Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Mike McDaniel: It was a no-brainer to keep Skylar Thompson

With the 2022 NFL season just around the corner, Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss teams that are giving off positive vibes.

The decision quickly went from being tricky to being obvious.

When it was time to trim the roster to 53, the Dolphins didn’t hesitate to carry rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson, along with Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater.

Meeting with reporters on Tuesday, coach Mike McDaniel was asked whether it was a no-brainer to keep Thompson, a seventh-round draft pick from Kansas State who had a very strong preseason.

“Yeah,” McDaniel said. “He played very well. Again, another guy that comes in, he just works every day, won over his teammates through his work ethic, and he went out and balled. Another one where we got calls again, people asking what we were going to do and they’re all saying, ‘You know, you guys would be stupid to let him go.’ And there was no thought about us doing that. We’re not in the business of being stupid.”

The reason for keeping Thompson and not exposing him to waivers came down to the basic importance of collecting and keeping good quarterbacks.

“I haven’t heard of a good football team that their problem was they had too many good quarterbacks,” McDaniel said. “They touch the ball every play. So it’s not about -- you can go [through] a lot of draft classes over a long period of time, and if you’re holding your breath for a player out of the seventh round to play like he did in the preseason, you’re going to pass out. . . . [Y]ou don’t just scoff and look the other way when you have a player playing well at that position. Those are things that if you let those slip through your fingers, you’ll end up regretting that forever.”

It doesn’t mean Thompson is destined to become Miami’s starter at any point during his four-year rookie contract. It just means that they chose not to risk losing a guy who possibly could blossom into not just a starter but maybe a franchise quarterback.

And everyone who doesn’t have a franchise quarterback is looking for one. Why cut the cord prematurely on a guy who maybe, possibly could develop into one of the very best at the position?

So the Dolphins keep the ability to continue to monitor and develop Thompson, all the while evaluating whether Thompson possibly could develop into the kind of franchise quarterback that the franchise has been obsessed with finding -- to the point of repeatedly tampering with Tom Brady and trying to tank for Joe Burrow, but for the refusal of Brian Flores to act upon the clear signals from the owner of the team.

Yes, Thompson has a very long way to go to become the guy the Dolphins have been searching for in the two-plus decades since Dan Marino retired. But it’s far better to wait and see what Thompson possibly will become than to do with Thompson what the Steelers once did with a guy who also wore No. 19 -- and who eventually became one of the all-time greats with the Colts.