It seemed like a harmless signing in 2011 when GM Jeff Ireland signed QB Matt Moore for two years, five million dollars to be the backup quarterback behind Chad Henne. Instead it turned out to be a pretty solid bargain as Moore went on to lead the Dolphins to a 6-3 record their final nine games of the 2011 season, and then filled in admirably in his lone appearance of the 2012 season helping to deliver a win on the road vs. the New York Jets. The decision has come now to decide whether to try and sign Moore once again to be the backup to the new franchise QB Ryan Tannehill, or let Moore leave via free agency.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
On the one hand, it is prudent to have a stable backup quarterback as the position that is easily the most important of any one position on the 53 man roster and injuries are always one play away. The flip side to that is that if you invest money into a player that will not play almost %95 of the season, it is money wasted. If you have a deep roster and not many holes to fill and are full of Super Bowl aspirations, then it makes the decision a little easier. When you are a team with plenty of holes still to fill, and not yet ready to contend for that Super Bowl just yet, then it may be wise to use that money elsewhere on the roster.
Two years and five million dollars is a fair contract for a proven QB. Moore could certainly ask for a slight upgrade in salary as he has a slightly better resume this offseason than he did in 2011. Miami also has developmental quarterback Pat Devlin on the roster who earned just under $400,000 last season. If Miami was to let Moore walk, they could re-sign Devlin and move him to the backup QB role, and use the money they save on Moore’s contract to improve other needs on the roster including signing any of their own free agents that are starters such as RB Reggie Bush, or WR Brian Hartline. Spending 5-6 million dollars on someone to hold a clipboard while having an extremely thin wide receiver core or defensive secondary is an unwise choice.
If you factor in the Dolphins already having a 12 million dollar contract tied in to Tannehill whom they hope will stay healthy enough to take every snap for the Dolphins in 2013 and beyond, adding a couple more million within a tight salary cap is essentially pointless. If Tannehill were to be injured for any extended period of time, the Dolphins would certainly take a hit on the field anyways, even with Moore in the fold. The best course of action would be to let Moore leave, elevate Devlin to the backup role, and draft a QB in the later rounds as a new developmental QB that can serve as the emergency backup as well as a scout team member.
Contract Prediction: $6 Million over 2 years
Sign or Let Go: LET GO