Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler have been reunited in Chicago, and Jay Glazer has more scoopage, this time of the major variety.
Also, free agency officially began three minutes ago, so happy Festivus everyone.
After saying several inaudible words, my initial reaction to this trade from Miami’s perspective is pure confusion. This is a team that’s still in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, and depending on who you read during any given hour, they’re either solidly in said sweepstakes, or trailing far behind. Regardless, after Manning met with new head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman for six hours yesterday, the intent is clearly still there to pursue the top quarterback in free agency.
So while Chicago’s motivation is clear, we can go in one of two directions for Miami. Both are hopeful, but only one involves some guy named Manning.
The first is a remodeling based around Manning. With the $9.3 million Marshall was due to make next year now moved to Chicago, the Dolphins have roughly $21.1 million in cap room, which is plenty of extra space to make a more confident push for Manning, while also plucking one of the top-end wideouts available on the open market. That could include Reggie Wayne, Manning’s former teammate in Indianapolis who’s said that he’d like to stick with a familiar quarterback, although he’s not necessarily joined at the hip with the four-time MVP.
If the Dolphins can sign Manning, and exchange Marshall’s unpredictable attitude and behavior for a receiver with near equal talent, then the sun will be shining just a little brighter in South Beach. The other possible scenario involves a quarterback with far less experience, but far more health and youth.
After yesterday’s meeting it may have become obvious to Miami and GM Jeff Ireland that they’ve slid too far out of the race for Manning. Knowing that Matt Moore is a fine stop gap but still a poor long-term answer, Philbin will continue to court Matt Flynn, his former QB during his time as Green Bay’s offensive coordinator. Flynn’s price is sure to escalate rapidly, but again, with this new-found cap room the Dolphins have far more ammunition in a bidding war.
Or they could just start Moore next fall and tank for Matt Barkley. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cool nickname for that effort like there was during the Suck for Luck campaign.
Be Brutal for Barkley? See, that’s terrible.