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Dan Marino: Worth it to 'stretch' for Tannehill

Don't expect Dan Marino to top Jamie Moyer, who's playing major-league baseball at age 49.

Marino, the 50-year-old Pro Football Hall of Famer, tore cartilage in his knee during Easter weekend while playing football on the beach with his kids, so there's no temptation for him to attempt to save the Miami Dolphins' quarterback situation.

"I wish I could, man, I wish I could," Marino said with a laugh Monday during a conversation with Around the League. "It's tough when you can't get out of the way."

Marino calls himself a "big fan" of the Dolphins' organization, which has started an NFL-high 16 quarterbacks since he retired in 1999, so he's well aware how difficult it has been to find a competent signal-caller. That's why he wouldn't have a problem with Miami taking Ryan Tannehill at No. 8 in this week's NFL draft, making him the first quarterback selected by the Dolphins in the first round since Marino himself in 1983.

"If they feel good about Tannehill and he's there at eight, it's worth taking a little bit of a stretch to take a quarterback," Marino said. "If it's a guy that you think can be your future quarterback for a long time, then you got to take him. If not, you have to preach to the fans that you have to be patient."

The Dolphins legend, who briefly worked in the front office well before Stephen Ross came around, defended the owner's tenure with the team. He said Ross badly wants to win. No matter how ugly the last few years have been, don't tell Marino the Dolphins are second-class citizens in the city.

"They are still the franchise everybody is looking at," Marino said. "It's the Miami Dolphins, man. It's a great brand, a great franchise. It's been very successful for many years in the league. No matter what is, though, fans want to win. That's what it's all about."

That brand was built by Hall of Fame coach Don Shula and sustained by Marino for so many years. Marino spoke with us to help promote his role as the new AARP Men's Life Ambassador. His eligibility for that role is a reminder that Marino has been retired for a while and Miami's quarterback position is more unsettled than ever.

At some point, Dolphins fans need more than good memories.

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