Monday, April 9, 2007

Hold Off on the QB Overreactions

Contrary to a former report, QB David Carr will not be making a visit to South Florida. On Friday, he agreed to a two-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Some Dolphins fans are upset that Miami didn't land Carr, but I don't really think he was ever in serious contention for Miami's QB job. If anything, Miami's stated interest in Carr was simply a way to gain leverage for making a deal with Kansas City for QB Trent Green. Everyone can agree that much of Carr's problems in Houston derived from their absolutely awful offensive line. That problem obviously limited him from nearing his full potential, but let's be reasonable here; in five seasons, Carr compiled more interceptions (65) than touchdowns (59). At some point, the blinders have to be taken off, and fans need to see that perhaps Carr just wasn't worthy of the number one overall pick in the 2002 draft. Bringing in a QB who has more INTs than TDs smacks of Miami's previous failed signal-callers like A.J. Feeley (11 TD/15 INT), Brian Griese (5 TD/6 INT), and most recently Joey Harrington (12 TD/15 INT w/Miami, 72 TD/77 INT for his career). It should be obvious to everyone, that a QB who exhibits this extreme inefficiency is not a viable option as a starter. Miami's offense stalls enough as it is without having to endure more turnovers than touchdowns. No team can consistently win with that kind of production. "Losing out" on Carr is not a problem for Miami.

Another "problem" that has recently arisen is Cleveland's entry into the market for Trent Green. The way I look at it, Green will end up in one of two places for the 2007 season - Kansas City or Miami. Writers are saying that Cleveland's interest in Green is providing Kansas City with leverage over Miami. That's not true. Green does not want to play in Cleveland. He wants to play in Miami. Because of this, he can refuse to negotiate his $7.2 million base salary if he is traded to Cleveland. That means that one of three things will happen:
  1. Miami trades for Green.
  2. Miami waits for Green to be released and signs him as a free agent. Miami won't need to worry about competition for Green's services in free agency if Green's stated desire to play in Miami remains true.
  3. Miami does not engineer a trade for Green, and Kansas City decides to keep him.
At this point, I highly doubt that Kansas City retains Green. Thus, the best strategy for Miami is to just wait it out. The front office has shown an incredible patience so far this offseason, and there's no reason to change that now. Play the waiting game and force Kansas City to part ways with Green without having to give up a draft pick. It's not a big cause for concern that Green may have to miss time with Miami's offense in this scenario because he already has a good grasp of it, having played under Terry Shea in Kansas City. If, for some reason, Miami finds it necessary to trade a draft pick for Green, they shouldn't go any higher than a sixth-rounder. The team doesn't have a fifth-rounder in the 2007 draft, and a fourth-rounder is far too much to give up in return for a soon-to-be 37-year old. Kansas City GM Carl Peterson is crazy if he thinks Green is worth a second-round pick at this point in his career.

And let us make no mistake. Acquiring a QB in the draft should be Miami's top priority in terms of that position. Swinging a trade for Green should in no way hamper Miami's ability to select one of the top rated passers in the draft. Miami will be doing its due diligence this week when it meets with top prospects JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. While it seems certain that Russell will be long-gone by the time Miami makes its selection, there remains a distinct possibility that Quinn will either fall to Miami at 9, or to the point where Miami would be willing to trade up in order to select him. If GM Randy Mueller thinks he can use the pick that would otherwise have been sent to Kansas City for Green to move up and take Brady Quinn then he should hold on to that pick. While getting Quinn at No. 9 would be the best possible situation in the first round, Drew Stanton and Trent Edwards remain possibilities for a first-day selection.

Staying in line with the general theme of this article, there is far too much overreaction concerning the announcement that Daunte Culpepper will not fully participate in the team's first minicamp next weekend. This is just good sense. Look what happened when Nick Saban forced Culpepper to start last season far before his knee was ready. We should be happy that the team is acting cautiously with this situation. There's no dire need for Culpepper to fully take part in minicamps. If he isn't prepared to participate by training camps and the preseason, then there may be a legitimate cause for concern - but not just yet. Take solace in the fact that Daunte is running (albeit not at top speed) and making every effort humanly possible to get healthy again and take over the reigns of the Dolphins offense. Until he proves otherwise, I consider Culpepper a part of this team's future. Perhaps the team brings in Green to start the season and lets Culpepper continue to get stronger or drafts a QB and lets Cleo Lemon start the season. Either way, the team cannot give up on Culpepper yet.

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