That seems to be the hope in South Beach Miami Gardens. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting that a team source indicated that Manning is the top target for the Dolphins at QB, assuming he plays in 2012. Many assumed after Joe Philbin was hired as head coach that Matt Flynn would be the likely target. Per Salguero, reports are trickling out of Senior Bowl goings on that the Dolphins have little to no interest in Flynn. This presents a difficult situation for the Dolphins.
Manning is no lock to play in 2012, or ever again. Flynn is a largely unknown entity at this point, and his blistering week 17 performance likely drove up his price tag. What’s the smart play here? In my opinion, I’d rather gamble on Flynn than Manning. If he’s able to play (and that’s still a mighty big if), Manning is definitely on the downside of his career, and will carry a hefty price tag as well. Manning turns 35 in March, and I can’t envision him playing more than 3 more years, and certainly not at the level to which we’ve become accustomed.
Flynn has only two NFL starts under his belt, but he’s not yet 26 years old, and has shown some promise. I would think the wise decision would be to choose a QB with an eye toward the long term future of the franchise, and not just the next year or so. Flynn won’t come cheap, but I think it’s better to invest in a young QB rather than an aging one with neck issues. Manning does have one significant factor in his favor, though. If he were to suit up for the Dolphins, the team could host a Florida Gators Fan Appreciation Day, just like they did for Tim Tebow this year.