Over the last 12 seasons, the Miami Dolphins have trotted out 16 different starting quarterbacks.
When the team selected Chad Henne in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, they hoped the highly-touted Michigan quarterback could put a stop to the revolving door under center that began when Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season.
But Henne never quite panned out in Miami, and now the Dolphins are ready to cut bait.
According to a report from the Sun-Sentinel, the team will not make Henne an offer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
In four seasons with the team, Henne managed a meager 75.7 quarterback rating in 31 starts with a 13-18 record in games he started. Henne started only four games before injuring his left shoulder, and while he is expected to be fully recovered from surgery by spring, his struggles make Matt Moore a more appealing alternative going forward. But the Dolphins have made it clear they need to upgrade at the quarterback position — either through the draft or free agency.
“Chad has done what we've asked him to do,” I like Chad personally very well. He's very smart. Very intelligent. Very tough. A football guy. He loves being around the game and is a very good teammate,” Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland told the Sun-Sentinel at the Senior Bowl last month. “But this football team didn't win enough games when he was quarterback here. But that doesn't mean he did everything wrong, or right," Ireland said of Henne, who produced a 13-18 record as a starter for Miami. “If he goes somewhere else, Chad's a good football player. He can play in this league.”
Henne will likely end up as a backup somewhere, while the Dolphins look for a serious upgrade. Will they make a play for the St. Louis Rams’ No. 2 overall pick to draft Baylor’s Robert Griffin III? If there’s any residual from the bidding war for Jeff Fisher, the two teams may not be able to make a deal. And drafting at No. 8 or 9 — pending a coin flip with Carolina — Miami may decide free agency is a better bet.
That would leave Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn as potential targets — but each come with plenty of question marks. Or, as the Miami Herald’s Greg Cote writes, the Fins could be left out in the cold.
The Dolphins will need something to fall just right in a major way over these next several weeks, and the litany and litter of Things Gone Wrong over the past decade suggest that’s a lot to expect. Dolfans’ blind faith in the law of averages has grown threadbare by degrees.
It says much about the fragile state of Dolphins hopefulness around here that the club’s preferred option and answer is an aging quarterback trying to come back from one, two, three, four neck surgeries – a comeback so incomplete that his arm recently was compared to the strength of a “noodle” relative to what it was.
Peyton Manning’s return to full health and Hall of Fame form is the tallest “if” in all of sports, and the greatest quandary muddying the Dolphins’ thoughts and plans.
“It’s paralyzing in a way,” an associate of owner Stephen Ross told us Monday. “You’re held hostage by the not knowing.”
Who should the Dolphins pick up? And have we seen the last of Henne as an NFL starter?
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