Matt Moore

Matt Moore May Wait To Sign

Free agent quarterback Matt Moore is willing to wait for the right deal. The former Dolphins signal caller had conversations with the Chiefs and Texans earlier this offseason, but is now considering waiting until after the season begins to sign anywhere, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. 

Moore, 34 in August, may survey the QB landscape to see which team needs help. That probably means that Moore is waiting to see if another quarterback gets injured in camp, giving him an opportunity to jump on board and stick on a roster.

It’s not clear whether the Dolphins had much interest in re-signing Moore this year, but he apparently felt betrayed by the team last year when they signed Jay Cutler to replace Ryan Tannehill after his injury. In January, Moore resolved to sign elsewhere. Since then, the Dolphins have added Brock Osweiler and Bryce Petty to the mix. David Fales is also under contract and pushing to make the final cut.

The Chiefs’ interest in Moore was previously reported, but word of the Texans’ inquiry is new. However, after Houston signed Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb in free agency in the spring and claimed Stephen Morris off of waivers earlier this month, there’s no longer a clear fit for Moore.

Moore appeared in four games last year, including two starts. He completed 61.4% of his throws with four touchdowns against five interceptions. The veteran has 30 career starts on his resume, but all but five of those came between 2007-2011.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Interested In Chad Henne, Matt Moore

The Chiefs will meet with Chad Henne on Thursday night, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Darlington (on Twitter). The Chiefs also have interest in Dolphins free agent signal caller Matt Moore, Darlington adds. 

The Titans and Dolphins are also showing interest in Henne, who has spent the last six seasons with the Jaguars. Henne has appeared in only six games since 2014, but NFL teams believe that he profiles as a solid backup option. In KC, he’d be the No. 2 QB behind Patrick Mahomes, giving them an experienced Plan B. The last time Henne, 33 in July, saw consistent playing time was 2013, when he completed 60.6% of his passes for 3,241 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.

Moore, another free agent QB from a Florida team, will turn 34 in August. Last year, it was reported that he felt slighted by Miami’s signing of Jay Cutler, so he could be looking to move on this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Remain Committed To Ryan Tannehill

The Dolphins will not among the team’s in the market for a quarterback this season. At least, not a starting quarterback. Ryan Tannehill’s health is a concern after he suffered ACL injuries in back-to-back seasons, but the team is “fully on the Tannehill bandwagon,” Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald writes.Ryan Tannehill

That may seem like a no-brainer decision, but the Dolphins would only be on the hook for $4.6MM in dead money if they were to release Tannehill this offseason. Also, this year’s free agent quarterback market is the best its been in a while with players like Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, and Case Keenum potentially reaching the open market. Rather than overpay for another vet in free agency, the Fins will move forward with Tannehill as their top QB.

Given Tannehill’s knee troubles, the Dolphins know that they have to have a solid QB2 at the ready if Tannehill suffers another injury. Trouble is, backup Matt Moore is headed for unrestricted free agency and Salguero hears that he may be headed for another team.

Moore, 34 in August, felt slighted by the signing of Jay Cutler and wants to explore his options to see if he might be a better fit with another team. Meanwhile, Cutler is also on an expiring contract and it’s hard to see the Dolphins shelling out enough money to keep him as a reserve, particularly given his up-and-down season. If Moore doesn’t return, Miami may want to explore some borderline QB1/QB2 types, like Tyrod Taylor. Alternatively, they could find their Tannehill contingency in the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Gordon, Bolts, Cutler, Steelers

Browns receiver Josh Gordon declared himself ready to go despite having another week before he is ready to be activated, according to ESPN’s Tony Grossi.

It’s been awesome. It’s been a joy. It’s been fun. It’s been exciting,” Gordon said Friday. “I think I knocked that rust off prior to getting back to the building. I think I accomplished that. First day of practice, [I was] able to adjust pretty quickly.

Anyone worried about Gordon needing time to round into shape hasn’t kept up with his comeback. The former All-Pro receiver has been working out constantly and looks ready to go when the team can activate him in Week 13.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • The Chargers did not escape their Thanksgiving Day bout with the Cowboys unscathed. Kicker Nick Novak sustained a back injury and his status has led the team to possibly tryout kickers next week, Eric Williams of ESPN reports (Twitter link).
  • Staying in Los Angeles, the Chargers also expect rookie wideout Mike Williams to miss time, though it has ruled out an ACL injury, Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams writes. Williams was carted off the field with an injury during the game.
  • The Dolphins have ruled out Jay Cutler (concussion) for Week 12 vs. New England, ESPN’s James Walker reports (Twitter link). The team will turn to Matt Moore for the divisional bout.
  • Steelers rookie wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster has been ruled out of the team’s Sunday night matchup with Green Bay, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. (Twitter link). The first-year receiver from USC has been impressive in recent weeks, averaging 17.2 yards per reception and logging five touchdowns on the season. He will miss the game due to a hamstring injury.

AFC Notes: Bills, Phins, Cutler, Broncos, Jets

Though there weren’t many positives to glean from a 54-24 drubbing by the Chargers, the Bills did receive one bit of good news on Monday. Newly acquired wideout Kelvin Benjamin did not tear his ACL in the loss, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter link).

Though the injury could force the physical receiver to miss a few games, he should be able to help the Bills, currently tied with Baltimore for the last playoff spot, contend for a wildcard berth down the stretch.

After letting Robert Woods walk and trading away Sammy Watkins in the offseason, Buffalo pulled off a deadline deal with Carolina for Benjamin, who was expected to serve as Tyrod Taylor‘s top target. That has yet to come to fruition with Benjamin catching four passes in two games and Taylor being benched for the first half vs. Los Angeles.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Dolphins QB Jay Cutler is officially in the NFL’s concussion protocol, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Dolphins are 4-6 and mired in a four-game losing streak, so their showdown with New England could be a make-or-break game for their slim playoff hopes. Matt Moore will assume the starting role should Cutler not be fit for the game.
  • After being placed on injured reserve earlier this month, Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley underwent surgery to repair his injured shin on Monday, NBC Sports’ Scott Blair reports. The cornerback suffered the injury in training camp and aggravated it in Week 3 vs. Washington.
  • The Jets are still holding out hope for the postseason. With that in mind, the team will roll with Josh McCown as the team’s starting quarterback unless injured, reports Newsday’s Calvin Watkins. McCown is on the same page as Bowles and appreciates the vote of confidence.
  • Following the firing of Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator, the Broncos promoted Bill Musgrave to the post and named Klint Kubiak quarterbacks coach, according to Schefter. The offensive coordinator in Oakland the last two seasons, Musgrave helped the Raiders produce one of the league’s most potent offenses in 2016. Kubiak, the son of former Broncos head coach and team senior personnel advisor Gary Kubiak, served as wide receivers coach at Kansas in 2015 before joining the Broncos as an assistant in 2016.
  • Remaining with the shakeup in Denver, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes that John Elway should also receive some blame for the team’s downward spiral in 2017. Florio writes: “Despite efforts to blame the players and, as of Monday morning, to blame offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and possibly to blame coach Vance Joseph, responsibility for the six-game losing goes to every layer and level of the organization, and the buck ultimately stops on Elway’s desk.”

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Rosen, Darnold, McDermott, Bills QB’s, Kizer, Broncos Offense

The Dolphins dropped their fourth game in a row when the Bucs broke away in the fourth quarter of today’s contest, which has James Walker of ESPN.com saying that the team will start have to turn their attention to 2018. While Walker does note that the coaches and players will say that they’re still in the wild card hunt, the reality is that the team is showing no signs of making a run during the remaining weeks of the regular season. It’s a sobering thought for second-year head coach Adam Gase, who led Miami to a playoff birth during his first season as the Dolphins leader.

In addition to the defeat, the team also lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler to a concussion during today’s game. Cutler has already missed time earlier in the season, but the Dolphins continue to have an identity problem at the position, according to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald. Although Matt Moore was effective in relief of Cutler in Week 11, the team did not signal what they intend to do at the quarterback position a week from now.

Gase told Beasley after the game that, “I want to get to tomorrow first, see how [Cutler is] feeling.” These situations usually get more light shed on them as the practice week goes on, however the Dolphins find themselves stuck in an unassuming gray area of the league with two veteran signal callers that can’t be relied on to deliver in the future. Miami still has Ryan Tannehill signed to a long-term deal when he fully recovers from his season-ending knee injury, but he hasn’t truly grabbed the reigns of the franchise since the team took the quarterback in the first round back in 2012.

  • Another team definitely looking ahead in regards to the QB position is the Jets, who had their general manager Mike Maccagnan, vice president of personnel Brian Heimerdinger and area scout Brian Shields on hand for the USC-UCLA game on Saturday to watch two of the best 2018 NFL Draft QB prospects in Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold square off, reports Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini notes the interesting behavior of Maccagnan in particular, who he saw writing a “copious” amount of notes and decided to watch the game from behind the sidelines instead of in the press box, where most of the NFL scouts were sitting. The Jets are likely to cast a wide net in their search for their next franchise signal, but it would seem that the front office has a significant amount of interest in two of the best college quarterbacks in the country.
  • The Bills have produced themselves a tremendous QB controversy when they shockingly decided to bench starter Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman. However, after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of today’s loss at the hands of the Chargers, head coach Sean McDermott is confident and says that he is not second guessing his decision, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. The head coach didn’t reveal his intentions for who will start next week, even though Taylor did finish out the game today. The coach just said, “I’m going to evaluate.” when asked about his QB questions in his postgame media session, reports Vic Carruci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
  • On the other hand, Browns head coach Hue Jackson committed to his rookie signal caller for the rest of the season after today’s game, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Jackson has turned to both Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler throughout the season, but he seemed very set on DeShone Kizer after his team suffered their 10th straight loss of the 2017 season. “Where we are right now, I need to continue to see him,” said Jackson. “Let’s let him play. Let’s let him play this thing out. As long as he’s healthy, let’s keep putting him out there. I want to walk away from this season knowing exactly what DeShone Kizer is top to bottom. He deserves that. I know this is all tough for him. Week in and week out, it’s the consistency he has to keep chasing. He just has to keep working at it.” While seeing how Kizer reacts to this adversity seems like the franchise’s main priority, they’re quickly running out of chances to not fall into the same breadth as the 2008 Lions, who were the first team in league history to go 0-16 in a season.
  • The Broncos suffered their sixth straight loss at the hands of the Bengals after starting out 3-1 to start the season. The team has shifted to backup Brock Osweiler and could be looking to implement second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch at some point in the remaining six weeks of the season. However, apart from the QB problems, the team is apparently dealing with pushback from players regarding their current offensive scheme, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Sources tell the reporter that players are starting to show frustration with the way the offense is running. The team does have two very good receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but there are a ton of holes throughout the unit that schemes won’t hide. We’ll see how first-year head coach Vance Joseph reacts to the losing streak, but it’s turning out that this is a lost season for the Super Bowl 50 champions.

Latest On Dolphins’ Quarterback Plans

Some rumors coming out of Miami prior to this season indicated it was possible Jay Cutler could stick around for the Dolphins as a potential Ryan Tannehill replacement. That doesn’t appear to be the franchise’s plan.

The Dolphins are committed to having Tannehill return as the starting quarterback in 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). Adam Gase and the Dolphins front office think “extremely highly” of Tannehill, and they’re committed to having him return for a seventh season in Miami before possibly deciding what to do at quarterback after next season, per Rapoport. Tannehill’s contract becomes a pay-as-you-go arrangement after 2018 (and only $4.6MM in dead money is attached to a Tannehill release after this season).

But the Dolphins have likely seen Tannehill emerge as their best option given what the Cutler-led offense has generated in his absence. However, the Cutler era looks set to continue once he returns from his rib injury.

Miami remains committed to having Cutler come back as the starter, despite how Matt Moore fares against the Ravens on Thursday night, Rapoport reports. The team believes Cutler will be sufficiently healthy by Week 9, and the Dolphins intend on benching Moore for Cutler should that occur. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported earlier this week the Dolphins were going to keep Cutler as their starter.

Despite the Dolphins’ offense noticeably less potent under Cutler than it was under Tannehill or even Moore last season, the team is evidently intent on continuing to see if the 34-year-old recently unretired passer can turn his season around.

Cutler and Moore threw for two touchdown passes apiece in the Dolphins’ Week 7 win over the Jets, but Cutler is averaging a career-worst 5.5 yards per attempt through his six starts. Moore averaged 8.29 yards per attempt last season and finished with eight touchdown passes compared to three interceptions in his three relief starts for Tannehill last December.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Chargers, Cutler, Thomas

The LA Chargers experiment has come under fire from some for their small stadium, high prices and noticeable attendance from the road fanbases over the first six weeks of the NFL season. However, a Chargers team representative reportedly defended the move during last week’s owners meetings, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. La Canfora points out that the team does have a few years to get things right before they move into the new Inglewood stadium that will be shared with their Hollywood rival Rams. Although, there’s still concern about the lack of a Plan B if things continue to sputter for the newly relocated franchise. In addition to facing the challenge of capturing attention of the fanbase from the now 5-2 Rams, the Chargers are set in a smaller stadium and less certainty off the gridiron as well, even though it would seem that the team’s ownership group is not backing down from the problems that have stemmed from their controversial move from San Diego.

  • Jay Cutler will soon undergo X-Rays on his ribs due to an injury he suffered in today’s game vs. the Jets, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter Link). Rapoport adds that team officials fear he has suffered cracked ribs, but will “check it all”. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com adds that he is now hearing Cutler may be out for the next 2-3 weeks. The injury adds to what has been a pedestrian season for the once retired 34 year-old. Through six games, he’s accumulated a QBR in the 30s, throwing almost as many picks as touchdowns (7 TD-5 INT). For the time being, Miami will turn to backup Matt Moore who led the team to a second half comeback in today’s win over New York.
  • In another injury news, All-Pro Browns tackle Joe Thomas had his consecutive snaps streak broken after exiting with an apparent left arm injury. The injury represents another blow to what has been another gloomy season in Cleveland. The veteran lineman sent out a personal tweet after today’s game confirming that he will undergo an MRI tomorrow. Thomas has been a staple on the Browns offensive line since he was drafted by the team third overall in 2006. He played an incredible 10,363 offensive snaps until he exited today, which truly shows that grit and toughness of arguably best offensive lineman in the league for the past decade.
  • Patriots highly-paid cornerback Stephon Gilmore sat out last week after suffering a concussion when he collided with the Bucs Mike Evans in Week 5. However, even with Gilmore and fellow corner Eric Rowe sidelined, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com opines that the team is more likely to promote a player for the practice squad than sign a veteran free agent like Leon Hall. Without Gilmore, the Pats will be relying Malcolm Butler, Johnson Bademosi and Jonathan Jones in the short-term.
  • Jags rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook is eligible to come off the IR after week 8 and he could be a welcomed deep ball threat for an offense that lost Allen Robinson early in the season, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. DiRocco cautioned that the team’s 2017 fourth round pick hasn’t played an NFL snap, but could operate as the Jags third wideout behind Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns because of his speed and big play ability. Jacksonville had struggled passing the ball through the first six weeks of the season, but found their rhythm today, albeit against a struggling Colts defense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Notes: Quarterbacks, Moore, Cutler

It has been a tumultuous 24 hours for the Dolphins. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill left practice earlier this week after suffering a non-contact injury, and subsequent reports have indicated the 29-year-old may miss the entire upcoming season.

Predictably, a number of free agent quarterbacks have now been connected to the wide-open Miami gig, including former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Reports said that the organization had reached out to the veteran signal-caller, while later whispers said that there was mutual interest between the two sides. The 34-year-old retired back in May, but signing with Miami would allow him to reunite with former Bears’ offensive coordinator (and current Dolphins head coach) Adam Gase.

There haven’t been many updates since last night, but we’ve compiled several reactions to all of the news below…

  • ESPN’s Josina Anderson said (via Twitter) that no deal is imminent between the Dolphins and Jay Cutler. The team is still doing its due diligence and having discussions on all of the possible options. Our list of the top available quarterbacks can be found here.
  • One of those options would seemingly be backup quarterback Matt Moore, who has appeared in 10 total games over the past five seasons. If the 32-year-old is required to step in as the starter, he’s confident the offense can continue to click. “I’ve done this before in stepping up and getting ready if need be,” Moore told ESPN.com’s James Walker. “So that’s as much as I know and kind of the attitude I have moving forward. It stinks [with Tannehill being injured], but I thought today was a good practice. Guys were popping around and pretty competitive.”
  • Meanwhile, while many assumed that Cutler had retired for good, former teammate Kyle Long said he wouldn’t be shocked if the veteran returns to the field. “Obviously, knowing Jay for a while, I completely thought he was on full Montana mode, just chilling with his wife and kids,” the Bears lineman said (via ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson). “But nothing would surprise me. Obviously being with [Dolphins coach Adam] Gase here and having relative success and a good relationship there, you never know. I don’t know anything about it. I just read about it today and thought it was pretty funny as well.”

AFC Notes: Tannehill, Pitta, Green, Chargers

Ryan Tannehill will get a second opinion on his knee Tuesday after learning earlier today he didn’t tear an ACL but rather sprained his ACL and MCL. The plan for now is for the Dolphins to trot out backup Matt Moore in the next two games in which Tannehill will definitely not play, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports, and give the franchise passer a chance to stabilize the knee before contemplating a potential Week 17 return against the Patriots.

Salguero notes if the Week 17 game against the Patriots is meaningful for the Dolphins’ playoff hopes and Tannehill wouldn’t risk long-term knee damage, Adam Gase will hound his training staff with questions and consider starting him in a game that could well have home-field advantage on the line for the Pats. However, Salguero notes Tannehill’s ACL is partially torn since it’s been categorized as a sprain, and there will likely be a risk of a full tear if he returns in three weeks.

Additionally, if Tannehill cannot recover in time for the New Year’s Day tilt, the Dolphins will keep him on the roster in 2017 to guarantee $14.5MM of his salary next season. The team will reinstall the former first-round pick as its starting quarterback next season, Salguero writes, with the Jay Cutler talk no longer being a possibility despite Tannehill’s cap number escalating from $11.6MM to $20.3MM.

Here’s more from the AFC.

  • It’s time for the Bills to bench Tyrod Taylor and install Cardale Jones as the starter, ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak opines. The Bills, of course, have to decide on Taylor this offseason and it would behoove them to know what they have in their young backup. “He’s working hard,” offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said recently of Jones. “He’s a gunslinger, strong arm. You watch him in scout team, we evaluate his reps in scout team. He’s putting the ball in the right places. He’s accurate. I think his development is coming along fine.” Recently, GM Doug Whaley insisted that he won’t be turning things over to Jones, but things could be different after yesterday’s loss to Pittsburgh. The Bills are now 6-7 with slim odds of reaching the postseason.
  • Matt Forte is day-to-day after hyper-extending his right knee, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports. Although the Jets starter heard “cracking and popping” before the knee swelled, Forte was confident there was no ligament damage. Bilal Powell totaled 179 yards from scrimmage and two TDs in relief. Forte has played in all 13 Jets games this season; he’s only missed three contests in a single campaign twice and never more than four.
  • Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta will max out his incentives for 2016, as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com writes. Under the terms of his reworked contract, Pitta’s salary was cut from $5MM to $1MM, but the Ravens added $3MM in incentives to help bridge the gap. The 31-year-old needed to catch 60 passes for a $1MM receptions incentive and he’s already topped that with 61. He also has to appear in 50% of the team’s snaps for the other $2MM and he’s in line to do that as well.
  • Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says wide receiver A.J. Green expects to return to practice on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). With Cincinnati sitting at 5-7-1, a Green return would be more important to fantasy players than the Bengals’ 2016 season at this point. Green has missed the past three games with a severe hamstring injury. He sits 36 yards away from a sixth straight 1,000-yard slate.
  • Continuing on the injury front, Melvin Gordon has both a hip strain and a left knee sprain, Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes. Gordon underwent microfracture surgery on the same knee this offseason. The Chargers fell to 5-8 after losing to the Panthers on Sunday, and although Gordon wants to finish the season, his injury history may point to the Bolts exercising caution here. Gordon didn’t finish the 2015 season due to injury and then had surgery. If Gordon’s season ends after 13 games, he’ll finish three rushing yards shy of 1,000 in a bounce-back year. Mike McCoy said that number will have no bearing on whether the second-year back returns in 2016.
  • The NFL has suspended Chargers defensive end Tenny Palepoi for four games for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Zach Links contributed to this report