Dolphins pass up franchise tag, possibly waiting on a quarterback


View Photo Gallery: As he ponders his future and continues to rehab, Peyton Manning attended the Duke-North Carolina game with David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils’ coach whose career in Tennessee overlapped Manning’s. Here’s a look at Manning over the years.

The Miami Dolphins opted not to slap the franchise tag on one of their players, which means that they have a pretty large chunk of change with which to lure a free-agent quarterback to South Beach.

The decision gives the Dolphins, according to the Sun-Sentinel, about $15 million in salary-cap space to spend on a free-agent quarterback with Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and Matt Flynn of the Green Bay Packers expected to be available.

The Colts face a deadline later this week by which they must pay Manning, who did not play in 2011 while recovering from neck surgery, a $28 million bonus or release him. Although the deadline has been reported as March 8, the NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that fine print in the contract may allow it to be extended until 4 p.m. Friday...just when it looked as if the uncertainty nearly was over.

As for Flynn, the Packers considered placing the franchise tag on him in order to trade him for a draft pick, but General Manager Ted Thompson chose not to risk being stuck with Flynn and a $14.4 million salary. Flynn will become an unrestricted free agent when the league year begins at 4 p.m. March 13 — but the Dolphins are expected to have competition from at least Seattle and Cleveland.

More from Washington Post Sports

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Agent says, “Peyton’s not done”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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