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Alex Smith meets with Dolphins; QB's 49ers future in question

Even in the offseason, the Miami Dolphins' quarterback carousel keeps spinning.

After being spurned by Peyton Manning, the Dolphins had a brief, unproductive courtship with Matt Flynn, then turned their attention Sunday to Alex Smith.

Smith, a longtime San Francisco 49ers quarterback, arrived at the Dolphins' complex in a car driven by trainer Kevin O'Neill and later left after a 5½-hour meeting. Coach Joe Philbin, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and general manager Jeff Ireland arrived at the complex before Smith and O'Neill did.

Dolphins officials declined to comment on any details about the visit. However, the meeting could affect the Manning sweepstakes, because the 49ers are among three finalists for the four-time NFL MVP, along with the Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans.

"I never thought a year ago (Peyton) Manning would be a free agent, either," Smith told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel upon arriving in Miami for his visit with the Dolphins. "I'm never surprised by anything."

The 49ers had been working to re-sign Smith, reportedly offering him a three-year, $24 million contract, but they also went to North Carolina last Tuesday to watch Manning work out at Duke University.

Smith and Manning have the same agent, Tom Condon. However, Smith reportedly might sever ties with Condon.

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A new starting quarterback would be the Dolphins' 17th since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season. But after all of their shopping, it's possible Miami will stick with incumbent Matt Moore, who played well last season (2,497 passing yards and 16 touchdowns with nine interceptions), although there are doubts he's a franchise quarterback.

"Looks like Miami (is) going with Moore again," former Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson tweeted after Flynn's three-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks was announced.

Flynn has ties to Philbin, who was the quarterback's offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers.

The Dolphins also have scheduled a meeting with free-agent quarterback David Garrard, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

Garrard, a starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2005 to 2010, didn't play last season. He was released five days before the opener by the Jaguars, then underwent back surgery in October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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