The Miami Dolphins have pulled off somewhat of a surprise with the re-up of Matt Moore (the timing was perhaps a surprise as Moore decided to not test the free-agent market). The deal calls for around $8 million over the next two years, and to my surprise it has garnered a lot of criticism, not for the ‘Phins organization per se, but for Moore as he has been painted as a non-competitor who stayed in Miami where he could be paid to hold the clipboard as he is sure to be the back-up for Ryan Tannehill (at least to start the season).
Personally, I understand Moore’s want to remain in Florida as A) wonderful climate (plus hopefully a team on the rise), B) he and his wife (important factor of course…happy wife happy life) enjoy the life in that area and they like the franchise, C) M-a-n-y NFL teams cannot get through an entire season with their No. 1 QB unscathed so I fail to see how he sees Miami as a place to just sit and collect cash and D) Even if it is true that other teams had more playing time available for Moore we heard from him and his camp that when they surveyed the league there were actually not a lot of (good) opportunities for him (basically those other teams wreak, especially the offensive lines aka Arizona Cardinals, or the overall gong show that is the New York Jets).
Apparently many look at the fact that Moore did not test the market to either land a starters job, or look for more cash money as an indicator that he does not want to play or win. I do not. Many also point to the fact that he was so great last season (demeanor-wise…attitude-wise) when he remained No. 2 despite the (then) No. 1 David Garrard enduring a season-ending injury that saw the ‘Phins keep MM at No. 2 while promoting Tanny from No. 3 to top dog. To some I guess that had the look of a guy who wants to be paid to sit, but for me I saw an excellent team-first player who happens to have a laid-back approach and attitude.
The Dolphins are a sub .500 team, but the last 10 times Moore has flung passes around the field for them, they were an impressive 7-3. A .700 winning percentage is impressive under any circumstances, and especially when you consider the team has won 13 total games the past two seasons. He has 16 touchdowns and just five interceptions in those games. This is not the production of a guy looking to chill out on the bench and just get paid. He has shown himself to be what I would consider a valuable asset which is a guy who is not looking to usurp anything, and who is ready to perform at the drop of a hat. Another check-mark in his column is that when he comes into a game he has control of the huddle and clearly has the confidence of his teammates.
The Carolina Panthers once gave the ball to Moore to be their No. 1 guy, but he failed miserably so perhaps we see a guy accepting that a back-up role is how he can best contribute on the NFL stage. I do not see anything wrong with that, in fact, I appreciate that he will be committed to doing whatever is best for the team.
At the end of the day Miami has money to spend and they used a small portion of that to secure a quality No. 2 QB without having to hope that Pat Devlin can develop into that role, and without needing to use a draft pick to address QB depth. I do not see anything that looks like an overpaid contract, nor do I see a guy who just wants to get paid to hold a clipboard. I see a marriage between an organization and a player that is going well and both sides wanted the relationship to continue. Two thumbs up from me.