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INDIANAPOLIS — The worst kept secret in the NFL this offseason is the Dolphins' desire, or need, to add a quarterback.
"We talk about that almost on a daily basis, where are we going, especially in the last couple days, we've spent a lot of time doing that," said GM Jeff Ireland. "It's an ongoing process. There are lots of things (that) need to be figured out. We need to continue to go day-by-day on that search."
One of the obvious connections is Packers QB Matt Flynn, who will be an unrestricted free agent on March 13 — assuming Green Bay does not place the franchise tag on him. If they do, a trade would be required for Miami to land Flynn, something that doesn't scare Ireland.
"We'll use every avenue available to try and get the best player available at every position," he said.
Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin cannot directly talk about Flynn, but discussed what goes into the evaluation of a player who, like Flynn, does not have a wealth of starting experience. Flynn has two NFL starts in four seasons — though he performed admirably in both appearances.
"Watch the tape over and over again. If you don't have much to evaluate, you have to keep watching it over and over again and you try to find the answers that way," Ireland said. "There's not much you can do. If you like him, you get him, if you don't, you don't. That's how you evaluate him."
Arguably no coach in the NFL knows Flynn better than Philbin, who was his offensive coordinator in Green Bay.
"You want to utilize all sources of information that you have," he said. "One source of information is plays on tape. That's why we sit in those dark rooms and get the big screen and watch those guys as much as we possibly can to come up with a sound decision.
"Sometimes it is what it is. You've got to use the information that you have, however little or however much to make the decision."
Philbin discussed the qualities he is looking for in the next starting quarterback of the Dolphins, and several times emphasized the importance of having a good decision maker under center.
"We're looking for a great decision maker. A leader. An accurate passer and a guy that has excellent game-managing skills," he said.
Reports indicate, to little surprise, that Chad Henne will not be re-signed. Matt Moore, who stepped in when Henne got hurt, played well, though Ireland didn't give him much of a vote of confidence.
"He's on our roster. I talked to him the other day. He's doing good. He's out in California," Ireland said. "He fits here. We're glad to have Matt Moore on the roster. The last nine games, he went 6-3, shoot, that's pretty good. We have to utilize his strengths. He needs to clean up his footwork and clean up his reads."
Ireland, Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman need to decide what type of quarterback they want in terms of experience. There's Flynn, who has four seasons but little starting experience. Peyton Manning, who is one of the greats of all-time, but may not have many years left in the tank, is an option. Or they could go with a rookie like Robert Griffin III or Ryan Tannehill to build a franchise around for the long-term. Philbin and Ireland emphasized that they are flexible in that category.
"We don't have a mandate that the player has to be 24 years old or 33 years old or 29 years old," said Philbin. "We're looking for a manager, a leader, an accurate passer and a decision maker. However that shakes out is fine by us."
"I don't think it has to be a long-term solution. You can look at a short-term solution," Ireland said. "Obviously, you like a long-term solution, or you can certainly try to get both in that regard. You've got to try and help this football team win today and look in the future. That's my job — to try to build a team for today and the future."