Armando Salguero

The 2019 Miami Dolphins quarterback room: Good is bad and bad is good

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross: ‘I f---ing hate losing’

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he's disappointed with the season after the Fins' loss to the Buffalo Bills. (Video contains graphic language)
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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he's disappointed with the season after the Fins' loss to the Buffalo Bills. (Video contains graphic language)

Mere minutes after Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters Carson Wentz is the team’s starting quarterback moving forward, the speculation about Nick Foles going to a new team began.

Foles this season helped guide the Eagles to a 5-2 record, including a playoff victory, before the fairy tale ended with a divisional round loss in New Orleans on Sunday. Foles replaced the injured Wentz and it lifted the Eagles to those playoffs when it seemed they weren’t headed in that direction at all.

Foles was also the hero of Philadelphia’s improbable Super Bowl championship chase a year ago.

“Carson is the quarterback going forward,” Pederson told reporters at his end-of-season news conference. “And in Nick’s case, listen, we would love to have everybody back throughout the roster. But as I’ve said many, many times, it’s not about one guy. It’s about the team. We’re going to do what’s best for the team.”

This strongly suggests Foles will be moving on in free agency this offseason.

Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL

Foles has a $20 million team option due, and it’s unlikely the Eagles will pay that, which would make him a free agent. But even if Philly intends to pay, Foles can pay a $2 million buyout and become a free agent. And in free agency he would likely multiply that $2 million investment in freedom multiple times.

Because he would become someone’s starting quarterback.

Let me repeat, the guy who led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory in 2017-18 and completed 72.3 percent of his passes in five regular-season starts this season, could be available to become someone’s starting quarterback this offseason.

Someone’s ... starting ... quarterback.

So, of course, Dolphins fans think the Dolphins are that someone.

Offshore online books also think so because within hours of Pederson’s announcement, made the Dolphins the favorite landing spot for Foles. Oh, yeah, they also had the Dolphins as a possible spot for Joe Flacco and Kyler Murray.

And this stuff makes my head hurt.

Because it makes no sense.

You may recall last August I reported the Dolphins and Teddy Bridgewater had mutual interest. There were phone calls exchanged because Bridgewater is from Miami and he likes the idea of returning, while the Dolphins like Bridgewater’s ability.

But the flirtation ended when Miami learned of Bridgewater’s asking price.

So if you asked me a month ago who I would like to replace Ryan Tannehill as the new starter, I would have said Bridgewater. Because I believe he’s got a ceiling he has not yet reached and he’s learned a lot from Drew Brees this year to add to his already considerable gifts. (Yes, I know he struggled in his lone opportunity to play.)

I also would have said the team needed to draft a guy it thought could eventually become a starter because two good quarterbacks on the roster - one more experienced and starting, the other younger and getting better -- is a solid approach to finding the right guy.

But things have changed since then.

Last month the idea was to win in 2019 so I was writing about setting up the quarterback room to win in 2019 with the bridge guy and win later with a high draft pick.

Now, the Dolphins are onto their “new approach,” which suggests they are going to be fine with some losing.

So this calls for a different way of thinking as it pertains to the quarterback room.

Suddenly, Foles is a bad idea.

So is Flacco.

And so is Bridgewater.

Because all those guys probably aren’t ready to lift the Dolphins to Super Bowl contention. But they’re probably able to lift the Dolphins to anywhere between six and 10 wins.

And here comes a really strange-sounding sentence: The Dolphins would rather win fewer games than that in 2019.

They won’t admit it. Coach-in-waiting Brian Flores may mock the idea when he takes over. General manager Chris Grier won’t say it.

But Stephen Ross already more or less let everyone know.

“Yeah. If you look back, look what we’ve done every year since I’ve been here,” Ross said. “If we keep doing that, where are we going to be? We’ll be anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6. That’s not good enough.”

So adding those quarterbacks is thus a terrible idea. Because they might be sort of solid.

Or worse than that ... they might be sort of good.

Like 9-7 good.

The Dolphins have had solid with Tannehill and gone nowhere. So Tannehill won’t be with the Dolphins in 2019, as I reported in late December.

Now the Dolphins want, well, kind of pukey.

Pukey for one year will do.

It sounds crazy, right? But that’s where the Miami Dolphins seem to be in 2019.

It really is the end times where good is thought of as evil and evil is thought of as good, but here we are. Nine or 10 wins is bad.

But four wins is good!

Because four wins might get you in position to get that great quarterback in 2020, while 10 wins in 2019 will get you in pretty much the same position we have seen the Dolphins in for over two decades.

So what about Miami’s quarterbacks this coming season?

Luke Falk is signed.

Jake Rudock is signed.

Find me one more guy, preferably a terrible veteran, and we’re cooking with gas.

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Armando Salguero has covered the Miami Dolphins and the NFL since 1990, so longer than many players on the current roster have been alive and since many coaches on the team were in middle school. He was a 2016 APSE Top 3 columnist nationwide. He is one of 48 Pro Football Hall of Fame voters. He is an Associated Press All-Pro and awards voter. He’s covered Dolphins games in London, Berlin, Mexico City and Tokyo. He has covered 25 Super Bowls, the NBA Finals, and the Olympics.