Armando Salguero

The Miami Dolphins’ plan at QB heading into final preseason game and roster cuts

Miami Dolphins' quarterback Brandon Doughty had a notable touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason.
Miami Dolphins' quarterback Brandon Doughty had a notable touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason. AP

*Second of a series

The road David Fales traveled to the Miami Dolphins is similar to the one Jay Cutler took in that he too played for the Chicago Bears and coach Adam Gase in 2015.

Well, Fales didn’t actually play for the Bears in 2015. He was inactive for three games while he was on the roster. And he was on the Bears’ practice squad. But he was around the team and was able to talk with Gase once and I suppose he brought the coach coffee. So we’ll say Fales, like Cutler, played for the Bears.

Anyway, Fales signed with the Dolphins on April 5 and everyone knew the moment he put his name on the contract there were only two ways his days with the Dolphins could go:

Either he played and practiced so impressively that he became the talk of camp while beating out Matt Moore for Miami’s backup quarterback job ...

Or he got cut.

Fales has not beaten out Moore for the backup job. And so when the Dolphins trim their roster to 53 players this weekend, Fales will be released. The only way this does not happen is if Moore is swallowed by a sink hole and is lost to humanity forever on Friday night. Because even if Moore plays in the final preseason game -- he needs the work, by the way -- and is injured, it’s more likely the Dolphins go outside to find a legitimate backup to Cutler rather than hand the job to Fales.

So this begs questions, right?

Why is Fake GM Mando cutting Fales rather than putting him on practice squad? Well, because Fake GM Mando found out this morning Fales is not practice squad eligible. So that option is not available.

Well, why does Fake GM Mando not think Fales won the backup job? Because I have eyes to watch practice and games and read statistics. Fales was clearly the third-best quarterback of the four in camp.

But as the Dolphins are keeping only two quarterbacks on the roster -- as they did last year under Gase -- there simply is no room for Fales.

That leaves what to do with second-year player Brandon Doughty. I like Doughty. Nice kid. Hard worker. Many tattoos.

But this preseason he had one notable moment and that’s when he completed a 69-yard pass to Jakeem Grant for a TD against Philadelphia. That’s it. Otherwise Doughty completed 45.8 percent of his throws and had a 60.6 quarterback rating. Fales wasn’t much better, completing 44.1 percent of his throws and posting a 74.5 rating.

The truth is neither Fales nor Doughty earned a roster spot.

But most teams that keep two quarterbacks on the roster also keep a project quarterback on the practice squad as something of a security blanket and practice arm for the regular-season. For the Dolphins that has to be Doughty because he is practice squad eligible.

(And this is the part where I remind you the Dolphins aren’t making roster decisions in a vacuum. There are 30 other NFL teams and the minor league New York Jets also making roster decisions this week. So it’s remotely possible there is a backup or practice squad caliber QB among those cuts. And the Dolphins might think that QB might be better than Doughty. That’s one way Doughty doesn’t even get re-signed to practice squad).

Otherwise, the Dolphins quarterback room will be set:

Jay Cutler as the starter. Matt Moore as the backup. Both on the 53-man roster.

Brandon Doughty on the practice squad, barring some intriguing young quarterback talent coming available for the Dolphins to sign to practice squad.

Next in the series will be tight ends. Keep refreshing so you immediately see when that word of knowledge posts.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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