Job Review: Quarterbacks

Now that the 2007 Dolphins mercifully is behind us, we try to figure out what went wrong. In this series, we'll examine every position on the team, evaluate performances from this past season and assess the likelihood of each player returning in 2008. This installment features the quarterbacks.

JOHN BECK

Contract status: Signed through 2010

2007 Season: Ouch! The plan was to bring Beck along slowly, let him sit and watch from the sideline while Trent Green ran the offense. Unfortunately, that's not how it played out, and Beck eventually found himself behind center. The results were terribly disappointing. Beck looked nowhere near ready to play quarterback in the NFL, which was somewhat to be expected, but he also showed no signs whatsoever of being the long-term answer at quarterback.

Will he be back?: Obviously. We're not quite sure what Bill Parcells thinks of Beck, but either way he'll get another look. It's just that Beck no longer is the slam-dunk quarterback of the future for this franchise.

TRENT GREEN

Contract status: Signed through 2009

2007 Season: Like Beck, ouch, but for a different reason. The Dolphins took a gamble when they traded for a 37-year-old coming off a concussion, and it backfired when Green took a knee to the side of the head while trying to throw a block against Houston. That cut Green's season short after five-plus games, and left the team in a quarterback quandary. Before he was injured, Green had been very inconsistent, with a good outing against Washington, a bad one against Dallas, a good one against the Jets and another bad one against Oakland.

Will he be back?: Now, this is a very interesting situation here. The assumption right after Green's injury was that his career was over, and it would still seem to be that way. But Green indicated before the season finale he still wanted to play, and who's to say the Dolphins don't give him another shot if they can't find anotehr veteran in the offseason. At this point, we'd still put his return at clearly less than 50-50, but it's not as far-fetched as it was a few months ago.

CLEO LEMON

Contract status: Unrestricted free agent

2007 Season: After coming into the season with only one career start, Lemon got the chance to start seven times after Green's injury. During that time, Lemon pretty much did what was expected, which was make some plays here and there but also show a lack of consistency, hesitation in the pocket and a nasty habit of staring down his receiver. It was Lemon's lack of productivity that led Cam Cameron to turn to Beck late in the season, although Lemon did lead the Dolphins to their only victory.

Will he be back?: Very doubtful. Lemon didn't say after the season finale like a guy who wanted to return to Miami and it's not like the Dolphins are going to get into a bidding war with someone who looks like a career backup.

STATE OF THE POSITION

Bad. Very bad. The Dolphins will go into the 2008 offseason again with an unsettled situation at quarterback and also no clue whether they have their quarterback of the future in place. There could be some big-name quarterbacks, such as Donovan McNabb, Chad Pennington and Derek Anderson, on the trade market. That could be one option for the Dolphins, but that would require giving up something in return and the Dolphins don't have that much to give. The free agent market looks real thin, with perhaps the biggest name being Daunte Culpepper. Drafting another quarterback early is another possibility, and it might be that the Dolphins take one in the first round. The only thing for sure is the Dolphins will be in the hunt for quarterbacks in the offseason.


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