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- Dolphins to Wait Out Culpepper's Decision

Chris Pokorny June 9, 2007
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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The dramatic attention has shifted from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins in the span of a couple of days. For several months, the Chiefs were holding back on their intentions to trade quarterback Trent Green because they did not like the offer they were getting. The Chiefs were seeking a fourth-round draft choice, and the Dolphins were the most heavily interested team in acquiring Green. The problem was that the Dolphins were only offering a sixth-round draft choice. Rather than giving in though, Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson stayed patient - risking the possibility that the Dolphins would lose interest - and ended up getting what he wanted. On Tuesday, the Dolphins traded a conditional fifth-round draft pick to the Chiefs. If Green meets certain expectations this season on the Dolphins, the pick will turn into a fourth-rounder. Peterson's waiting paid off - he added an extra draft pick, and still has either a solid veteran quarterback or a youngster ready to go in Damon Huard or Brodie Croyle.

If you ask Chiefs fans, they'll have their share of mixed feelings regarding Green's departure. Sure, the fans enjoyed the effort and leadership that he brought to organization for several years, but the team never made a serious postseason run. It was simply time to move on.

Trent Green
Trent Green's career stats with the Chiefs

After hitting career highs across the board during the 2004 season, Green's productivity dropped slightly in 2005. Then, last season, Green suffered career lows due to the serious concussion he sustained the first week of the season. After coming back near the middle of the season in relief for the red-hot Huard, Green's production did not warrant a return under now second-year head coach Herman Edwards. Give Edwards credit though: he showed an enormous amount of loyalty to his starting quarterback by not pulling him indefinitely last season, especially in the postseason against the Indianapolis Colts. This year, Green's being given a very good opportunity to start with a team that thought they had worked out their quarterback situation last year: the Miami Dolphins.

Last year, many analysts, including me, believed that Daunte Culpepper would revert back to his MVP-like form from his days with the Minnesota Vikings and Randy Moss. Culpepper had such an atrocious season the year before with the Minnesota Vikings, and it was believed that it was due to injury. Culpepper was given several opportunities with the Dolphins to succeed early on in the season, but failed to take advantage of them, resulting in a change at quarterback. Joey Harrington, the team's insurance policy, inherited the starting role. Although he gave the team a competitive edge at times, he was no more successful than he was during his dreary days with the Detroit Lions. Suddenly, the team that was "stacked" at the position last year was in need of a new leader.

Trent Green
Green hopes to bring stability to Miami

The question is this though: Will the Dolphins regret not drafting quarterback Brady Quinn? If you ask the Dolphins, they are completely satisfied with what they got in John Beck. Beck may not have had the same hype that Quinn did, but the Dolphins believe that they drafted their quarterback of the future. Although Cleo Lemon can't be automatically tossed out of the picture, it would be assumed that the Dolphins are grooming Beck for the 2008 or 2009 seasons, in which Green would lose his spot.

Wait now, who is that in the corner of the weight room while the rest of the Dolphins are practicing on the field? It's Culpepper! Although he is still with the Dolphins, there is no chance that he will be included in the team's starting quarterback race. The team is trying to decide what they're going to do with him - trade him or release him. Dolphins new head coach Cam Cameron is insisting that Culpepper's status with the team is not causing any problems, but that seems suspicious when you see that the veteran quarterback created his own press release regarding his situation.

Once the Dolphins acquired Green officially, they informed Culpepper that he was no longer a part of their future. Upset at these harsh, yet expected remarks, Culpepper requested a released. Like the Chiefs did with Green though, the Dolphins want to hold on to Culpepper with hopes that another team will offer them a trade. The Dolphins have stated that they are willing to wait until training camp starts to make a decision, something that Culpepper is obviously not pleased with. To upset him even more, Culpepper was denied the right to participate in individual drills during Friday's practice.

"I am now waiting for the Dolphins management to do what is right and fair by granting my release so that I can find a team that will appreciate my talent and love for the game," Culpepper wrote. "I do not want to cause any disruption while I wait, so I will only be at the facility in order to run and lift. What happened (Friday) in the team meeting and on the field was unfair to both me and my teammates."

With Culpepper scheduled to make $51.5 million through 2013 under his current contract, it would make it almost impossible for him to be traded without him agreeing to a restructuring of his contract. Culpepper has claimed that he will deny any trade that the Dolphins negotiate, and simply wants to be released. Chiefs fans can only be happy that they aren't dealing with this type of fiasco any longer.

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