Dolphins fans who were stunned when their favorite team selected the speedy Ted Ginn Jr. with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft instead of highly touted Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn were not alone.
Quinn was signed for approximately the veteran minimum of $1.31 million by the Dolphins after his tryout Monday to push Matt Moore for the No. 2 job behind starter Ryan Tannehill. He said he, too, was surprised by the Miami snub that sent him falling to Cleveland at No. 22.
Quinn said after his first practice Tuesday morning that "at some point" he heard about angry Dolphins fans' reaction to the draft decision. "I thought I was going to Miami, so it's kind of crazy to think years later, now I finally made it here.
"I heard word from a very, very good source that something was going to happen that next day, but we heard a lot of things during the draft and you never really know what to believe or who to believe, so obviously that didn't take place. It's just a story now.''
It's a story that Quinn and the Dolphins would like to rewrite with a much happier ending.
While Ginn has had a decent career as a kick-return specialist, mostly with the 49ers, then-Dolphins coach Cam Cameron and General Manager Randy Mueller opted for undersized quarterback John Beck (at 40th) instead of Quinn to back up a soon-concussed Trent Green.
The Dolphins went on to post a franchise-worst 1-15 record. Cameron and Mueller were canned while Beck's NFL career lasted two seasons. Quinn had trouble displacing Derek Anderson in Cleveland, where he went 3-9 as a starter (4-16 overall with a 53.8 completion percentage and 64.4 passer rating).
The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder then bounced around to Denver and Kansas City before working for the Seahawks, Jets and Rams last year. So after starting 20 times in 24 games since 2007, and participating in just one of the previous four seasons, an unemployed Quinn retired at 29.
Quinn, who has lived in Fort Lauderdale for the past five years, married former Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone in March and took a college football television analyst job with Fox Sports before the Dolphins beckoned.
"I took that opportunity, but I made it very clear ... I still wanted to play football, and if the opportunity came I was going to take it,'' Quinn said.
Quinn would love to make those once-disenchanted Dolphins fans turn their thumbs up like Cameron urged them to do when they booed the Ginn selection.
"I feel to myself I've always hoped for an opportunity to play in this league and play at a high level,'' Quinn said. "I felt like I really did it last season in Seattle when I had the opportunity to go out there.
"All three in that quarterback room played really well," he said of himself, starter Russell Wilson and veteran backup Tarvaris Jackson. "Unfortunately, they kept two, and that was the end of that. I really felt I was playing some of my best football last preseason, and hopefully I can continue that into this season.''
The Dolphins cut quarterbacks Brock Jensen and Pat Devlin (injury settlement) Monday, leaving Tannehill, Moore, Quinn and probable practice squadder Seth Lobato on the roster.
Moore, 30, the Dolphins' backup for the past three seasons, played one game last year. He said he's over his shoulder issues and looked sharp in practice Tuesday. Moore is scheduled to make $4 million this year and could be a salary-cap casualty if Quinn impresses in preseason games.
"I've been through this too many times. It's nothing,'' Moore said. "They're going to do what they think they need to do. All I can do is keep going. It really has no effect; if it does I'm in trouble mentally.''
Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert, who protected Quinn's blindside in Kansas City in 2012 when he started eight games (1-7), is a fan.
"He's one of the best professionals I've ever met,'' Albert said. "Brady's going to come in and bring that work ethic, try and learn his craft and fit in on the team.''
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin sidestepped an inquiry about Moore's status by saying that all jobs are "wide open right now.'' He added that Quinn impressed the coaching staff in his workout alongside Rex Grossman and John Skelton on Monday.
"He's got a strong arm,'' Philbin said. "He's got good athletic ability. We are impressed with the way he threw the ball yesterday, so I think he has a chance to be a good fit."