Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins make a big decision involving the quarterback position

Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler throws against the Indianapolis Colts in 2017.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler throws against the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. AP

The Miami Dolphins are paying for Baker Mayfield’s dinners, meeting with the Oklahoma quarterback, working him out privately, and bringing him to team headquarters next month, and you thought that was going to be the direction for finding a backup quarterback?

Nope.

The Dolphins this offseason have plans to sign a veteran free agent quarterback.

And they are bringing one of their potential additions in for a free agency visit on Friday, when Denver Broncos backup Brock Osweiler is scheduled to visit.

Osweiler should feel quite comfortable because Dolphins coach Adam Gase was his quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator in Denver when the two were together from 2012 to 2014.

And you’re asking why?

Well, because the Dolphins have decided they need a veteran backup with some NFL experience on the roster in 2018. That’s a big decision.

Yes, they signed David Fales last week, but he’s not very experienced. Yes, they have former late-round pick Brandon Doughty on the roster but he has never taken an NFL regular-season snap.

So the team is searching for an experienced backup.

And if Osweiler doesn’t agree to a contract, the team will cycle through somebody else who fits that description.

Why?

The Dolphins are assuredly searching for a quarterback in the draft. But perhaps Mayfield doesn’t fall to them. And perhaps anyone else they might think about in the later rounds isn’t the best player on their board at the time.

Then what?

Also, signing a veteran backup does not preclude the team from drafting a quarterback in whatever round, a team source said.

So even if the Dolphins sign Osweiler or some other experienced backup, the quarterback-in-the-draft thing continues.

About Osweiler: He’s tall. At 6-7 he would be the second-tallest quarterback to don a Dolphins uniform. Dan McGwire, who is 6-8, played for the Dolphins in 1995. He remains the tallest QB in NFL history.

Osweiler, selected in the second round of the 2012 Draft, has never become what the Broncos and later other teams hoped. He has never been a good or consistent starting quarterback.

He was a free agency bust in Houston in 2016 after signing a $72 million contract to be their starter. He lasted only one season with the Texans before being traded to Cleveland and then re-signing with Denver last season.

The Dolphins ostensibly would want him — or whomever their veteran backup would be — for emergency duty if starter Ryan Tannehill goes down during a game. If the Dolphins also have a rookie quarterback on the roster at the time, then the rookie and the veteran quarterback would compete the following week for the right to start the next game.

That would happen only if Tannehill cannot play the following week — and if the Dolphins have that rookie quarterback. Yes, a lot of ifs.

This is certain: The Dolphins have concluded they want to sign a veteran quarterback. That doesn’t preclude them from drafting a quarterback. And Matt Moore, who was with the team since 2011 but is a free agent, is not expected to return — as has been previously reported.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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