The Dolphins returned from their five-hour meeting with Peyton Manning late last night content they had done their best to land the biggest prize on the free agent market. But they are prepared, if necessary, to move on from Manning if/when they hear they're no longer in contention for the perennial Pro Bowl quarterback.
And that next move is trying to sign Matt Flynn.
The club has determined Flynn would be the next best answer to their quarterback problem. And for the record, this problem has gone on for a looooong time. The Dolphins have not had a Pro Bowl quarterback since Don Shula left in January of 1996. The Dolphins are the only AFC team that has not had a Pro Bowl quarterback in that entire time.
And you wonder why fans are desperate?
In a quarterback league?
Anyway, the idea of moving on from Manning to Flynn if Manning isn't of the mind to pick Miami is not new. But I was told by a club source that the way in which the club does this is a "delicate matter" for several reasons:
You don't want to offend Manning by publicly moving on before he makes a decision.
You don't want to offend Flynn by making it obvious to him that you're interested, but only as a fallback position, if Manning doesn't come.
It is a tough balance, especially since other teams aren't going to be waiting on Manning's decision to chase Flynn. The Seattle Seahawks and possibly the Cleveland Browns may move on Flynn quickly to fulfill their QB issues.
So how do the Dolphins get in that chase, again, without hurting themselves, hurting Manning or hurting Flynn?
The answer: Delicately.