|Garrard is just happy to be back in the NFL. (Getty Images)|
The Dolphins have a new quarterback but it's not Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn, or even Alex Smith. Miami has signed … David Garrard, who didn't play in 2011 after the Jaguars released him just before the start of the season. He subsquently needed back surgery and wasn't declared healthy until recently. The Florida Times-Union's Tania Ganguli first reported the news.
But now, days after the Dolphins whiffed on landing one of their top two choices, they appear to have settled on Garrard, although they could still sign another player.
"They didn't say for sure they were bringing another guy in, but they said it's a possibility, whether in the draft or whatever," Garrard told the Associated Press in a phone interview.
Miami still holds the No. 8 pick in April's draft and they could make a move for a quarterback there. It's just that if they target Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, there's the very real chance that they'll have to trade up to get him.
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"The Dolphins should forget it for now and play (Matt) Moore. Or decide if Ryan Tannehill is the answer and draft him if they can. If not, maybe it's USC's Matt Barkley next year, or maybe another passer will emerge. At this time last year, who thought Robert Griffin III would be the second overall pick? Or two years ago, Cam Newton the top pick?"
Garrard apparently impressed the Dolphins during his workout Monday and he said he's impressed by new head coach Joe Philbin.
"I just love the vibe," he said. "I love everybody's mission and goal, and the purpose they have and the direction they're heading."
Meanwhile, adding a 34-year-old quarterback to the roster who is months removed from back surgery and hasn't played since 2010 won't do anything to assuage the concerns of Dolphins fans, many of whom have no idea what the franchise is doing.
NFL Network's Jeff Darlington, formerly of the Miami Herald, said Monday evening on NFL Total Access that "As far as I'm told at this point, it's a situation where Garrard will get to compete with Matt Moore but the chips could still fall with the Alex Smith situation. By all means, though, the Dolphins are spitballing here. This is not a situation where they're following an exact blueprint. They're trying to make something good out of this."
The Dolphins organization has had a rough go of it dating back to the start of the 2011 season. They dropped their first seven games right out of the gate, Tony Sparano was fired for it, and free agency has been an unmitigated disaster. Darlington said he received a text from a Miami player Sunday afternoon that pithily put everything into perspective: What is going on?
"This is a situation," Darlington said, "in which internally within that building some are starting to wonder exactly what's up general manager Jeff Ireland's sleeve."
Linebacker Joey Porter, who played in Miami from 2007-09, was blunt Monday in his criticism of the organization. "Jeff Ireland has a big part to do with (the situation the Dolphins find themselves)," Porter said during an apperance on Total Access.
"He's a guy that -- I don't think when you come in being recruited by him you really believe the things that are coming out of his mouth. I think he's a guy that's not trustworthy. He's a guy that doesn't really hold up to what a GM is supposed to be. He has the right tools to lead that franchise in the right direction but obviously nobody's buying into it."
Well, this would explain the tweet from Steelers safety Ryan Clark Sunday night when he said "no one" wants to play for the Dolphins.