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Overpaying Smith worse than missing on Flynn

My greatest concern is not that the Dolphins didn't land Matt Flynn, although it does raise flags, eyebrows and hackles. No, my biggest concern is that with Flynn gone to Seattle, with Peyton Manning not interested, and with the quarterback market thinning, the Dolphins will fall in love with mediocre Alex Smith.

And then pay mediocre Alex Smith like he's franchise quarterback Alex Smith.

My concern is that Miami will do for Smith more than San Francisco, the team that knows him best, was willing to do. My concern is that in knowing Matt Flynn as well as they did, in knowing Ryan Tannehill as well as they do, in knowing what Peyton Manning could be if healthy, in knowing inside information on Robert Griffin III, the Dolphins will go with the guy they know least about and pay him like they know he's really good.

Why is this an issue? Well, The Denver Post reported the Dolphins were in negotiations with Smith on what the newspaper said was an $8 million per year contract. If you put one plus one together and assume the report is true (same paper reported the Houston Texans were interested in Peyton Manning and they were not), then you're building a case for a tremendous overpayment of a solid game managing QB.

Let's face it, Smith is coming off his best season. It was his career year. He threw a modest 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. Nice work. Good work. Not franchise quarterback work. Assuming he repeats the best work of his seven NFL years, he is still not the "quarterback to get us over the top," that general manager Jeff Ireland said the team wanted to land this offseason.

And yet Miami is going to pay him $8 million per season?

What makes this seem odd is that Miami apparently didn't want to pay Flynn a relatively modest contract. The Seahawks got him for three years and $21.3 million with $10 million in guaranteed money. That's an average of $7.1 million per season.

I know, I know, you've heard the Flynn deal was for three years and $26 million. That figure is accurate only if Flynn meets practically every single incentive sewn into the fabric of the deal, which is a practical impossibility on most deals. It is done, nonetheless, because it motivates the player, makes him sound more expensive, makes the agent happy, and the team doesn't really mind.

Flynn's deal actually pays an average of $6.6 million per season the first two years and then kicks in $8.1 million in the final year. Only if Flynn meets a boatload of incentives can he inflate the average to $8 million per season those first two years, which is something both the player and the team want.

If Flynn's a great quarterback, he'll be around in 2014 to collect on what is, with all incentives kicking in, up to $10 million. In truth, if he's a great QB by 2014, the Seahawks would likely extend Flynn's deal to make it more cap friendly that backloaded year anyway.

But if he stinks, he's out. Gone. Finished. And the club will be on to the next quarterback and likely on its next coach because when the quarterback fails, pretty much everyone fails.

The point is Flynn's deal is really more like a two-year commitment. It does not average the $8.6 million per year that is being reported. It rises to that level only if the guy is a star. And if he's anything less, he'll be averaging more like $7 million per year, including that backloaded final year that he might or might not ever see. In the first couple of years he's not even averaging $7 which is modest for an NFL starting quarterback.

And the Dolphins didn't want to meet this price? But they're going to pay more than that Smith?

Smith has improved slowly and steadily each of the past three seasons. He had a solid 90.7 passer rating last season. And with all that improvement and all that good news, he's still a guy that completed only 46 percent of his passes in San Francisco's biggest game of the year, the NFC title game. He's a guy that got only one of his 12 completions that day to a wide receiver.

I tweeted that factoid on Sunday and some folks responded that was only because his receiver corps was not good in San Francisco. I left it at that on twitter, but won't do so here.

Let me ask you ... is Miami's receiver corps today any better than San Francisco's? Think on that.

[Personal note: A couple of months ago I wrote the Dolphins should draft a QB. I said they should draft two QBs if they had to. I am an advocate of finding your own, developing him and, succeed or fail, at least you did it with your guy rather than inheriting someone else's guy. I just wish the Dolphins would be more courageous and actually find a QB in the draft. Is it a guarantee of success? No. But obviously free agency quarterback searches the past two years haven't been the answer.]


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You might as well overpay Alex Smith. QB is that important in the NFL these days. They overpaid Gibril Wilson. They overpaid Jake Grove. They might as well overpay a QB for a change. No matter what, the Dolphins will not have a legit franchise QB starting for them for at least 3-4 more years.

We don't know how much the fins know about smith.
We do know how much they knew about Flynn.
Disapointing but sometimes things are just not right.
Maybe draft is best option.

Simply put there is no plan. If there was any and if it that was all along to draft a QB, no way this organization would have allowed rumors such "the Dolphins are the front runners to get Harbaugh, Fisher, Manning, Flynn", no way, no how, impossible and if they let that to happen against their wishes then it is really, really dumb.

Because as someone else wrote perception can become reality. And plan or no plan one thing is more clean than water, that the perception around the league and media is that we are a second class organization and that the people running the show can not land even the players that want to come here like Flynn, Winston. The latter wanted to be here badly, if KC signed him for 4 years $22 million for the Phins no to sign a premier, young RT, from the U, to the tune of $5.5m/year is inexcusable, unforgivable, even worse considering next year you have to somehow negotiate Long's contract. Bring on the band aids!!! BTW has anyone heard from Carl Peterson? LOL.

-Don't sign Smith.
-Trade down in the first, and pick up another 2cnd, or 3rd.
-Pick Stephen Hill in the bottom of the first.
-Take Cousins in the second, take a right tackle, and a pass rusher in the third.

If we have a good draft, we can still have a productive year.

A.Smith really benefit from the running game in SF I think his name is Gore..Everyone knows that the schedule maker every year gives the Dolphins the bye week in Oct___Playing in Buffalo, New England,Jets in Dec.. J.Ireland should be Fired, he's the worse GM in the history of this WAS proud franchise !! Ireland needs to put his house up for sale..

I agree the way to build a winner is via draft. Three 1st rd picks for RG does not sound so bad now, does it? Besides it was just two, this year's was a swap. There is NO plan, there never was. At 0-7 last year we had more time than anyone in the NFL to prepare for this offseason. At 0-7 a competent GM should know we were not a player away from contention. At 0-7 we had a golden opportunity to undone all the horrible deals we inked for Marshall, Dansby, Bell, Fasano and even Long since considering our precarious cap situation is virtually impossible to sign him next year anyway.

I'm pretty sure you can not reveal your sources but you mentioned some agents being baffled by Miami's brass. I have a good hunch one of the them was Winston's. The guy wanted to come here, he preferred grass, played at the U, likes it here. You really have to wonder how Ross and Ireland turned off players like Winston (and Flynn) for them to take similar deals elsewhere. Simply put it is inexcusable not to sign a stud 28 year old RT at 4 years $22 million, an insurance considering Long's high possibility of leaving the team. Unforgivable.

If the "plan" was and still is to build via draft, why are all those overpaid underachievers still doing in Miami's roster when they could have provided much needed draft picks and cap room if dealt elsewhere? In fact we are doing the opposite by bringing another overpaid player like Smith, what kind of rebuilding is that?

Ross can not get a pass as a rookie owner anymore. Today the reality seems to be that we are maybe the worst franchise in football; I say seems because who knows maybe there is a master plan (I do not believe that for a second) but make no mistake the perception everywhere is that we are a second class organization no one wants to be part of.

get him it is a good move.


If our FO felt that Flynn was worth it, he would have signed here. They didn't feel he was worth a big contract, so he signed elsewhere. We didn't lose anything we weren't to worried about.

Ross must learn to take the advice of brilliant Dolphins fans so that we acquire stars like Brady Quinn and Kyle Orton.

Smith is obviously not a franchise QB. The problem is he isn't even an exciting unknown prospect.

What must the dolphins be thinking about the draft? Do they plan to use each and every pick on either a WR or QB? That is the only thing that would explain the last two weeks of FA.


Alot of teams filled their WR needs through FA, so their will be plenty of quality WR's to be had in the first four rounds for cheap.

Ok Flynn might not be the man but Alex Smith most definitely isn't! If we sign any veteran QB on the Market -Manning isn't for us - we are throwing away cash on a cash /cap starved team & that MUST be the final nail in Irelands coffin! Those picks garnered for Marshall will probably be needed to move ahead of Cleveland if we want to get Tannehill! For anyone who believes the Browns front office are going with Colt McCoy our front office declared we'd upgrade at QB....we are now looking at Alex Smith! Upgrade? Matt Moore should feel insulted! Deeply!!

Where to start with your comment? First of all it wasn't a big contract and if rumors are true the Phins are about to give Alex Smith -not Peyton Manning- a bigger contract than Flynn's.

You and all the other people still trying to defend this front office, are missing the big picture. It is NOT that they did not ink Flynn, it is NOT about what we yielded for Marshall, it is about how we got there and about the absolute lack of planning.

So if they weren't sold on Flynn how does the team's PR allow such comments of the team pursuing him. Perception becomes reality and that perception today is that no one wants to come here, how do plan to build anything around that? If the team is really vested into build via draft why did we miss the chance of amassing picks while unloading overpaid players elsewhere?

No plan here sir, and THAT is why people are ticked off. Not every single transaction, deal whatever is going to be welcomed by all the fans, people as you yourself demonstrate may or may not like certain move. I for one was opposed to bring Flynn here but the perception was the team wanted him, I mean why else going after him then? Now we are still empty handed and our rep keeps tanking literally by the minute. Don't believe me? Wait a few hours from now and tune in to ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, satellite radio, etc and see how this team gets crucified.

Ryan Mallett Anyone?? probably could get him for a draft pick? 2nd and 3rd?? If not lets get tannenhill probably gonna have to get the vikings to budge outa #3 but,,, if he's the guy then go for it.. Maybe just Maybe they have found that star in the 3rd round and we all are just guessing fans crying over spilled milk from the past,,, GOD HELP US if NOT!!

David Garrard,, are you Serious, David Garrard?? one hit there goes the back,,, Chad Pennington all over again,, we could just wait for Hasselback!!! He's been to the SuperBowl at least!!


If nobody want's to play here then why did Big Paul take a big paycut to stay here? Don't buy the hype. There are plenty of players who would love to play for us. Wait until after the draft before you crucify our FO. They have a plan in place.

Why am I waiting for the other shoe to drop and Philbin to resign, because his guy ended up in Seattle. Something isn't right here. I wonder if there was a power struggle between Ireland and Philbin over Flynn. Makes no sense that the Dolphins would make sure he came to Miami for a visit after meeting with the Seahawks. Then not even offer him the deal that Seattle did. Seattle didn't give him Kevin Kolb money. I'm trying to be patient with the Dolphins, but they really look like they don't know what the f**k they are doing. Even if that's not true, perceptions are everything. I mean they traded Brandon Marshall for 2 sticks of gum. Now all the best WRs that people speculated that we could get to replace him are signed. We're going to find a number 1 WR and a franchise QB in this draft? What's the odds of that? And don't tell me that west coast offenses don't have number 1 WRs. Greg Jennings is a number 1. You've also may have heard of a WR named Jerry Rice.

Why does everyone assume that Philbin wanted Flynn to be his guy. Maybe Philbin doesn't think much of Flynn. We offered Flynn a contract on what our FO felt he was worth, and he didn't take it. I think it's pretty much the norm to let a new HC pick his guy through the draft anyways. Looking foward to April. Go Phins!

Winston and Flynn both wanted to play in Miami,but low ball Ireland strikes again.We can't even get guys that want to come here,joke of a franchise.I would love to know how Philbin really feels about the Flynn fiasco.

Ireland will be fired at some point. If not, he definitely wont be back next season.

If paying Flynn the money Seattle paid him ins't overpaying then why is paying Smith $8 million per year overpaying him?
Some fans went ape$hit over the fact that Miami didn't sign Flynn when they found out the money he was signed for but they aren't willing to take the same chance and give a little bit more to a former 1st round pick who was taken first overall and led his team to the NFC Championship game in 2011.
I'm not saying Smith is necessarily the answer for the Dolphins but the logic used by some people doesn't add up. Flynn has more upside based on 2 starts but Smith doesn't have any upside despite his play last year because he's been in the league 7 years and last year was a fluke. But the fact that Flynn has been in the league 4 years and has only started two games doesn't concern anyone because he sat behind Aaron Rodgers for 4 years and learned thru osmosis.

You're right Mando. Paying Smith $8M a year for a QB that only threw 16 TD's is crazy.

And please,no more 2-7 round QB's in the draft. If we dont like Tannehill at 8,dont draft any QB at all and just start Moore and make sure you get him some weapons and alittle more protection

I told you get rid of the jokers of this organisation. As Ryan Clark said no one wants to play for this Miami team. It's sad, I'm a huge Dolphin fan since the Marino days and only if we can return to the glory years as a franchise. I'm from the UK and even contemplating changing teams. How long can this continue!

Fans should boycott Miami games then they truly would get the message.

Please Ireland and Ross get lost we don't want you in Miami no longer you are absolutely rubbish unless you prove each Fin fan otherwise.

You make it really easy to look like Skip Bayless here. Solai has spent the last few years here in South Florida, he has built roots here, has a home, etc. Plenty of reasons for him to stay here and still making really good dough and whatnot. Last time I checked when a football player moves they do not have a relo package, going to a new place does cost money.

So there you go. Besides don't take my word for it, Ryan Clark tweeted no one wants to come here. He praised the players for doing their best on the field for this team but indicated Ireland is at the root of the problem here. These players are a close knit bunch, they talk to each other all the time. I guarantee you the whole Dez Bryant thing has NOT been forgotten. Ross is and will pretty much be inevitably the owner but Ireland does not have to remain as GM. Let's see what Ross does when the stadium is empty and I think this time there is a big possibility to see that.

What is wrong with the Dolphins? It starts with the worst owner in sports-Ross. Who should have fired Ireland immediately after he made the Dez's mother comment because it showed he is an incompetent and CLUELESS GM! They have turned a successful proud franchise into a NFL JOKE. Unbelieveable, sorry fans, it will not get better till both of those JOKERS are GONE!!

Mr. Ross, are you not tired of being a failure at football? You don't owned a professional football team, you destroy one. Get back to what you know to do, I am sure you are not a bad person and you don,t need this. Give us back our dolphins and please take Ireland with you on your way out.

uh mando, it was reported that the deal was for 26 million, 10 gauranteed.

Alex Smith will be a Dolphin as early as Tuesday.

Taking Tannehill in top half of the first round would set this team back even more. Why reach on a player who is considered a late first to second round pick. Mallet went in the third and was considered NFL ready. Let the Browns make that mistake. Miami has to many holes to fill, for them to take a project in the first. Plus without good receivers you will kill Tannehill career before it starts. Weeden is a good option in the second, it doesn't matter if he is 28.

I've posted a preview of what is about to happen on my blog:


It's funny how Ross wanted to be famous so he bought an NFL team. But all he did was make all the other billionaires laugh

Entering Dolphins training camp must be like riding Pirates of the Carribean at Magic Kingdom. The sign out front says "abandon all hope, ye who enter here".

I'm glad we got Flynn for a reasonable price. Surprised, in fact. Tannehill probably isn't worth taking at #12, despite the fact that he may go higher than that. Good luck, Miami. I hope you do sign Smith because that would throw a monkeywrench into San Francisco's machine.

I don't understand you. First, you say Fisher ain't worth the money and yet the fins gets crucified for not signing him. Then you say, Manning is not the answer, he's too old and too damaged to do the fins any good long term, but still dump all over the fins FO for not getting him. Then you say Flynn hasn't done anything to prove he's worthy of a franchise quarterback paycheck but when Ireland doesn't give him that money and Seattle does, you say our FO is a joke.

I'll agree the PR doesn't look good but he is not overpaying for anyone. It looks like he has a plan and will not get pressured from you or the fans into signing someone he doesn't believe is worth the money.

And if Flynn's ex-coach would not pay him that kind of money, I'd say that's a pretty good indication he's not worth it.

Cmon get real Alex Smith dont want to play here ether. We are a toxic organization and will be for years to come. Didnt really realize the full monty till this weekend. Its bad folks

Comfortably numb

Yes, and I have heard that the draft is deep in WR this year so if we pick up a couple in the first four rds it could work.

This is ok so long as the Dolphins accept they're rebuilding and put together a plan to draft a future franchise QB.

That said, I am worried about how close we are to the cap without being very close to a winning team.

The secracy from the organisation is also troubling. What have they got to hide from their own fans?

Who cares. Really.

I don't think it's fair to say that Phibin did not want Flynn. The GM signs players not the head coach. Philbin can want a player but he's not the person that signs them or offers them a contract. Failure to sign players is on Ireland and Ross. Fisher did not sign with Miami because he wanted some say in personal moves. All of these failed moves is Ireland on a power trip.

Lets get rid of Ireland...no game tickets being bought here...

Frankly, I expected Seattle to be the team left out in the cold in terms of QB. Thought Flynn would sign with Miami. Then after Manning signs with Tennessee, Hasselbeck wouldn't be an option for Seattle because it would make Pete Carroll look foolish after letting him go last year. Would Hass be a candidate for Dolphins?

I'm not upset that we don't have Flynn. I doubt that he is a difference maker. I do think it is ridiculous, and indicative if much bigger problems, if the Fins really wanted Flynn but couldn't land him.

The only thing I have seen is Miami bring in players and not sign them.

Armando, how refreshing to see someone that is saying the same thing I have been saying. Miami should draft a QB and mentor and mold him. Why do you think that SF is so willling to part with him? Nothing against Flynn, but no-one knows him better that our coaches, I think that if they make the argument Ross would have ponied-up and given him the $$ he was asking for.

I cannot believe that not one of the guys coming out of this draft other that Luck and RG3 are trash. Maybe they may be a longer project, but the route we should take is get them here and hire the best of the very best QB coach that we can get and make them into our Manhattan Project.

We are missing out on QB's that will all be dumped in two years anyway. Who really cares, none of them are worth jack.

Does anyone else miss Jay Feidler??

What will we have to pay to trade up to the #3 spot to get Tannehill? Assuming Cleveland is still in the hunt for a QB and we have to move in front of them.

If the fins know Flynn better than anyone, shouldn't we be saying they know his worth better than anyone? They obviously didn't see Flynn worth even what Seattle is paying. Maybe they see Moore as being more valuable and Flynn not likely to beat him out so they didn't want to pay more than necessary.

Maybe the fins do their own evaluation and don't let themselves get sucked up into ESPN hype about who should be a hot FA qb.

If SF only offered Smith $8M year why would the Fins want to offer Flynn almost $9M. I still think Matt Moore is as good as any of these chumps. Get Garrard as a backup and move on

Wow, the Dolphin killing spree goes on. The whole team sucks! We can't even overpay for a qb! I say BS to that. You offer these guys money and they play.

The question is what are they worth? What value would Flynn have brought to the team? He could have been a 8 million dollar mistake. You got 8 million to waste on an outside chance?

What about Manning? He wants to win a Superbowl and he obviously loves to be courted, wined and dined. But, he is one hit away from ending it all. You gonna shell out 12 mill for a guy that isn't or may never be ready? Not me.

What about Smith? He has played some games and he has played well. Going to the NFC Championship game was very good. He passer rating was pretty low in that game but my question is, What was Brady's against the same team in the next week? 65 percent passer rating. The week before Brady was even worse.

I look at Moores numbers and he had some very good games last year. He needs to be more consistent over all but in reality he is a good player. He is cheap this year. Get a qb when you are at least 75 percent sure the guy can play.

Just get a great pass rush and a really good overall defense. Shore up the o line and you can win it all. It is what the Giants are. And it is certainly attainable in 2 years.

You blind faithers who love Ireland buy your season tickets today.

This team sadly has become a laughing stock. Nfl network bashes them players bash them. Nobody wants to play for them. So frustrating.


Y-not I agree Matt Moore is as good as garrard or Alex smith. Not awful QBs. Just not super stars.

Ireland tries to be to much like Parcells standoffish and
egotistical well it obviously isn't working. He needs to be his own man and grow up. When Flynn says the vibe in the building was one of the factors change your way thinking.

Posted by: robert in az | March 18, 2012 at 09:45 PM

IMO...this could be the post of the YEAR......

Maybe the vibe was you are a 7th round pick with only 2 starts and not worth 8 million a year.

Maybe Philbin was not as high on him as the media projected. Maybe.

Maybe the media was as wrong about Flynn as they were with Peyton being more concerned with weather and a nearby condo than winning a SB.

I would not wager my money that Flynn ever becomes a top 10 qb, and who wants anything less?

Maybe there is someone in the draft they see as a superior option to Flynn, and only wanted him at a low price.

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