Keeping an Eye on Tampa Bay

Rumors of a Brett Favre trade to Tampa Bay ran rampant on Tuesday, not long after Vonnie Holliday was asked his thoughts on the soap opera involving the veteran quarterback. So what does Favre getting traded to Tampa Bay have to do with the Dolphins? Maybe nothing. Then again, maybe a lot.

It's no great secret the Dolphins quarterbacks have struggled in training camp, and Tuesday it was Josh McCown's turn as he threw three interceptions.

Although it's still early, the Dolphins don't appear to have one appealing option on the roster.

Quincy Carter worked out for the team last week, but is he really the answer if the Dolphins do wind up signing him?

So rest assured the Dolphins will be keeping their eyes open around the league in case a quality quarterback becomes available.

This is where Tampa Bay comes in.

The Bucs currently have five quarterbacks on their roster, and Favre would make six. We don't want to assume anything, but we're thinking Tampa Bay is not going into the regular season with more than four.

Do the math. That means the Bucs add Favre, they have to let go two of them.

The five currently on the roster are current projected starter Jeff Garcia, Chris Simms, former Dolphin Brian Griese, Josh McCown's brother Luke, and rookie Josh Johnson.

We asked editor Matthew Postins for his predictions on who the Bucs would be most likely to cut and here's what he had to say:

1. Chris Simms: Seems the most expendable of the bunch, and by all accounts he's having a good camp. There's no hitch in his giddyup anymore, he's throwing the ball crisply and he took some first-team reps on Tuesday (thanks to Garcia's injury and an off day for Griese). Thing is, the Bucs really want to get something for him, trade-wise. But trading for Favre eliminates that leverage.

2. Jeff Garcia: The Bucs have the cap space to keep both Favre and Garcia, but that would seem almost superfluous. I don't think the Bucs have much interest in keeping Garcia beyond 2008, and releasing him would bring no cap penalty.

3. Brian Griese: He's had a pretty average camp. He's there for protection in case the starter gets hurt. What the Bucs like about him is that he's locked into a manageable contract through 2010, when he'll still be younger than both Favre and Garcia are now.

4. Luke McCown: The Bucs really like him, and he's listed at No. 2 right now. He probably has the most accurate downfield arm on the team. He's in the final year of his deal.

5. Josh Johnson: He's the QB of the future. He's not going anywhere.

Now, who would make the argument that either Simms or Garcia wouldn't represent a big upgrade over what the Dolphins have at quarterback right now?

Simms was once deemed a very good prospect, but he's been up-and-down and he's also battled injuries. Garcia has been almost exclusively in the West Coast offense and he's also on the old side, which doesn't go with the Dolphins' situation at the moment.

But the Dolphins do have to have a quarterback run the offense this season, and it's probably 50-50 that guy isn't even on the roster right now.

Keep in mind the Dolphins have first dibs on waiver claims because they're based on last year's standings. And that will remain that way until Sept. 23.

Who knows what other quarterbacks could become available before then?

Sure, bringing in a new quarterback after the start of training camp isn't ideal, but the Dolphins might decide at some point that's a better alternative than going with one of the guys they have right now.

We're not saying the Dolphins will jump on a Bucs quarterback if one becomes available, we are saying they will -- and certainly should -- consider it.

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