Are Matt Moore’s Days with the Miami Dolphins Over?
Miami Dolphins back-up Quarterback Matt Moore appeared in 13 games for the Miami Dolphins in 2011 and started 12 of those games. Since then, he has appeared in 5 games and started none. From 2012 through 2014, Moore attempted 29 passes, completing a mere 51.7 percent (15) of them. To say the Miami Dolphins are disappointed in Moore’s failure to seize the limited opportunities he has been given is an understatement.
This week, according to an article on NFL.com by Gregg Rosenthal (Inside the NFL Editor), the Dolphins are making a rather harsh statement regarding Matt Moore’s future with the team; they have dragged former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Josh Freeman out of mothballs and are preparing to sign him. If the team does sign Freeman, it will probably force Moore to clean out his locker in South Beach and seek employment elsewhere.
Freeman is by no means a sure thing. Like many NFL signal callers, there is the “good” Josh Freeman (25 TD passes and 6 picks in 2010 and 27 TD passes in 2012) and the “bad” Josh Freeman (10 TDs and 18 INTs in his rookie season and 16 TDs with 22 picks in 2011); however, Freeman does have a “history” with Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey and that might be enough to seal Moore’s fate.
Josh Freeman is statistically not much of an upgrade to Moore but, at the veteran minimum, will be a less expensive alternative. If the Dolphins cut Moore, who is on a one year, $2.6 Million contract, they will save all of Moore’s 2015 $1 Million base salary, which is more than Freeman would make. Freeman also has the advantage of age; he just turned 27 on January 13 while Matt Moore will be 31 before the season begins.
Expect Matt Moore to be terminated before the ink dries on Freeman’s shinny new contract. Moore, however, might not stay on the market too long; I hear rumblings that the Cleveland Browns are in the market for a used quarterback to help them rehab Johnny “Football” Manziel’s stalled career or there might still be room in Chip Kelly’s locker room for another retread.
The big question looming for Freeman, and ultimately for Dennis Hickey, is “can Freeman function as a back-up?” His track record in Minnesota and during the 2014 pre-season with the New York Giants seems to indicate that he has problems coming off the bench.
Whether the Dolphins sign Freeman or not, the writing appears to be “on the wall”; Matt Moore will not be on the Miami Dolphins’ depth chart in 2015.