Thigpen, a five-year pro out of Coastal Carolina, was Miami's third-string quarterback in 2010, moving up to No. 2 when Chad Pennington suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Since Thigpen has less than six years of NFL experience, his status is in limbo because of the unresolved nature of the collective bargaining agreement.
Last year, the NFL's free-agency setup dictated that a veteran needs six years of vested experience before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Before 2010, players needed five seasons. The NFL Players Association is adamant that the league return to that format.
It hasn't been revealed what type of tender Thigpen received, though it's unlikely to cost another team anything more than a seventh-round draft pick if it attempts to sign the quarterback. The tender designation gives Miami right of first refusal, meaning it can match another team's offer to keep Thigpen.
Thigpen's agent, Joel Turner, has said he isn't sure the Dolphins are willing to give his client "a fair opportunity" to be their starter, according to the Sun Sentinel. Thigpen could draw interest this offseason, given the lackluster free-agent market at his position.
Thigpen has played in 22 games, with 12 starts, for the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs in his career, throwing for 3,167 yards and 21 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. He has completed 54.2 percent of his passes with a 73.7 rating.