Why the Miami Dolphins Picked Skylar Thompson Over Bailey Zappe (and Others)

Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier explained the franchise's rationale to go with Skylar Thompson and Mike White as Tua Tagovailoa's backups.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — More than three-dozen quarterbacks around the league were cut in the past week. The Miami Dolphins‘ Skylar Thompson was not one of them.

The Dolphins not only kept three QBs on their 53-man roster — which wasn’t surprising, considering Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history — they stuck with Thompson over the likes of Colt McCoy and Bailey Zappe.

Certainly, that’s a huge vote of confidence for the only Dolphins quarterback to start a playoff game since 2017.

But it’s also a bit of a gamble. Tua’s two backups — Thompson and Mike White — have career passer ratings of 62.2 and 75.4, respectively. And both had some rough moments during the preseason.

And yet, the Dolphins weren’t tempted to dip into the waiver pool, despite some solid options available to them (and every other team in the league).


Miami Dolphins’ Chris Grier on Skylar Thompson, Mike White

Dolphins GM Chris Grier explained Wednesday:

“First of all, that room, it’s a very close room. The three of them get along extremely well. They support each other, they push each other, they communicate well with each other. I think that’s a big part of it. I think Mike has done a good job operating the offense as well as Skylar.

“I think some of the familiarity with obviously Skylar, helps being here. This is his second year in the system. But Mike’s done a nice job coming in here as well and supporting Tua. So for us, we thought it was the right group to keep those three.”

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So it’s another year on the active roster for Thompson, who dazzled in 2022 training camp and preseason but was uneven in games that Tagovailoa missed.

He was excellent during OTAs and early in camp and had a boffo second preseason game, but turned the ball over five times in the other two.

“I think that [I’m] just having confidence in myself and going into Year 2, getting better and making some growth,” Thompson said. “Like I said, I’m looking forward to having another year in the system and being here and being part of this team, and we have a special opportunity this year to be a part of.”

The only question that remains: Who will be the No. 2 QB on game days?

White, due to his performance and contract, seems to be the frontrunner.

“Since training camp started, it’s been a great competition with Mike and I, and I think that we both have had a great perspective of the competition and have allowed it to push each other to be our best versions of ourselves,” Thompson said.

“But also on top of that, prioritizing being great teammates and helping the team get better. Any time there’s a competition, it makes everybody better, and that’s all my focus has been on. I know Mike has been the same. I just want to help the team win whatever that looks like where my role is, whatever the coaches decide, that’s what I’m going to do.”

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