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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.]

Comments

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Philbin is really good with QB's, this may be the only saving grace. Alex Smith is coming off his best year and his confidence is high. Put those 2 together and we may have a good thing. Time will only tell. Still, we should draft a QB in later rounds like Cousins, Keenum or Osweiler. Take Blackmon or Floyd with 1st rounder or trade back and grab Streeter, Jefferey or Sinu. Trust Philbin to get us weapons and "build through the draft." Defense seems to be set. Lets hope for the best...

It speaks volumes about Flynn in that Philbin didn't want to at least match that contract. Smith had how many come from deficit wins? Did you see the playoff game against the Saints? Smith was aces, I'll take that quarterback over one my former OC isn't comfortable enough with to offer a decent contract to.

You guys said a BILLION times on this blog....."IF PHILBIN WANTS FLYNN".....

Well.....it seems that PHILBIN didn't really want him....

so its time to move on......

Moral of the story: Just because ESPN prints someone will be this seasons hot FA qb, doesn't mean they will be. 30 out of 32 teams did not even look at Flynn. Not even Jax who took Henne without even a look at Flynn. What is the fuss about? The whole league is treating Flynn as a back up.

I have no clue why no one is talking about Weeden. 28?? Flynn will be 27 before the season starts. You may get 6-7 years out of this guy and everyone is overlooking him because of his age. Makes no sense.

Armando, stop it, the Dolphins did not want to pay Smith because he is not as good as Matt Moore and he is making only $2.5M. Alex Smith did not have receivers last season. Ted Ginn was one of his targets. That should indicate a lot.

Joe Philbin has spoken and if Flynn was good enough the Dolphins would have paid him. That is talent acquisition. What Parcells did was not talent acquisition; Chad Henne a franchise QB---No way!

This team is like a hot girl friend that treats you like garbage you know she is horrible but have to get away. The only way to do is make a clean break. Like taking off a band aid. This team is a joke. The GM needs to go away, far away. Mr Ross please fire this guy. You know you team and organization has fallen so far when you can not get anyone to come here to coach, play or whatever. I live in CT, and I am embarassed to even say I am a Dolphin fan. I am done with this team if anyone wants a Dolphin Clothing send me a email. I am done with this joke of a team. I am 46 years old and have been a die hard for over 35 years.

If you don't know the difference between a coach wanting a player and a GM having the responsibility for determining which players the GM wants and what the GM wants to pay that player, you don't know enough about football to even comment on a blog. Who cares which player a coach wants... he doesn't make the decisions or acquire the players. The Dolphins wanted Flynn. Ireland bungled it. The Dolphins will acquire no one to play QB better than our already mediocre players. End of story.

i can attest to the fact that the vibe in the bldg isnt good. i take my son to davie to visit the facility and to attend camp practices each summer. the bldg isnt warm/welcoming to fans even though banners,pictures,memorbilia are displayed in a museum like atmosphere. one time we said hello to coach P as we knew him from syracuse football;then said hi to nat moore before an employee asked us to leave. no one employed there was friendly and they had to have orders "from the top". atmosphere is cold and unfriendly to fans at least and probably others as well. saban actually had given orders that no one should speak to or address him in the facility;no "good mornings!"

If Alex Smith comes to Miami, he will do so with six years of experience and a chip on his shoulder. While I don't think he's significantly better than Moore, the competition itself will push the latter just as proving San Fran wrong will push the former.

However, I fear this is just Smith leveraging his true love, and Miami sniffing an acorn (they probably won't pay as much as SF for).

TO EVERYONE WHO RAN CHAD OUT OF TOWN:

LOOK AT YOUR STUPID FACE IN THE MIRROR NOW.

STOP CRYING.

IRELAND SUCKS.

ROSS SUCKS.

NO YOU SUCK.

WHERE's THE PAYTON COME TO MIAMI SIGN?

FLYNN THIS FLYNN THAT.

OHH DON'T FORGET THE WE WANT ORRTON CHANTS.

THE GUY WHO LOST HIS JOB TO A QB THAT DIDN'T COMPLETE 10 PASSES IN ANY SINGLE GAME.

YOU IDIOTS.

YOU GOT MUD ON YOUR FACE.

A BIG DISGRACE.

THE NEXT BREES QB WAS IN OUR HOUSE AND WE LET HIM GO TO JAX.

THANX TO YOU FOOLS.

I ONLY BLAME IRELAND FOR HAVING HIS EAR TO THE TRACKS TRYING TO LISTEN FOR THE TRAIN. HEARING YOU BABIES CRY.

YOU PEOPLE WANT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ANY QB THAT'S NOT IN HOUSE SO BAD THAT YOU ALL RAN OUT OUR BEST CHANCE.

I HOPE ALL OF YOU PAYTON ORTON AND FLYNN LOVERS GO WITH THEM TO THIER RESPECTIVE TEAMS AND ALLOW THE DOLPHIN's FANS TO CHEER THIER TEAM ON.

I'M GLAD THEY DIDN'T GET PAYTON.

BIG RISK. SO WHAT HE CAN THROW THE BALL AGAIN. HE DIDN'T GET HURT THROWING THE BALL HE GOT HURT FROM GETTING HIT AND THAT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

I'M GLAD THEY DIDN'T GET FLYNN.

HE WANTS 7 MILLION A YEAR AND THREW LESS THAN 100 PASSES IN 4 YEARS.LIKE THAT COMMERCIAL SAY(BRILLIANT)

HOW SMART WOULD THAT BE?

WELL IT WOULD BE AS STUPID AS AN AIR LINE SIGNING A PASSANGER FOR DOING AN EMERGENCY LANDING.

BUT CHAD.

HE BEAT OUT MOORE FAIR AND SQUARE FOR THE STARTING JOB.

THEN HE BECAME ELECTED CAPTAIN OF THE TEAM BY THE TEAM.

THEN BY THE TIME HE GOT HURT IN THAT 4th GAME HE HAD MORE YARDS TDs AND COMPLETIONS THAN EVERY QB YOU ALL WANTED COMBINED.

DON'T BLAME ANYBODY ELSE BUT YOU.

REMEMBER WHAT ALL OF YOU DONE TO GET US HERE.

IT's LIKE BEING IN GRADE SCHOOL AGAIN.

EVERYONE GET PUNISH FOR A FEW JERKS.

The Buffalo Bills are having a meeting on the eve of a game with the Dolphins. The coach says, "Look guys, I know the Bears suck, but we have to play them or else we get in trouble with the NFL."
The quarterback peps up, "I've got an idea why don't you guys all go down to the local bar, and let me play them on my own?
They're such a bad team it shouldn't be a problem."
"Brilliant Idea!" the coach says. "Let's do that!"
On the day of the game, the team is in the pub, and the coach decides to check the score. He turns on the television and the announcer says: "It's the Bills 7 and the Dolphins 0 at the end of the 1st quarter."
The team cheers. At six the coach decides to check the final score. The announcer comes on again.
"I can't believe this the Bears have scored on the last play of the fourth quarter and converted the two points to win 8 to 7."
"What the hell went wrong?!" cries the coach.
They all leave the bar and jump into taxis to get back to the stadium. They rush in to find the QB sitting in the dressing room with his head in his hands.
"Well, what happened?" asks the coach.
The QB shakes his head. "It was all under control," he says.
"Everything was great. Then I was injured and had to come out of the game in the 2nd quarter..."


Fire Ireland, Boycott Fins

This is all Philbins fault for not holding out for personnel control.

It's understandable if one guy passes on the Dolphins, but the disturbing fact here is that NO ONE of quality on the market wants to come here and that speaks to lousy ownership. Say what you will about Wayne Huizenga, but at least when he owned the team the 'Fins were reasonably competitive. Poor Joe Philbin has NO idea what he landed in here. Owner Stephen Ross should do the entire community a favor and put the team up for sale. At this point, if Fidel Castro owned the 'Fins he could do a better job than this clown.

8 mil a year for smith is less than 26 mil a year for flynn. SF offered smith 3 years and 24 mil before pursueing manning. forget about the "what if" math on flynns contract, the 10 mil bonus helps their cap number, but the contract is 8-9 mil a year. Do i like either? not really, but the questions about flynn's arm persisted which is why seattle was the only other team even interested in him. you have his former coach as the new miami head coach, and he was willing to say pass on flynn. the person that probably knows him better than anyone else and he didn't want to pull the trigger says alot.

The Denver Post is reporting this because they want the Bronco's to either make a big push for Manning or they are hoping Manning will hurry up and sign with the 49ers so Tebow stays in town. What is going on here is that both Manning and Smith have the smae agent and he is working all angles to get the best deal for all concerned. This episode will push Manning's price higher because SF will up the ante and then Denver will match or exceed it. Once Manning leans toward Denver Smith will come back to SF with a bigger contract as well, once again leaving the Fin's high and dry and used and abused.

The only choice now is to bring in a backup for Moore. Try and secure wide receivers through the draft and hope for the best. But, I will cancel my NFL package this year because I can't stand to watch Dolphin home games with the stadium less than half filled. And it will happen!

Smith had decent QR rating. But thats all. He payed in the weakest division in football. But in today's NFL the QB must be able to get the team down field and score points. The biggest problem with Smith ishe averaged less than 200 yards per game; only about 4 ypg more than more. He was only good enough for 26th best in the leauge. What happens when he needs to pot up 400 to beat Brady? Exactly. Big mistake. We are going backwards and is seriously getting old.

ITs time for allyou dolphin fans down in south florida not to buy tickets. Maybe you can get this clown ross to sell the team and take his puppet Ireland with him. Bottom line is nobody right now in the leauge wants to play down there.

Purely pathetic this organization is. How embarrasing the low level this once great franchise has been brought to. Fire Ireland and sell the team ASAP. It's our only hope.

I agree with Mando. We should draft TWO QB's this year. Develop them both and hope that we finally find our keeper. We've done it before with other positions.

Pass on Smith. What proved out to be a low ceiling player over his first 5 seasons. Moore is comparable, under contract and possibly of higher potential. Draft a QB to compete with Moore. I'm OK with Tannehill at 8, Weeden with a tradedown in Rd 1, or Cousins in Rd 2. That gets me excited. A retread like Smith or Garrard gets us nowhere.

The Dolphins are a lot like NC State bastketball, another team that I love. They have mostly suffered for 20 years since Jimmy V era. We were ridiculed in the media about our coaching search last year after several high profile candidates turned us down because you had to compete against Duke and UNC, our fans were terrible, the AD was terrible, etc.,etc.,etc. We finally hired a coach NOT afraid of either competing against Duke and UNC or recruiting against them and look at the results. We are in the Sweet 16 and have 3 McDonalds All-Americans signed for next year and are closing in on a fourth. Times are changing in the ACC. Lets hope Philbin does as good as Mark Gottfried has at NC State and everything else will take care of itself. Free agents don't want to play in Miami because they haven't been winning and they have hopefully learned not to overpay "free agents" as we have in the past. Great teams are built in April through the draft, not overpaying in free agency. In regards to QB search, I think they probably figured Manning was the only real upgrade over Matt Moore. Sign Garrard as a backup and draft Tannehill and develop him for a year or two and everything will start changing.

Looks like the only way to get a QB is to draft one in Miami. Free agents avoid Miami like the plague. With good reason.
Should have should have moved up like the Skins did and got RG3. Even if RG3 did not become spectacular, it was worth the try. They looked silly chasing Manning. They expected (I am assuming) to get Flynn. So stupid. To bad there is no one around to fire Ross.
So RG3 and Luck go to other teams and here we are. Maybe Alex Smith is the guy. I have always liked him. Jason Cole liked him. Who knows.
Looks like the draft might be one of the most important draft in the history of the Dolphins. Maybe they can give up the complete draft to either Indy or to the Skins. I would at least try. That's right. Give up every single pick in this years draft to move to number one (1) or number two (2).

Armando,
My sense is that Ireland blew it. The scenario goes like this: after loosing Manning, Ireland didn't want to look desperate so his reception of Flynn was cold. Ireland's tries to lowball in the contract offer. Then he brings in Smith for leverage which totally pisses off Flynn so Flynn thinks, "Screw it, they don't want me, besides this Ireland is a jackass", and signs with Seattle. What do you think?

Fire Ireland
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Jeff-Ireland/224470447606091?sk=wall

Within a 1/2 mile radius around Mile High Stadium:

A Childrens Museum
University of Colorado at Denver
Downtown Aquarium
Sloans Lake Park
Pepsi Center
Colorado Convention Center

Within a 1/2 mile of Joe Robbie Stadium:

The Ronald Reagan Turnpike
A strip club
Car dealerships

You can do the math!


With that lunatic Ireland make decision and the possibility that Manning has now decided on Denver. Is it possible the icing in the cake on the way to crazy town is to bring in Tebow?

The real question here is why players and coaches don't want to come to Miami, and also why top sports agents have no regard for the team's management. Mr. Ross had a golden opportunity to put together a stellar team. Instead of reaching out to star players, he wooed J Lo, the Williams sisters and Gloria Estefan in an attempt to fill the stadium. With all Ross' millions you'd think he'd know that the only thing that was going to fill seats was star players, not a couple of local singers and two tennis playing sisters from CALIFORNIA.

In Jeff Ireland, we've got a GM who's leftover from another regime brought in by the head coach Ross FIRED. You have to ask yourself why he's still around. Jeff Fisher chose St. Louis, a lackluster team located in an even more lackluster city, over Miami. It's safe to guess it wasn't Miami's famous beaches or international environs that kept him away.

The dismantling of the franchise since the Marino/Shula era is shameful. The dismal spiral over the last decade fans have had to endure has been painful. Something has to be done. The Dolphins are not a broke team. They don’t have salary cap issues. It's simple: the wrong guys are calling the shots.

Far be it from me to be a Monday morning quarterback, but I think any intelligent person with knowledge of the game could do better than the Dolphins' current management. Remember the old Disney movie The Barefoot Executive? I’ve got an idea, Mr. Ross. How about letting a monkey call the shots? It couldn't get any worse.

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