Burning question: Does the Dolphins’ 13-year QB search finally end?

April 26th 1983 was the last time the Miami Dolphins drafted a QB in the first round. That quarterback happened to be Dan Marino, and it turned out to be a historic day in Dolphins history. In 1999 Marino retired and the search for someone to fill his shoes started.

February 2012, 13 years later, the Dolphins are still looking for that QB to fill Marino’s shoes. Whether it was Ray Lucas, Jay Feely, Jay Fielder, John Beck, Chad Henne, the list goes on.

How bad is it? The Miami Sun Sentinel put together a photo montage of every Dolphins QB since Marino, 161 pages long. Sixteen players in total have started a game for the Dolphins since Marino left. Enjoy or cry if you’re a Dolphins fan.

This year’s burning question is the same one that has been burning through the minds of Dolphins fans for 13 years now. Is this the year the Dolphins finally draft another 1st round QB? I doubt it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t find themselves with a new name under center, and a new look to their offense.

Earlier this season, with the Dolphins firmly in the Andrew Luck chase and either Matt Barkley or Landry Jones available as a fallback, Miami seemed certain to come out of the draft with a first-round QB pick. However, with both Barkley and Jones returning to college and the Dolphins putting together a mad streak of wins down the stretch, it doesn’t seem likely the Dolphins will reach on a QB with the 8th or 9th pick.

The Dolphins could elect to select Ryan Tannehill, QB from Texas A&M who played under newly-hired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Sherman shared some fondness over Tannehill earlier in the week comparing him to Aaron Rodgers and Brett Farve. Personally I see this move as a smoke screen because 8/9 seems a little high for Tannehill. A second round QB might be a little more likely for Miami.

The Dolphins probably can’t compete against the likes of the Browns and Redskins for the RG3 sweepstakes as they don’t have as much room to play with in terms of picks and tradable assets.

That leaves the most likely scenario the Dolphins will use to find their QB is through free agency. The two names that will be connected with the Dolphins until the end of free agency are: Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn.

Stephen Ross wants nothing more than to win and fill the stands with wild fans in Miami again. No one player would bring more excitement to the Dolphins than Manning. With the Heat, and even the Marlins have been taking up all the hype in Miami and Ross is ready to make a big splash.

The Dolphins have a decent talent base, strong defensive group and an offensive line that surely will entice Manning. The Dolphins also offer a warm weathered city and most likely a HUGE pay check from Mr Ross.

For what it’s worth, Vegas currently has the Dolphins the favorite to land Peyton.

If Manning doesn’t end up in Miami, plan B would most likely be Matt Flynn.

Matt Flynn, the current Packer record-holder for most yards and touchdowns in a game (sorry Aaron, sorry Brett) is the hot commodity of this year’s QB free agent class. When Flynn has been asked to fill in for Rogers he has come to play and impressed. Also, Flynn already has a good relationship with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, his former offensive coordinator.

No one really knows what will happen in Miami but I can almost guarantee you there will be a new signal caller for the Dolphins in 2013.

Photo of Dan Marino and his sweet ride via @SI_Vault.

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