Report: Gardner Minshew mentioned as possible target for Miami Dolphins in free agency

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Once free agency begins in the NFL, one potential player that the Miami Dolphins reportedly may pursue is quarterback Gardner Minshew.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald noted the Dolphins’ pressing need for someone to back up Tua Tagovailoa, with Minshew’s name being mentioned.

“The Dolphins need to find a reliable No. 2 next week, and they assuredly know it,” Jackson wrote.

“‘The name I keep hearing with them is Gardner Minshew,’ said one NFL person involved in the free agent quarterback market.

“Will Minshew – who has been a solid quarterback over 24 NFL starts – be the one the Dolphins pursue when free agency begins Monday? That’s unclear.

“There are a lot of smokescreens this time of year.

“But at the very least, I believe he’s on their radar, and he should be.

“Minshew, in my view, makes the most sense of the available options. He has thrown 44 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 32 appearances. His 93.1 career rating is better than most backups.”

Minshew turns 27 in May and has four years of NFL experience. He spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and then spent the last two years with the Philadelphia Eagles.

During the 2019 campaign, Minshew recorded 12 starts and threw for 3,271 yards and 21 touchdowns. In 2020, he started only eight games, winning just once and throwing 16 touchdown passes.

Moving on to the Eagles, he started two games during each season but was primarily used as a backup to Jalen Hurts. Over those two campaigns, he threw for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns.

One of the most attractive aspects of Minshew’s talent is his ability to avoid mistakes. Over the course of his four seasons, he’s only thrown 15 interceptions on 933 pass attempts.

In Tagovailoa’s rookie year in 2020, he and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick shared the quarterback duties for the Dolphins. In 2021, Jacoby Brissett split those duties with Tagovailoa. In this past season, Teddy Bridgewater took over the backup role.

Fitzpatrick left in free agency, Brissett’s numbers were merely adequate and Bridgewater had trouble staying healthy. In the 2022 season, third-string signal-caller Skylar Thompson ended up starting the Dolphins’ playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

Thompson was forced into the starting role in the playoffs because Tagovailoa was being held out after suffering a concussion during the Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers. That Week 16 concussion marked the second of the season for the talented quarterback.

Now that the Dolphins have elected to pick up Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option, the team is trying to make sure that it will have a reliable presence behind center if he goes down.

A number of other quarterbacks will also be available once free agency begins. However, their price tags will likely be out of the Dolphins’ range, which will require the team to zero in on players of Minshew’s caliber.

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Brad is a freelance writer for and has been around long enough to remember the 1972 perfect season, and even when Don Shula was coaching the Colts. He still follows the Dolphins and other happenings in the NFL, so he can offer a little perspective when it comes to the ups and downs of each season. Some of his opinions may end up differing from the people who read them, but that's par for the course when it comes to life in South Florida.