Monday, January 20, 2014

The Matt More Dilemma


Anyone paying attention to the changes in the rules and how the games are played can tell the NFL is a passing league. The teams that are consistently winning are the ones with the top quarterbacks.  It usually takes time to learn the position and years to really judge the ceiling on a player.  Unless of course you get lucky and hit the jackpot on one that can play right out of the gate such as Russell Wilson or Tom Brady.. or of course the great Dan Marino. That seems more like winning the lottery.  Miami has done the opposite of winning the lottery for a long time. Let’s face it, Miami fans went through some very rough years. Year after year of having a starting QB that was probably in the bottom 5 of the league ... Yes it was that bad. With the exception of a broken down Chad Pennington I can’t say we have had a QB that was even remotely near average until the arrival of Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill.  Matt Moore came to the Dolphins as Jeff Ireland acorn pickup off the scrap heap. He was pretty much a nobody that had ended up starting several games for Carolina. In his time in Carolina he played very up and down. He did get a chance to be “the guy” in Carolina but did not play well enough to win that job. He was brought in to back up Chad Henne. (That hurt to even write). Not surprising, he eventually took over for check down Henne and played much better. Then came the coaching change and the arrival of 1st round pick Ryan Tannehill.  The prototypical golden boy QB.  RT has a cannon, he is big, he is fast and he even has the super model wife that likes big guns. Needless to say RT was slotted to start as the Miami QB from the start. Matt Moore was very good about things and mentored him and from what I read they have become close friends.   However, Matt Moore is not chopped liver. He has a solid arm, he has decent mobility and more important than anything he won games for Miami. I thought for sure in 2013 we were going to see Matt move on to team for a chance to start. However, he chose to stay and I firmly feel that he was one of the top backup QBs in the league. Now we go to 2014. Matt Moore is 29 and in the last year of the 2 year deal he signed.  Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill are pretty comparable right now if you rated them against the league. I would put them in the 15-25th best in the league range. Despite for some people calling for Matt Moore to play, I see almost no chance of this happening unless Tannehill regresses horrible or gets hurt.  RT is younger, has 3 years left on his contract, and I think has a much higher ceiling. I see no long term benefit of sitting Tannehill in favor of Moore at this point in their Careers. This year there will be several teams looking for QBs. There are several high rated prospects in the draft and teams will be needing a QB capable of starting and mentoring a rookie. Plus there is always an injury or two in training camp and preseason.  Matt Moore will have premium value again coming into the season. There are just too many teams that need a QB capable of playing at that level. I would say a 2nd round pick would be a very strong possibility for his value. So comes the dilemma. I think there is a very strong chance Matt is not going to return after 2014.  If you can trade Matt Moore for what could turn into a starting player on the OL for 2014, should it be done? In this league if you lose your starting QB even for a couple of games and don’t have a capable backup it can cost you the season.  If we lost RT on opening day for the season I would feel ok with Matt Moore for the rest of the way.  Does anyone think the Dolphins could make the playoffs with Pat Devlin at QB for the season?  On the flip side RT has been durable and if you traded Moore and turned that into a solid player on the Oline would it be worth the risk? Tannehill would be even less likely to get hurt with a better line.  Sometimes you have to take risks to come out on top. This is an interesting Dilemma indeed.  What call would you make?
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9 comments

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Draft picks are iffy even in the second round. Quality backup qbs aren't so much a luxury as they are a necessity.

Plenty of former starting qbs have earned a good living as a backup and have not had to take the hits. They are still involved with a team and don't have trouble getting out of bed.

I always thought if given the chance in life, I would have been a backup qb. $1.5+ million to stand near the qb coach and look important during TOs. Not a bad career at all.
Plus when I am 50 years old and all is said and done, I will have my health.

Now to your question of trading Moore, I wouldn't for a draft pick because of all the variables of teams picking before you and who may be available and then will they even pan out. So no to trade for draft pick.
I would consider a straight up trade for a proven player at a position of need. So in your scenario, trading Moore for a good O Lineman straight up or even a backup at a very deep position added as a sweetener.

Regarding Pat Devlin and would we make the playoffs with him. Boy, I hope we don't have to find out. Here's the thing, what team could go with their current 3rd string QB taking over? Cannot think of any team.

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Have you ever heard of a paragraph?

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Very good points Carl. After this year with Moore taking like 5 or 6 snaps and knowing he will be a free agent in 2015 it is tempting. I guess the real question is Pat Devlin a NFL backup or just an emergency guy?

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The English police caught me.

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Very good points Carl. After this year with Moore taking like 5 or 6 snaps and knowing he will be a free agent in 2015 it is tempting. I guess the real question is Pat Devlin a NFL backup or just an emergency guy?

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I would like to see the Dolphins draft a QB this year. As you say, it is difficult to find QBs. And even harder if you aren't trying. A 5th or 6th rounder would be perfect. If he looks OK straight-away, maybe the team is more comfortable about putting Moore on the trading block. If not, maybe he can challenge Devlin for the developmental role. And if it comes to it, its not a disaster if the team has to move on. I think you want to be drafting a QB every couple of years - its never a bad thing having a surplus at that position!

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I agree with picking up another QB, and getting rid of Moore. I've never been impressed by Moore; he's always be just a back-up QB.

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Trade him if you can...and do it quick. Let Devlin be the backup and draft a guy in the 5th or 6th round to be the new #3.

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Trade him if you can...and do it quick. Let Devlin be the backup and draft a guy in the 5th or 6th round to be the new #3.