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Tua Tagavoiloa's draft declaration has everyone thinking he is Miami's next quarterback. While it makes sense at face value consider that Miami has options beyond the draft and an arsenal of money and picks to get creative with. If they are uncomfortable with Tua's hip injury it might be time to get familiar with the alternatives.

Free agency is probably the least likely route given Brian Flores's public praise of Ryan Fitzpatrick. They want him back and probably aren't going to opt for the likes of Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston or any other rehab project who hits the market. Dak Prescott not re-signing with Dallas might be tempting but I expect Mike McCarthy was brought in to win with Dak. Mariota makes for an interesting backup upgrade over Josh Rosen if Miami feels their young QB simply isn't equipped to elevate his game. Barring Tom Brady declaring he wants to take his talents to South Beach I don't think Miami is going the free agency route for its next QB.

The trade market is an interesting alternative. The Dolphins spent two picks last year to acquire Rosen so I don't think Chris Grier and company will be shy about any trade opportunities. Some uninspiring names could be floated - Derek Carr, Mitch Trubisky, Jacoby Brissett, maybe Cam Newton if Matt Rhule wants his own guy. I don't think Miami goes down that rabbit hole as it may negatively effect a locker room that loves Fitzpatrick. But what if one of these new coaches decides to pull a Kliff Kingsbury and deal away a young QB? What if Josh McDaniels brings Brady to Cleveland and wants to groom a successor of his own choosing? Think it is crazy? McDaniels sent Jay Cutler packing from Denver to get his own guy. Or, what if Matt Patricia sees more job security by investing in a guy like Tua where he could argue he needs a couple more years to build with his guy. Miami supposedly had some conversations regarding Matt Stafford a few years ago. While these scenarios are unlikely I wouldn't rule them out. Miami could take a chance on an upgrade and still have the ammo to draft a guy in 2021 if the trade doesn't pan out.

Do nothing. Seriously, its possible and probably the second most likely option. Miami has 13 draft picks and over $100 million in cap space to load up on areas of need. They have six picks in the top 100 and this draft is deep in things they need like pass rusher, centers, tackles, cornerbacks and running backs. They could give Fitzpatrick a chance to extend his career with a much improved roster while seeing if Rosen, still 22 years old, has what it takes above the neck. With two 1st Round picks and two 2nd Round picks in 2021 they could make moves to get a QB in what should be another good crop.

Drafting a QB this year is still the most likely outcome but boy are there some tough question marks. The top prospect is Joe Burrow and with Cincinnati having the 1st overall pick it would be nearly impossible to draft him. Grier could go nuts, offer multiple 1sts, Day 2 picks both this year and next to move up for the LSU stud, but we know that isn't happening. Tua is the biggest wild card because his entire lower body has injury history. No one knows for sure where his hip will be in three, six or even nine months. If healthy Miami may need to trade valuable resources to move up for him. It is 50/50 at this point. Alternatives would be spending a 1st Rounder on Jordan Love, Justin Herbert or Jacob Eason. Each of those guys is a project but we know Miami has done a ton of research on both Love and Herbert. Jalen Hurts becomes a Day 2 option but I get the sense Miami will save those picks to build the trenches. If they are going QB it will be in the 1st Round and the pick will be someone they envision as the face of the franchise. Jake Fromm declaring for the draft is a wildcard I'd keep my eye on. Despite an up and down season, he is the type of QB I could see Grier and Flores loving.

This is about the most comprehensive list of options I can give you guys. I don't envy the situation Chris Grier is in. Stephen Ross was patient in 2019 but will push hard for an answer in 2020. Tua was the logical solution but now comes with serious injury red flags. The alternative 1st Rounders are very boom or bust in nature. I wouldn't rule out a trade from left field happening in March or at draft time. Again, no one saw Rosen coming prior to draft week. Keep in mind that Chris Grier has a conservative nature about him and comes from the Parcells school of thought. He knows this is his shot to cement himself as Miami's long term GM and it hinges on getting a QB. They value leadership, intangibles, a good track record and durability. Do those attributes provide any clues as to what Miami's decision will be? Stay tuned.

Dan Jamroz, Phinfever, Miami DolphinsThe Good

Brian Flores, Chad O'Shea, and Patrick Graham got this team, who really had nothing to play for, to give it their all and take down the division champs. Kudos to these guys and their assistants for once again overachieving and making this a great game.

Devante Parker put on another huge performance. Him high pointing a huge catch to save the game-winning drive was a thing of beauty that capped off a great season for the young receiver.

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a solid game with timely throws and a big-time, game-winning dart to Mike Gesicki for the win. Hopefully, he returns to quarterback a better roster in 2020.

Isaiah Ford made some clutch 1st down catches and definitely is a future weapon for the team.

The No Name Secondary made enough plays to keep the Patriots honest and tip of the cap to Eric Rowe for the pick-six on Tom Brady.

The Front Seven did a decent job getting some pressure and not allowing Brady to get too comfortable. Graham was only rushing three or four guys yet it was effective. Kudos to Trent Harris for his sack and I noticed Andrew Van Ginkel on a few plays.


The Bad

The tackling was pretty bad and probably my only complaint. I would have said the run defense was bad but they actually penetrated and set the edge. They just stunk at tackling which allowed New England to chug out yards.

Albert Wilson had some drops and was quite frustrated with himself. Not terrible but it almost cost Miami in a couple of key situations.


The Ugly

The offensive line wasn't great, but they did enough to keep the game respectable. We gave these guys a lot of grief this year but they played ugly in a decent way.

Same for the running game. It wasn't good, but they got a few key first downs and Fitzpatrick ran one in for a touchdown.

I don't often include the other team in this but Tom Brady and his receivers were surprisingly putrid. Poorly placed throws and a bunch of drops made their once fearsome passing game look very pedestrian. Have they finally regressed? Let's hope Father Time finally caught up with him.

Well gang, put 2019 in the books. I can't say it was always fun, but Miami went out with a bang and I loved every minute of it. I imagine we will see a ton of changes beginning in February/March when free agency begins. Obviously the big question is what will happen at quarterback with Fitzpatrick possibly retiring and Josh Rosen still being an unknown. I hope you all have a Happy New Year and that 2020 is a big step in the right direction for our Miami Dolphins.


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