Brady Quinn will finally be joining the Dolphins, seven years after the team’s fans were clamoring for Miami to draft him.
The Dolphins reached an agreement with the former Notre Dame quarterback late Monday afternoon, several hours after auditioning him.
To make room on the roster, the Dolphins released quarterback Pat Devlin, ending his three-year association with the team.
The Dolphins opted to sign Quinn instead of Rex Grossman or John Skelton, who also worked out for team officials. Josh Freeman, Tim Tebow and Seneca Wallace were among other free agent quarterbacks that Miami passed on.
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Devlin’s release leaves Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Quinn and rookie Seth Lobato as the only quarterbacks on the roster.
Whether Quinn challenges Moore for the No. 2 job remains to be seen.
Coach Joe Philbin declined to answer directly earlier Monday when asked if Moore, 30, will be Tannehill’s backup quarterback this season.
“We’re not really at that stage,” Philbin said. “We’re still in a competitive mode.”
Quinn has played in 24 games and started 20 in seven NFL seasons. He was cut by the Seahawks in training camp last August, joined the Jets but was released in October, and then finished the 2013 season with the Rams as the backup to fill-in starter Kellen Clemons.
Quinn set 30 records at Notre Dame and was named Cingular All-America Player of the Year in 2006, but his pro career has never met expectations. As an NFL player, Quinn has thrown 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, with a subpar 64.4 rating. By comparison, Moore had 33 touchdowns, 28 interceptions and a 79.3 rating.
He has thrown just 197 passes over the past four seasons — all for Kansas City in 2012, when he had two touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Quinn, 29, signed with Fox earlier this month as a college and NFL analyst but told the network that playing this season remained his preference.
Before the 2007 draft, many Dolphins fans hoped the team would select Quinn with the ninth overall pick and reacted disdainfully when it chose receiver Ted Ginn Jr. instead.
Cleveland drafted Quinn 22nd that year. Moore has been bothered by a sore shoulder and did not play in Friday’s exhibition opener. He worked during Monday’s practice, and Philbin said he “threw the ball well.” Moore does not believe his shoulder soreness is anything serious.
Moore would make $4 million, with a cap number of $5.5 million, if he’s on the team this season, the second year of a two-year deal. But his cap hit would be only $1.5 million if he’s not on the team. He has played three seasons for the Dolphins and performed capably in 2011, when he filled in for Chad Henne for 13 games, throwing for 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, with an 87.1 rating.
But Moore has appeared in only three games and thrown 25 passes in Philbin’s two seasons. He threw two interceptions in six passes in his only appearance last season, when he replaced Tannehill against Buffalo.
Devlin was sidelined with a hamstring injury for a week before returning to practice Sunday. Devlin received no work in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills on Monday; he said he was unsure why. He spent most of his first season (2011) on the Dolphins’ practice squad and the past two on the 53-man roster.
“I like him,” Philbin said before his release, which was not announced by the team Monday night. “He’s definitely developed. He plays the game fast. He’s decisive when he’s back there. But he has to be out there on a more consistent basis to get a good, thorough evaluation.”
The Dolphins are intrigued by undrafted Northern Colorado rookie Lobato, but Miami scored only three points during the 10 possessions when he ran the offense Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons.
Also released Monday was undrafted North Dakota State rookie Brock Jensen.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins feel good about Tannehill, who went 6 for 6 and threw a touchdown on the only drive he led against Atlanta.
Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor adjusted Tannehill’s footwork, and Tannehill said that has paid dividends.
“It’s helped me get the ball out faster, have more velocity on some of my throws, and just be more consistent,” Tannehill said. “Some of the incompletions I’ve had in the past are due to inconsistent footwork. That was his big key coming in to say: ‘Hey, we’re going to get your feet right and then everything else will take care of itself.’ ”
Tannehill threw a 30-yard completion to Mike Wallace on Monday and said he believes he and Wallace “are more on the same page now than we ever have been. Not only on deep balls, but [overall]. No matter what the play is, we’re able to talk about things, be open with each other and be more on the same page.”