Beck Still Around ... But For How Long?

Speculation about the job security of the Dolphins quarterbacks not named Chad has been rampant since last weekend, and it reached a new level on Thursday with an Internet report suggesting John Beck had been released. Well, Beck was at practice Thursday afternoon, a few hours after Coach Tony Sparano shot down the rumor.

Asked point blank whether the rumor Beck had been released was true, Sparano replied: "No. I mean there's a lot of rumors in this business and as I'm finding out down here, there's a lot of rumors that circle, period. I don't mean that in a negative way about you (media). 'This guy is here from Dallas, that guy is here from this place,' they're all rumors. No, John will be out at practice today."

The rumor came and cited "an unconfirmed tip."

Here's the interesting part of the story: The feeling here has been from the time Chad Pennington was signed and remains to this day that Beck indeed will get released by the Dolphins at some point.

Sparano said the Dolphins very well might keep four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, but we just don't see that as a luxury this team can't afford.

That said, it's obvious Chad Henne and Pennington both will make the team. That leaves Beck and Josh McCown.

McCown has two significant advantages over Beck: 1) He was signed by the new regime, as opposed to being brought in by Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller; 2) McCown has more NFL experience and probably is a better insurance policy for the Dolphins to protect themselves in the event Pennington gets injured.

The Dolphins certainly could be in the process of trying to see if they can trade either Beck or McCown for a draft pick, but since both performed so poorly early in camp that it convinced the Dolphins to sign Pennington, it's not likely either will fetch much -- if anything -- in return.

One would think a team somewhere would take a shot at Beck if the Dolphins release him because he still might develop into something at some point, but the Dolphins probably aren't going to invest a lot of time in Beck because their quarterback of the future very clearly is Henne.

So we're thinking Beck will be gone at some point, perhaps very soon. But, contrary to the reports, it hasn't happened yet.

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