David Fales looks like leader for Dolphins’ backup quarterback job

David Fales has years of credibility with Adam Gase. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — When Dolphins coach Adam Gase insisted last month that he won’t be making any calls to veteran free agent quarterbacks if Ryan Tannehill gets hurt again, it might have been difficult to understand why he was so resolute about going forward with the backups already on the roster.

First there’s David Fales, a 27-year-old who’s been on three teams and played in three games since being drafted in the sixth round out of San Jose State in 2014.

Then there’s Brock Osweiler. The same age as Fales, he’s on his fourth team and barely has more career touchdowns (31) than interceptions (27).

If all else fails, there’s Bryce Petty. He was a disaster with the Jets and seems highly unlikely to make the Dolphins’ roster.

So which of those three gives Gase so much confidence? The way he’s talked this offseason, it appears to be Fales.

“He just keeps getting better,” Gase said of him Tuesday, three weeks into the team’s offseason practices. “He’s making a lot of plays. I think he’s utilizing the guys he’s working with and I think getting to go with Albert (Wilson), Jakeem (Grant) and Isaiah (Ford) and Drew (Morgan), they’ve all been in this offense now – expect for Albert – for two or three years, so guys know what to do.

“He doesn’t have to worry about telling anybody what to do or dealing with any rookies at wide receiver. You’re able to just do you job. I think he’s doing a good job of finding the open guy and completing passes.”

Fales was with the Dolphins last offseason, too, and never had much chance at making the final cut. Miami was prepared to go into the year with Tannehill and Matt Moore as the only quarterbacks on the roster, and when Tannehill blew out his knee, Gase was content with Cutler and Moore.

He kept in touch with Fales, though. He worked out in California hoping someone would call, but went unsigned. When Cutler suffered broken ribs last October, Gase brought Fales back as the No. 2 behind Moore.

Miami kept him the rest of the season as a contingency because of Cutler’s age and Moore being battered by injuries. He played mop-up minutes against the Broncos in early December and took over for Cutler in the first quarter of a meaningless season finale against the Bills.

Gase would dispute labeling that game meaningless, actually. From his standpoint, Buffalo certainly wasn’t treating the game that way, so whatever Fales accomplished in that afternoon was worthwhile to him.

His line: 29 for 42, 265 yards, one touchdown and one interception for a passer rating of 83.9.

There’s nothing amazing about that, but it’s certainly above the line of what’s expected from a backup quarterback.

“It was definitely encouraging,” said Bo Hardegree, his position coach. “He did some things that you don’t get to see in practice with pocket presence. I wasn’t surprised at some things that he did, making some plays with his legs. He does a really good job of getting the ball out fast because he is a very smart person.

“It’s good for Adam Gase to be able to call plays knowing, again, that he’s not going to put us in a losing situation. He’s going to get the ball out of his hands and we’re going to stay on schedule – first down, second down, first down, second down. That’s what we try to do.”

The question on Fales, then, is why has he been a journeyman if he’s got such a promising makeup? He spent his first two years on Chicago’s bench (Gase was his offensive coordinator there in 2015), then had a brief stop with the Ravens before coming back to the Bears in 2016.

What’s held him back?

“Overthinking,” Gase said.

It was a puzzling answer considering how often Gase credits Fales’ intelligence and ability to make prudent decisions in pressure-packed situations that would rush other quarterbacks into mistakes.

Thinking is good, but thinking too much can be costly. The balance is so delicate that it’s the difference between being an NFL starter and bouncing from team to team as Fales has.

“He can process a lot in his brain, and (we’re) just making sure that he just sticks with what we’re doing and don’t go too far outside the box,” Gase said. “Sometimes he’ll take a couple of extra steps that those other guys aren’t ready for. Sometimes he just (needs to) run the play and execute it.”

If Fales can find the sweet spot Gase is describing, it sounds like it’s his job to lose.

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Two weeks into OTAs, Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill looks dangerous

Ryan Tannehill has been great in OTAs so far. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — The Dolphins were full of anticipation for Ryan Tannehill’s return to the practice field, and he has not disappointed.

After six Organized Team Activities practices, coaches and teammates have been impressed by his command of the offense and mobility. He looks good as ever, maybe better, as he progresses toward his comeback season.

“He’s looking great in practice,” quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree said this week. “He was moving around (Thursday) in two-minute drill, which was our first day… He was making some plays, unscheduled plays like we expect him to do, an athletic quarterback. He’s looking good.”

Offensive and defensive players have given Tannehill positive reviews during the first two weeks of OTAs, and a couple of them have pointed out that it’s not just the plays he makes. His leadership, including firing back at the defense when it starts talking trash, has been refreshing after his extended layoff.

Tannehill has not played a game since December 2016 and had not practiced since his left knee gave out in training camp last August. He strung together some of his best games late in the 2016 season, his first one working with Adam Gase, and looked poised for a breakout year when he shined in OTAs last spring.

The Dolphins never got to see the results of that progress. Instead, they turned to Jay Cutler as their starter last year with spot appearances by backups Matt Moore and David Fales.

To Tannehill’s credit, he continued to stay fully involved in the offense. He was at practices, in meetings and had an earpiece on the sideline while standing next to Gase during games last year. That helped him continue to develop his grasp of the offense despite not playing, and that experience has shown already in OTAs.

“It just helps you make quicker decisions,” Hardegree said. “The big thing at the quarterback position is being able to play fast and think less, and just go out and react… We’re rolling, trying to play fast and he’s doing a really good job of that.”

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Miami Dolphins formulating plan for QB Ryan Tannehill in OTAs

No issue is bigger for the Dolphins this year than Ryan Tannehill’s return. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — The Dolphins are planning on quarterback Ryan Tannehill returning to the practice field this month for the first time since a major knee injury last summer, but they’re still finalizing a plan for his workload.

He’s looked strong throughout the rehabilitation process, including some workouts in public view last season while Jay Cutler played quarterback, and coach Adam Gase has been encouraged by what Tannehill’s been doing recently.

“I’ve seen a guy that’s very confident,” he said. “I know he’s excited to get back out there. I know us as coaches, we’re excited to have him out there. He’s just really smooth with the operation that we’ve been able to do as far as what we’re doing in practice or those throwing sessions. It just feels smooth.”

Tannehill has not spoken to the media since the injury, but is expected to do so during Organized Team Activities, which start May 22.

While he might appear to be back to normal, the Dolphins are being careful about their plan for him and are seeking ongoing input from medical personnel.

“He looks good to me, but at the same time, he still has to go through all of those steps with the doctors and with our trainers,” Gase said. “We’re just going through the process of it all right now. I know nobody wants to hear that, but that’s just what it is.”

Tannehill was playing the best football of his career in Gase’s first season before going down with a left knee injury in December.

Over the final eight games of 2016, the last time he played, he completed 69.1 percent of his passes, had 13 touchdowns against five interceptions, averaged 215 yards per game and posted a 100.1 passer rating.

He elected to rehab that injury, which was diagnosed as a Grade-2 sprain to his MCL and a sprained ACL, rather than have surgery. He made it through all of the offseason program, but his knee gave out in training camp and ended his season. He had surgery last year, and the Dolphins turned to Cutler and Moore.

This season, they have Brock Osweiler and David Fales as the primary competitors for the backup job, and Bryce Petty is getting a shot as well. Gase was adamant today that he will be content to go forward with Osweiler or Fales as the No. 2 quarterback and won’t be making any desperate phone calls to veterans if Tannehill goes down again.

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Miami Dolphins make Ryan Tannehill risk even bigger with no safety net

Everything’s riding on Ryan Tannehill this year. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The Dolphins are making a sizable gamble on Ryan Tannehill with the hope that he not only produces a nice comeback story after a major knee injury, but also immediately start playing the best football of his life at 30.

And while that’s living a little more dangerously than some might be able to stomach, their logic is reasonable given how well he played last time he was on the field.

What doesn’t make sense, though, is that they’ve heightened the risk by going forward with the smallest possible safety net. With no addition in the draft and no proven free agent coming aboard, they’ve made this as difficult on themselves as possible.

The lesson they said they learned from last season’s debacle — David Fales, Matt Moore and $10 million man Jay Cutler combined for some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL — doesn’t seem to have stuck.

“Last year didn’t go, obviously, the way we hoped,” vice president Mike Tannenbaum said in January. “It gave us a chance to reflect on some things we could do better. Part of that is making sure that we have good depth at as many positions as possible, knowing that over the course of a 16-game season, they’re going to play. That’s what history shows us.”

Similarly, coach Adam Gase said it’s not prudent to go without contingency at quarterback, and owner Stephen Ross was so fed up by how poorly Tannehill’s fill-ins did last year that he dropped an f-bomb when assessing the season after the finale.

Yet here the Dolphins are, about two weeks away from the start of Organized Team Activities, and the fallbacks in case something goes wrong with Tannehill are Fales, Brock Osweiler and Bryce Petty. If Gase felt shaky proceeding with Moore as his starter last summer, imagine how unsettling it’ll be to march on with one of those three.

It’s hard to pick a frontrunner for the backup job, and that’s not good. The Miami secondary looks like it’ll be in for a fun spring of OTAs and minicamp as these guys try to separate themselves.

It’s very possible none of them would make an NFL roster other than the Dolphins’ this season.

Fales probably — maybe — has the inside track after performing well enough last year (mostly in practice) that he had Gase touting his potential this offseason and got re-signed. The Dolphins cut him at the end of the preseason last year, and he was out of the league until they called again when Cutler got hurt in October.

He’s played in three games since being drafted four years ago and in two appearances for the Dolphins last year, he completed 29 of 43 passes for a total of 265 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Likewise, Osweiler hasn’t been flush with suitors over the past year. In fact, teams have worked noticeably hard to get rid of him.

Houston gave up a second-round pick last March just to get Cleveland to take his contract in a trade. On the hook for the rest of his guaranteed money either way, the Browns decided they were better off paying him $16 million to leave than to stay.

His best season, the one that landed him a four-year, $72 million contract, was in 2015. He stepped in for Peyton Manning in Denver and completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns against six interceptions while posting a passer rating of 86.4.

That came after three years of being coached by Gase, who was with the Broncos when they drafted Osweiler at No. 57 overall in 2012 and left for Chicago in the 2015 offseason.

Petty, who was acquired on a waiver claim Friday, is the only one who has no history with Gase and he’s the least formed of the three. At 26, he’s a year younger than Fales and Osweiler.

The Jets drafted him in the fourth round in 2015, and he never broke through as a full-time starter. He stayed on the bench his entire first year, then appeared in 10 games over the next two. He completed 53.1 percent of his attempts, had four touchdown passes, threw 10 interceptions and mustered a 57.1 passer rating.

The best thing to be said of that trio is it’ll barely cost the Dolphins anything. The three of them combined — Miami will keep two, at most — are set to count $2.1 million against the salary cap this season. The rosiest view is that perhaps Gase, hired by this team in large part because of his reputation as a quarterback whisperer, can work his magic to turn at least one of them into a viable backup.

As good as Gase might be, that doesn’t look like a great hedge in case Tannehill can’t make it through the next seven months without interruption.

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Stocked at quarterback, Miami Dolphins move on from Brandon Doughty

Brandon Doughty is a free agent. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

Stocked at quarterback, Miami Dolphins move on from Brandon Doughty

The Dolphins placed Brandon Doughty on waivers today, ending his two-year run as their practice squad quarterback. The move frees up Doughty to look elsewhere for playing time, which appeared unlikely with Miami.

Doughty, 26, was the team’s seventh-round draft pick in 2016 and never made it onto the active roster.

When Ryan Tannehill went down in 2016, the Dolphins brought in free agent T.J. Yates as the backup to Matt Moore. When they needed an emergency option again last year, they called David Fales.

Going into the upcoming season, the team has Tannehill entrenched as the starter with Fales and recently signed Brock Osweiler competing to be his backup. Fales appears to be the frontrunner for that spot, and Osweiler, despite his struggles, has played in 42 career games.

It’s also possible Miami will draft a quarterback in one of the higher rounds this year.

That setup wouldn’t have left much of an opportunity for Doughty, and given the timing of this move, it has the appearance that he wanted to be turned loose to find another team.

Doughty has one season remaining of practice squad eligibility.

In four preseason games last year, he had two touchdown passes against two interceptions and completed 19 of 40 attempts for 263 yards. He played extensively in the final game at Minnesota, completing 8 of 17 throws for 106 yards.

Doughty was a South Florida kid who grew up rooting for the Dolphins and played at North Broward Prep. He started three years at Western Kentucky and earned back-to-back Conference USA MVP honors before being drafted.

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QB Brock Osweiler has struggled, so should the Miami Dolphins bother signing him?

Brock Osweiler calls signals for the Texans against the Patriots in January 2017. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If there’s one team that ought to know the importance of a dependable backup quarterback, it’s the Dolphins, which explains why free agent Brock Osweiler is visiting Davie.

The Dolphins are bringing back David Fales, potentially to back up Ryan Tannehill, and also have practice squad player Brandon Doughty, but they’re testing Osweiler to see if the ex-Bronco could raise the level of confidence in the team’s tenuous position.

Osweiler gets his foot in the door because of his connection to coach Adam Gase, from Gase’s time as Denver’s offensive coordinator and QB coach.

Osweiler is expendable in John Elway’s eyes because the Broncos landed Case Keenum as starter, but there’s more to it.

Osweiler’s stock peaked in 2015 on the strength of eight quality games with the Broncos, which landed him a four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans. Which is about where this story takes a major turn, raising questions that should make the Dolphins take a hard look before offering a contract.

‘Suffice to say, the Texans free-agency splurge for Brock Osweiler might go down as one of the worst in NFL history.’ — headline in The Houston Chronicle last March

“Suffice to say, the Texans free-agency splurge for Brock Osweiler might go down as one of the worst in NFL history.” That was the headline in The Houston Chronicle last March when he was about to be shipped to Cleveland largely for cap relief. The story went on to compare Osweiler to Albert Haynesworth among the great free-agent busts.

Things actually got worse. The Browns, it turned out, didn’t have any use for him, either, so he spent the 2017 season back in Denver, appearing in six games, completing just 55.8 percent with five touchdowns and five interceptions for a passer rating of 72.5.

Perspective on 72.5: He has to look up — way up — just to see Jay Cutler’s 80.8 last season.

More perspective on 72.5: It’s who he is. In 42 career games, Osweiler’s career rating is 76.5.

Would Osweiler represent an improvement to the QB corps? The Dolphins seem likely to move on from Matt Moore even though Moore had a better rating last season (75.6) and for his career (81.2). He’s more accurate, has a better TD-to-interception ratio and averages nearly a yard more per completion at 7.1.

But Moore is 33 years old, so it’s understandable if the Dolphins want to make a change at No. 2. What might have been more understandable is if they’d made that change last summer. Think about it: Last year we knew Tannehill’s knee was an iffy proposition, and the minute he went down in preseason, Gase was calling Cutler, which tells you he didn’t trust Moore with the keys to the team for an entire season.

That being so, why had everything been banked on Tannehill’s knee holding up? If the backup QB can’t be trusted to see extensive action, why have him as the backup QB?

The Cutler move cost the Dolphins $10 million in cap space that could have been carried over into this year. It may have been the best they could do in scrambling mode, but the return on the investment was 19 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and an 80.8 rating — Moore-like numbers.

Back in September 2016, there were smiles when Osweiler made his Texans debut, leading a 23-14 win over the Bears with 231 yards and two TD passes. It went downhill from there. He never had a 300-yard game with the Texans. Only four times did he walk off the field as a Texan without throwing an interception. Late that season, he was benched in favor of Tom Savage, only to reclaim the job when Savage suffered a concussion.

One Sunday night, NBC analyst Rodney Harrison said on air, “Every week we watch tape on the Texans and Brock Osweiler. I’m trying to find every reason not to say that he’s a terrible football player.”

OK, that’s harsh. He landed that monster contract by performing capably enough with the Broncos, so it made sense to return to his safe haven. Elway hoped to get him back on track, saying “a little football rehab” was required, and it would not have been a shock if it had worked.

Even after going 0-4 in limited starts in 2017, Osweiler said he hoped to finish his career in Denver. Now that it’s Keenum’s era, those plans are changing. And once again, Gase could reunite from someone from a previous stop, just as he has with assistants Dowell Loggains and Eric Studesville, plus Cutler and tight end Julius Thomas.

Maybe Osweiler will be signed, maybe not. But if he is, just remember there still are no guarantees regarding Tannehill’s knee, meaning a decision slightly under the radar in March could become anything but minor again this fall.

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Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill injury: Update on rehab work

Ryan Tannehill has five months to be ready for training camp. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

INDIANAPOLIS—Regardless of whether the Dolphins draft a quarterback high this year or find a quality veteran in free agency, they remain firmly committed to Ryan Tannehill.

Tannehill, who hasn’t played since December 2016 because of injuries to his left knee, is ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation and is expected to be back no later than the start of training camp. Miami hasn’t ruled out him being on the field for Organized Team Activities in May, either.

Going without him last year, when the Dolphins settled for Jay Cutler as his replacement, underscored how valuable he is.

“I’m extremely excited,” Gase said. “I know really our entire roster is. The guys that I talk to at the end of the year, everybody appreciated what he brought to the table in years past.

“Sometimes you lose perspective of what somebody does for your team and what he did for us in 2016 when we lost him and going through an entire season without having him. I think the appreciation for him, not only for the coaching staff but other players is very high.”

Tannehill was with the team throughout last season and stayed current on tweaks Gase made to the offense in order to ensure he would not be behind when he came back.

He also often did rehab exercises in view of the media at practices and games. He was running stadium stairs by midseason and looked good throwing deep balls in pre-game warmups. All of that has been encouraging to the Dolphins.

“As far as what the trainers and doctors have told me, everything has progressed extremely well,” Gase said. “He’s a physical freak, and we’ll just kind of play this one as the week goes on, throughout the offseason. I won’t personally know until we get into those stages to where we can be out at practice throwing.

“All I can do is hear things are going good. He’s moving around well (and) he’s able to do what he needs to do to play quarterback.”

Tannehill will turn 30 this summer, and the confident comments on his recovery from knee surgery don’t guarantee anything. He and the Dolphins were equally adamant that he was fine a year ago.

The upside, though, is that his return offers a chance to continue the improvement he showed under Gase while playing for him two years ago. Tannehill posted career highs in passer rating (93.5), completion percentage (67.1) and yards per attempt (7.7).

With Cutler, Matt Moore and David Fales playing quarterback for the Dolphins last year, they ranked 18th in the league in yards and had the third-most interceptions. Their collective passer rating of 78.7 placed 28th.

Gase said he has no doubt Tannehill will be the Dolphins’ starter in the upcoming season and “I don’t see that changing anytime soon.” If Miami drafts a quarterback at No. 11, or any other round for that matter, it would theoretically be to use that player as Tannehill’s backup in 2018.

Gase does not believe Tannehill would view it as a threat or have any objection to the team drafting a quarterback.

Tannehill’s contract runs through 2020 and pays him an average of $20.1 million per year. His $19.8 million salary cap hit this season will rank no higher than 15th at his position.

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ESPN ranks Miami Dolphins among league worst in quarterback confidence

Ryan Tannehill is coming back, but not everyone is as confident as the Dolphins. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The Dolphins have been adamant that they expect quarterback Ryan Tannehill to be healthy and back to normal for the upcoming season, but those outside their building are a bit more skeptical.

ESPN published a list this week that ranked all 32 NFL teams in terms of confidence in their current quarterback situation. The best of the bunch, predictably, were the Patriots, Eagles and Packers. Not only do those teams have top-line starter, they also have reasonably reliable backups in case of emergency.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, checked in at No. 26 overall. That puts them ahead of just six teams.

Miami heads into the busy part of the offseason with Tannehill and former seventh-round pick Brandon Doughty as the only quarterbacks under contract. Tannehill is coming off two knee issues, one of which cost him all of last season, and Doughty has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Longtime backup Matt Moore figures to be gone as he hits unrestricted free agency. Moore, who has been with the team since 2011, was bypassed in favor of retired Jay Cutler to be the starter when Tannehill went down in training camp, then was shelved late in the season as Miami proceeded with Fales as the backup.

Fales, by the way, was auditioning for the No. 2 spot last year and is going to be a restricted free agent. Dolphins coach Adam Gase has long been a fan of his and seemed interested in bringing him back.

Miami’s quarterback situation will look dramatically different if it makes a significant move in free agency or the draft. There are several compelling free agents at the position, and the Dolphins should be in reach of a top college prospect if they hang on to the No. 11 pick. They could draft a quarterback with a plan of him being Tannehill’s backup for 2018 and evaluate the newcomer’s viability as a starter—as well as Tannehill’s progress—after that.

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Miami Dolphins’ quarterbacks scrape by with barely a passing grade

Good Jay or Bad Jay? On any given Sunday, you never knew what to expect. (AP)


What went wrong for the Dolphins this season? What went right (if anything)? We assigned letter grades to each position group after every game. So with the season over, it’s time to issue final grades and see who flunked and who gets a gold star. We begin with the lightning rod of positions: quarterbacks.

Straight talk

When Ryan Tannehill went down and Adam Gase made a call to the bullpen (in this case, the broadcast booth), Dolphins fans prayed for a miracle with Jay Cutler.

But great quarterbacks aren’t stocking grocery shelves or walking the streets. They’re in NFL training camps. In other words, Kurt Warner was a once-in-a-lifetime story.

I gave Cutler a B for his Dolphins debut in a victory against the Chargers, but then followed by whacking him on the knuckles with three straight Ds. That set the tone for the season and — let’s be honest — sums up Cutler’s career. Good Jay or Bad Jay? At 12:59 p.m. on any given Sunday, that was the question.

Matt Moore had his ups and downs as well, as the Patriots proved in November. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If only he could have been the Good Jay was saw in the Monday night win over New England … then again, if he were that Jay more often, he wouldn’t have been available to the Dolphins to begin with, would he?

A month into the season, fans decided they’d seen enough, and rumblings of “We Want Moore!” were heard. At that point, Gase appeared perhaps loyal to a fault to Cutler, preferring to pin most of the struggles on anyone but Cutler.

Almost on cue, Cutler injured his ribs and Gase had to go with Moore, who likewise tended to have good days when the rest of the team also did, bad days when the world around him was collapsing. To be fair, you could have morphed Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Tom Brady into one and it wouldn’t have mattered for those nationally televised debacles.

It’s obvious Gase’s trust in Moore only goes so far, and a promising outing by third-stringer David Fales in the season finale calls into question who’ll back up Tannehill next season.

As for 2017, as soon as Cutler’s ribs allowed him to return, he was back starting, but a concussion kept the carousel spinning as the losses piled up. You’d think Cutler has been around long enough to know the importance of ball security, yet he threw three interceptions in the Dec. 17 loss in Buffalo.

Over the second half of the season, Cutler finished just two games with a passer rating above 80, also known as the Sage Rosenfels Line.

In short, a season to forget.

What it all means

Stats and league rankings: 602 attempts (fourth), 373 completions (tied for sixth), 62 percent completions (16th), 3,535 yards (18th), 6.3 yards per completion (28th), 24 TDs (15th), 21 interceptions (third most), 41 plays of 20 yards or more (23rd), 5 plays of 40 yards or more (tied for 25th), 33 sacks (11th fewest), 78.7 passer rating (28th).

Number of times QBs received an A: 1 (home vs. Patriots)

Number of times QBs received an F: 1 (at Buffalo)

Season GPA if all 16 grades are averaged out: 2.20 (C-plus)

Analysis: A 2.0 GPA is considered average, so to find out I graded them as performing above average is most distressing.

Adjusted final grade: C-minus

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Adam Gase says signing QB Jay Cutler was right move for Dolphins

Jay Cutler made sense at the time, but the move didn’t work out well for Miami. (Getty Images)

DAVIE—However regrettable it might seem to anyone on the outside that the Dolphins paid $10 million for what Jay Cutler did last season, coach Adam Gase still believes it was the right move.

Gase, who handpicked Cutler instead of incumbent backup Matt Moore as his top choice to replace injured starter Ryan Tannehill, chose him because of his familiarity from their time together in Chicago in 2015. How much did that actually pay off? Cutler was in the bottom third of the league in all major passing categories.

Gase was frustrated at some points in the season, but defended the move overall.

“He was somebody who had been in this system before,” Gase said. “We thought that we could get our guys moving in the same direction pretty quickly. It didn’t happen as fast as I was hoping. There’s a lot of good that he personally did. There was probably some games where we wish we could have done some different things.

“When you look back at it, it’s not like there were a ton of options to find a starting quarterback. We felt like Matt was a good option for us, but we felt like having two guys that we knew that could play in a regular season game was our best chance.”

Few proven quarterbacks were available at the time besides Cutler and Colin Kapernick. Kaepernick would’ve been a tougher fit given how close Miami was to starting the season, though he was under consideration. Cutler was a logical choice at the time, but it didn’t work out.

Cutler, who was 34 and retired when Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp, was up and down all year on his way to completing 62 percent of his passes, throwing 19 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, averaging a career-low 190.4 yards per game and posting an 80.8 passer rating.

The most gut-wrenching turn of the Cutler Coaster was his brilliant performance to beat the Patriots on Monday Night Football, followed by a four-fumble, three-interception disaster at Buffalo with the Dolphins’ playoff hopes on the line.

Moore was already under contract for $2.2 million this season and had played well in Tannehill’s absence the year before. Over the final month of last season, he completed 63.2 percent of his passes, averaged 180.3 yards per game and had eight touchdowns against three interceptions. He also went 29 of 36 for 289 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the playoff loss at Pittsburgh.

Moore seemed to fall out of favor with Gase late this season, and Miami’s future quarterback plans appear to be more likely to include David Fales than Moore.

[Ryan Tannehill’s 2018 return from knee injury at forefront of Dolphins’ minds]

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[Longtime tight end Anthony Fasano weighs his NFL future]

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