Sunday, April 15, 2007

Miami Quarterback Follies.

Must be something in the water down in the Florida area that makes the front offices of their pro football teams insane regarding quarterbacks. We'll gloss over the whole mess of Tampa Bay, bringing in Jeff Garcia to compete with Chris Simms and Bruce Gradkowski (right, adding Bruce only to be a completist) and trading for Jake Plummer, who then retired -- Gruden must just think that if he has four going into camp, one of them just has to be starter-quality enough to hurl it to Calvin Johnson, whom the Bucs are clearly man-crushing over hard enough to consider trading up for (more on Mr. Johnson later.)

The situation in South Florida is getting messier -- after the Dolphins dealt for both Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington prior to the 2006 season, big things were expected, as numerous pubs had the Dolphins deep in the playoffs, and SI put them in the Super Bowl against Carolina (yeah, that prognostication turned out well.) Culpepper stayed hurt after rushing back from the first surgery, and Harrington was his usual inconsistent. The play of the two is probably another factor of what drove Nick Saban to Tuscaloosa. It ought to be stated that this continued morass at QB is his fault, but Cam Cameron and the front office haven't done a hell of a lot to solve the problem so far. Harrington is now backing up Michael Vick in the ATL, and it's assumed Culpepper will be on the way out, as the Dolphins try to grab Trent Green from the Chiefs, who feel they no longer require his services with Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle on the roster.

Most sane people who observe the NFL on a regular basis would want nothing to do with Green as far as a trade goes at this point in his career (if he were to be cut, someone would give him a contract offer); however, not a lot of GMs in sports are considered sane. GM Randy Mueller probably rubber-stamps the coach's decisions on personnel, and if that's the case, the Cam Cameron era will be a short one. Now, Trent Green is not a bad QB, but many of us happen to remember this little hit from last year against Cincy:

(Yeah, the video stinks, and I don't think it was a cheap shot. It's the only clip of the video I could find on YouTube.)

Green was out for the majority of the season due to that concussion, and I think it was a mistake for Herm Edwards to go back to him in the playoffs after missing that much time. Why the Dolphins want a 36-year old QB is another question entirely, especially after David Carr was on the market and available for less (Green's agent wants to re-negotiate his contract with the team that acquires him.) It is a slight mistake to consider Green "extremely durable," as he missed an entire season with the Rams due to a freak injury, and Kurt Warner then stepped in and took his job (quite well, if a Super Bowl is good by anyone's standard.) The Dolphins had enough problems with Culpepper, whose injury put a few more virtual years on his already-30 self. Acquiring Green would be a bonehead move when what the team needs is a new or slightly used younger QB for a semi-stable future (Brady Quinn at #9 in the draft would not be a bad way to go, if he falls that far.) The Culpepper experiment, if it is over, ought to be instructive in the sense that it is time to start fresh on the offense, especially when New England has re-stocked yet again and the Jets dealt for Thomas Jones from the Bears. The defense will still be tops in Miami; acquiring Joey Porter is actually a help, even though he's on the way down as an individual player, he's still useful to a team, and he, Zach Thomas, and Jason Taylor look like a hell of a combo on paper.

Now, to the CJ-related tangent: If the Dolphins release Culpepper, what's the temptation the Raiders have to sign him? It re-teams him with Randy Moss, and leaves the Cryptkeeper and Coach Lunch Money (TM The Hater Nation) with an opportunity to draft the aforementioned Calvin Johnson, and ship Jerry Porter out of town. You could say that JaMarcus Russell is a younger, healthier version of Culpepper, but Al Davis is probably sick of waiting around (he may not have many more years to be patient) for a QB to develop; he's been down that road before. Of course, Culpepper post-injury only has a few good years left, which would leave the Raiders in the same damn situation come three or four years later.


Marco said...

Didn't Trent Green looked washed up last year? Draft a QB and start over Fins. I hate when teams go after old washed up QBs.

Signal to Noise said...

Marco - oh, yes he did. He did not look good at the end of the season when Jacksonville just kind of rolled over in the last game, and it showed even more against Indy in the first round, where he couldn't even get a first down for nearly three quarters.

BSC said...

Isn't there a Huard out there they could sign?

Newspaper Hack said...

Brodie uber alles. If it hadn't been for Franchione taking off for the shithole known as College Station, the Namath comparison would be complete (you know, national championship and all that).