2 games is a gamble.

The only proof-positive to me that Ross and Ireland are idiots would be if they took nobody. As I believe this team has sufficient need, and there are sufficient possibilities, that the team would be remiss to even try for one.

Now, if they tried and failed (like get outbid for Flynn, or tried to move up to get RG3 and get outbid, or tried to grab a developmental QB in later rounds but were too late) then that's another thing (sometimes you roll the dice and don't land on anything).

But not trying at all to me means they feel Moore answers all their questions, and that to me is idiotic (no matter how good you feel about Moore).

DC...I don't think that the FO will make that mistake again this year. I understand why the team wasn't aggressive last year in searching for a QB...1. The team had to see, and put to rest any questions about Chad Henne. We know he isn't the answer. 2 The depth at the position in both free agency and the draft looked thin on paper. 3. Ireland could make the argument that we did improve the QB position bt signing Moore. This is one of those false truths. Sure Moore was an improvement over Henne. But we all know he isn't the guy moving forward. A good stop-gap, good backup...Franchise material. Nope.

So I guess this is the question. Will the team be satisfied with Moore as a stop gap, while Ireland gambles he has time to find his guy? Or will he go all in?

If cincy wants Trent Richardson and hes available at #8 or9 Trade for there 2 1st rnd. Pics. The fins coild have Flynn and Tannehill.

Letting Henne go could be considered a gamble as well... AS long as we are playing the What "if"? game What if Henne becomes a star for another team and we let him walk... maybe even to an AFC east rival. That is always a possibility as well. Although unlikely Henne is coming into his prime and it has happened before with players. Reminds me a lil of Brees situation becuz IMO Henne did seem to progress from his rookie season slowly but gradually. His next team might have a better line and then we see probowl numbers throughout a season without injury...

...To automatically tie both Flynn or Tannehill as the ONLY options in free agency, or the draft is a mistake, and not how a big boy football team is run. Seriously. We all know the relationships these players have with the coaches on our staff..Is it out of the relm of the possibility that during the evaluation process there comes along a guy who sparks the interest of the FO not named Flynn, or Tanehill? Someone who fits the system better, someone who shows more skill, more leadership..better over all qualities?

Listen. I have said we should sign Flynn. It is possible, probably likely he is not the answer. The system blah, blah, blah..we all know the story. There is the flip side that Philbin will not give his show of support for Flynn.. It is even more likely there will be a talent in the draft that grades out higher then Tanehill. Limiting our choices to these 2 guys becuase we hired men familar with these qb's is a poor plan.

I say contact St. Louis and ask them what it will take to trade up to #2. Whatever they want, do it. Draft picks, current roster. I say everything is for sale. I am sick of all the retreads we have dealt with the last 12 years since Marino retired. It's time to roll the dice. Can it get any worse? This is a franchise that basically had 2 QB's (Griese and Marino)for 32 years 1967-1999(with a little Woodley and Strock tucked in between). We are in desperate times. We are losing games at an unbelievable rate and losing fans just the same. We need some excitement and Peyton (at this point of his career)or Flynn are not going to provide that. The Giants sold the farm to San Diego to get Eli and that seems to have worked pretty well. Grow some balls Ross and Ireland!!! It's a QB driven league. A QB like RG3 with all his athleticism, accuracy, intellegence, and good family background does not come along very often. Regardless what some people think, he is a classic pocket passer, not runner. Anyone that has watched him knows better. The future is NOW!!!!!! RG3!!!!!!!


I agree (and HOPE) Ireland learned his mistake. And I can understand (generally) how we could pass on someone (like last year). But, this isn't my first time at the rodeo (yours either). And we've both heard all these excuses before (by many FO's). You know them well:

- "there wasn't any good option at our spot in the draft"
- "we wanted to see what we had on the team already"
- "we weren't going to overpay for any free agent"
- "this is a thin year for QB in the Draft, maybe if we wait until next year we'll be in a better position to take one of the players then"

You starting to hear whispers of these same views. And, frankly, it's shameful. Of COURSE you're never going to fill this position if you never take a chance on doing anything.

That's why I say, at the very least, draft a kid to develop. Hopefully he's more than a "fat chance" project (like Devlin). Tannehill, Weeden, Foles, Cousins, etc. could all fill that role. There's a bunch of them, why pass on ALL?

Let's hope Ireland doesn't have the false viewpoint that his excellent acquisition in all other areas on the team will hide any deficiencies in a lower-tier QB at the helm. That's been tried here for over a decade now. And it's failed.

beerphin...Last season should be all this team needs to see fromm Henne. Yes he got hurt so it was cut short. He is who he is, and in this system he is the absolute wrong fit. He is just to innacurate past his first read to play in a system where accuracy and quick decision making are paramount.

Henne needs to play in a system where the pressure is taken off him to have to pass. A run first offense. Henne could be Ok if he only had to throw it 20 times a game...This system is the freddie Krueger of offenses for a qb like Henne.


I couldn't agree more. I like Moore. I think he's earned a shot moving forward. If we end up with Moore being the starter, I could live with that.

But make no mistake about it, Moore should be the "WORST CASE SCENARIO".

Ironically, Moore **last year** is the perfect example of what we can't afford to repeat. Ireland and SpOrano annointed Henne the starter. They weren't very concerned with finding anyone to compete with him for the job. They were content to bring in a body to back him up. Nothing more.

We got lucky in how Moore panned out and we can't afford to just bring in a back up this year. We have to "Swing for the Fences" in whatever way we can to find the better/best option. Gambles and risks be damed.

I'm good with Moore.......as the worst case scenario. If he takes a big miraculous leap forward and BECOMES "That Guy", I'm good with that too. Regardless though, we have to do whatever we can to upgrade the QB position.

We can't just try standing pat like we did last year with Henne. Bring in whoever and lets have an all out, balls to the wall competition. Gringem in, grind em out and let the chips fall where they may.

DC @ 8:35 -- I agree and well put.

..Dc. I'm on board, and I totaly agree with you. I just think last year the excuses, or reasoning. The ones you listed were valid. Perhaps poor management, but reasonable. The team had to put their faith in Henne. I think it was the right thing to do. We got the results from Henne that the club needed..Time to move on...And for all you Henne supporters. If the club had any intentions of retaining Henne don't you think there would have been leaks as to why the Phins couldn't live without Henne as an option? Wouldn't the club have shown something in the way of support for Henne..We have seen, or heard NOTHING..For the greater good of this team, Chad Henne, this blog..It is time to move on.

Sign Flynn, draft OL and CBs in early rounds, draft Russell Wilson in the 4th.

it is a done deal.....matthew flynn will be under ponceyzzzzzz azzzzzz openin day 2012 that is all....even ross or ireland cant mess that up....

The Dolphins already possess a QB who they can win with. Why trade the franchise on someone who "might" when we have one who "can"? Whats going on in Dolphin land? Does anyone located in the front office have an oz of common sense? Forget Manning, his injuries are to extensive and theres to much at stake, as in cap space. Ross cant see the forest for the trees.

Of all of the guys who are out there as a quarterback prospect the one that intrigues me the most is Kirk Cousins. He led the Spartans to two 11 win seasons over the past two years and completed over 60% of his passes in both seasons. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and I can't wait to see how he performs at the combine. I think, when all is said and done, he will move ahead of Tannehill on everyone's board. JMHO.

Why is everyone so high on Flynn. The mans played in 4 games in his career. i'm not sold on the the highly touted backup QB's. Kolb turned out to be a bust and the Cards are looking for a QB upgrade. Matt Cassell is not better than Matt Moore. Moore had better stats last year. Name one second string QB that went to another team and been anything other than a good to decent QB, not a great one. Pass on Flynn, draft Tannell(sp)

I look at it this way. If Matt Moore could do what he did last year with the coaching staff that was in place, think of what he could accomplish this year with a coaching staff that knows what they are doing.

Wisenhunt said there will be a competition between Kolb and Skelton this year. So much for spending all of that money on your franchise quarterback.

A thorough neurologic assessment, including an EMG, should give a pretty clear idea where Manning stands in terms of nerve function. My impression is that the likelihood of recovering triceps function to the prior level is low (and slow), and if there is speculation about still more surgery that is a very bad sign. Surgery doesn't help the nerve regenerate, it merely removes pressure on the nerve ALLOWING the nerve to regenerate. After 3 or 4 surgeries there should be no pressure on the nerve, and consideration of more surgery bespeaks desperation. His injury status makes Peyton a poor short-term option, his age makes him a poor long-term option.

If Coach Philbin has confidence in Flynn, that seems the way to go. It is hard to justify the loss of current and future assets that would be required to get RGIII when you have a pretty darn good backup option in Matt Moore should Flynn disappoint.

Lou, this coaching staff is WORSE then last years! Losing out on Fisher was devastating.

Someone needs to back up Moore. We can't continue with Losman. Henne will be signed. Flynn won't.

Odin/DD/Texas, we all seem to agree here. I also believe the Owner is on board. Even Ireland (and Philbin) if reports are to be believed. All that tells me something can be done if they wanted to do it.

And it appears Manning will be a stab in the dark. Maybe he can, maybe he won't, no one will really know until he does. One thing that hurts, though, is his preparation. He's a timing guy, and really needs that offseason time to work with his receivers. ESPECIALLY if he were on a new team, new system, etc. If he can't throw until well into the Summer or later, then that would set him back quite a bit (in developing a relationship with Marshall and the others).

Prof. Lou,

I said the same thing about Cousins a few weeks ago.

If you completely block out the pundits, talking heads and mock drafts and watch the game films theres no comparison.

Tannehill doesn't even look like he's in the same league as Cousins.

At the risk of sounding "Spazano-ish": I've seen the tape on Cousins!!!!

Prof. Lou..at least the Cards took a stab(with Kolb) they did SOMETHING to try and improve their team..They were smart. They can release Kolb this year and be on off the hook for most of his huge contract...Kolb was the most desired quarterback available(outside of the draft) last year..It didn't seem to work out for them. Give them credit for making a move. It wasn't an aquisition that has set the franchise back 5-6 years..No harm no foul. If you can guarantee the success of every quarterback available you are in the wrong buisness, or shouldn't be discussing QB's on a blog.

Odin..Good Morning. Early breakfasr blogging for me today.

Trent Dilfer(who IMO is the best QB evaluator on the tube) loves Cousins. I know folks discard his credibility because he was a marginal player. He is outstanding at explaining the position. Anyway, he seems to think that Cousins could end up being the second best quarterback in this draft(Luck is far and away the favorite)

Anyone know when OTA's officially begin (is it in March sometime)? Does it coincide with FA?

Matt Flynn is the best option for Our current roster.If Flynn is ranked as high as #21 NOW,how much better won't he be after he has gotten the same amount of starts as Matt Moore.Plus, Flynn wll had done it in the same offensive philosophy.What about chump chad? With all those years as a starter he's still OUTPLAYED AND OUTRANKED by 7rd with only a couple starts. Woefully pathetic!Good riddance.


I don't think OTA's start up until after the draft and rookie camps.

I'm not positive, but.................

The only negative aspect of Flynn to me is the fact he could not beat out JaMarcus Russell to win the starting QB spot at LSU.
Two years in a row Russell beat out Flynn, and not until his senior year after Russell was gone did he get the starting job.

Now we all know the JaMarcus Russell story and like it or not...he did go #1 in the draft. What he did after that is for the history books to decide, but IMO he was a bigger failure than Ryan Leaf.

...In Flynn's defense he did take the Tigers to the national championship game and won, so he does posses leadership qualities and is a proven winner. It just bugs me that he could not beat out Russell while at LSU and Russell was such an epic failure in the NFL

We need more picks to fill the holes! Trade down, get another high pick and take Tannehill, then fill your holes

Relax NHFINSFAN, you couldn't beat out jamarcus either.Everyone thought the world of russel.To me,Matt Flynn will know how to the highs and lows of games and the season.It has to bode well for Flynn that he's had to deal with success at the collegiate and professional level.Matt Flynn does have a National Championship ring and a Super Bowl one.Not bad.

The people and things I am interested in seeing at the combine are:

Cousins QB
Foles QB
Coleman QB
Osweiler QB
Keenum QB
Tannehill Interviews -- not working out because of his foot.

40 times and cone drill times pretty much for all but mostly -
M. Floyd WR
Blackmon WR
Joe Adams -- fast WR
Dant'a Hightower ILB
Courtney Upshaw OLB
Q. Coples DE

The whole TE class because as we all know we need 1 or 2 either in FA or draft.

Saturday will not come fast enough.

I think Odin is correct, OTA's start late April early May.

This is for 2010 but here's a link for OTA schedules.

Thanks Texas/Odin.

Texas, any idea when Tannehill's foot will heal and he's able to practice? Will he be available by OTA's, or is this injury going to take longer to heal?

odin. link on cousins, thanx. like 2 watt.ch.

dc, he said he's jogging now.

A little digging on Mike Sherman shows he left the Packers to join the Texans in 2006 as the assistant HC.
David Carr was the QB at the time and Sherman was key in getting rid of Carr in favor of trading for Matt Schaub.
The Texans have since fared pretty well with Schaub at QB and I believe that Sherman is a great judge of QB talent.
Between Sherman & Philbin we will get it right and finally have some REAL talent who has experience in developing a QB.

Neither guy is worth it in my opinion. i love peyton but reality says he is one hit away from the finish line and flynn is an unproven 7th rounder. in my opinion i would like to see them take coples at #8-9 and then do whatever it takes to get brandon weeden. yea he's 28 but flynn is 26. weeden has had 5 years in the yankee organization so he knows pressure. i beleive he's got the goods to step in and be a starter from day 1 for the next 8-10 years and last year he beat Stanford,Baylor, and A&M...here are his 2011 stats: 72% comp percentage//37tds to 13 int's//+8yds per comp//+4700yds//160qb rating...2010 was almost as good.

The starting QB for the 2012 Miami Dolphins is Matt Moore.

DC, you are wrong, as usual. In what way is Matt Moore associated with 7-9, 7-9, 6-10???????????? He went 6-3 and shoulda been 7-2 after getting no preseason and no first team snaps. He essentially went 6-1 shoulda been 7-0 after he had 3 weeks to get into a groove.

Tell me: in what way is Moore the "status quo" associated with the prior 7-9 seasons or a 6-10 season? he went 6-3

I predict the Dolphins will stink again in 2012.

favre had 1 of his best seasons at 40.

Blah Blah Blah, We need a QB, Ive been saying it for 10 years, BLAH BLAH BLAH, Hey DC, Whats the glearing weakness for the fins?

TX - you need to add Russell Wilson, QB from Wisconsin to your list of QB's to watch in the Combine.

Is he the tallest QB in the draft...no.

But this guy has the heart of a lion and is a winner to his core...reminds me a lot of another Big 10 QB named Drew Brees.

Oh yea, his completion percentage this season: 73%.

gannon played in the sb at 38.

The Dolphins already possess a QB who they can win with. Why trade the franchise on someone who "might" when we have one who "can"? Whats going on in Dolphin land? Does anyone located in the front office have an oz of common sense? Forget Manning, his injuries are to extensive and theres to much at stake, as in cap space. Ross cant see the forest for the trees.
Posted by: DragonFly34

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2012/02/timing-of-free-agency-makes-flynn-manning-decision-harder/comments/page/5/#comment-form#storylink=cpy

exactly right. anyone who wants to replace moore for change for the sake of change is stupid

Matt Moore went 6-3 shoulda been 7-2 last year after no camp and no first team snaps.


Please try to pay attention instead of spouting off ridiculous stats from never-will-be college QBs who played against no competition (anyone outside the SEC).

Use your brain, if you have one.

Man, no matter how much I try, I can't get excited about matt Flynn and this bothers me because I think he's going to be the guy. Or maybe its just my feeling during the last decade is the guy I have the least conviction about ends up being our Guy.

Question of the Day:

Will Tony Sparano convince Rex Ryan to grab Chad Henne off FA and become Sanchez's back up?

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