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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Dolphins soap opera at QB has now begun

It could be argued that after nearly three months of posturing and brinkmanship, the Dolphins and Chiefs finally ended their soap opera of sorts by finally getting the Trent Green trade done this evening.

But I would tell you the drama has only just begun.

It's going to get veeeery interesting around Dolphins camp as early as today. Green will be in town sometime Wednesday to take a physical and sign his new contract -- one by the way that pays him like a starter if he is the starter.

That means the Dolphins will have five, countem', five quarterbacks on the roster assuming Gibran Hamdan is not sacrificed to the waiver wire. That also means the Dolphins will have on their hands two quarterbacks who fancy themselves the team's 2007 starter.

And that means the Dolphins have a problem on several levels.

There is only one of two ways this can now play out. The Dolphins welcome Green while either releasing or trading Daunte Culpepper. Or the Dolphins welcome Green and hold on to Culpepper and let the two go at it in a legit may-the-best-man win quarterback competition.

There's trouble with both scenarios.

If the Dolphins let go of Culpepper, by either releasing or trading him, they effectively establish the pecking order for the quarterback position. They settle an unsettled position. But they also expose coach Cam Cameron as someone who was not sincere when he said that every position is open to competition.

If every position is indeed open to competition, you can't just waive or trade a player such as Culpepper without giving him a chance to, well, compete. And you really can't do it if he's not on the field and 100 percent healthy because that shows you had no intention of ever having a legitimate competition in the first place.

Aside from casting an aspersion on Cameron's word, such a move would also send a bad message to the players competing at other positions. How can they believe it when the coach says there's open competition if he just showed you he doesn't really mean it when he says it?

On the other hand, if Cameron decides that he has two valuable commodities on his roster and lets them actually compete, it saves his reputation and makes him seem true to his word. But it exposes the locker room, particularly the quarterback room, to an unnerving situation.

There simply isn't enough room on the Miami roster for two egos like Culpepper and Green, even for a short amount of time that would include the upcoming minicamp and training camp and preseason. There simply aren't enough practice snaps (assuming both are healthy) to make both feel comfortable. There simply doesn't seem to be a way to keep them both engaged while also avoiding the team from fraying into two camps.

And that's what would happen. One camp would back Green, the guy who knows the offense better. The other camp would back Culpepper, the younger guy whose been here longer and whose only sin in possibly losing his job has been to be injured.

I've seen such a split in the past -- when Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley were around, and when Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels were around. I even saw some of it when Scott Mitchell and Steve DeBerg were around. (Yeah, I go back that far.)

The Dolphins will have to make the better of two tough choices in the coming days and weeks.

My prediction? Well, let's see, I reported sometime in April that once Green got here, Culpepper would be either released or traded. I believe that route is the one the Dolphins will travel.

Yes, it will make people question Cameron's credibility for a while. And yes, it will lead to second-guessing, especially if Culpepper winds up recovering from his knee injury and playing well for someone else.

That's why it looks like the drama is only now getting started.

33 Comments:

Blogger Aman said...

Culpepper is gone within the week. Hopefully he will heal and continue to have a productive career but its obvious Green is who Cam wants running his offense.

10:11 PM  
Blogger steven said...

Armando- I couldn't agree more with your analysis, however, I wish the dolphins would consider giving Daunte a chance to compete. I believe that they are making a mistake in releasing (or trading) Daunte. Give the man a chance. Everyone knows that a player is not 100% (and in daunte's case not 50%) the first year following a significant knee injury. People also forget that Daunte's injury didn't occur until almost November. No harm in giving the man a chance. Who knows, with all the bad luck the dolphins have experienced with QB's since Dan retired, perhaps the tide will turn..

10:25 PM  
Anonymous John Michaels said...

Mini-Camp has become more interesting this weekend. Personally, I think Trent Green will take Culpepper to school this weekend, but you never know for sure. I'm just glad that Trent is here. and the soap opera with Kansas City is FINALLY over!

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Releasing Daunte does not make Cam a liar. It is more a reflection on what the coaching staff thinks of Daunte's rehad and ability. He was in decline prior to the injury. The Dolphins had two opportunities to get Brees. They screwed up twice.

The competition will be among the remaining QBs on the roster. Trent Green is here to groom Beck, something that Culpepper neither welcomed, nor would be able to do.

If Beck can come along with Cam and Green's mentoring, then let's all hope that Beck is the established starter by mid season and for the next 5-7 years.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the dumbest move I have seen the Dolphins make since the AJ Feely trade. We gave up a 2nd for Culpepper and now give up a 4th for Green. There is no guarantee Green doesn't get concussed in the first weeks of the season and is lost for the year; even if he doesn't he was horrible when he played last year. Meanwhile, Culpepper has now been cleared to practice and appears to be back on track to being healthy. Now for the next stupid move, we spend 2 months trying to trade for a 37 year old QB and will make another stupid move by now releasing a QB in his prime for nothing. My loyalty to the Dolphins is now waning after 20+ years - at least I will get to buy a Culpepper Dolphin jersey on the cheap and dream of what could have been.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous tommy a. said...

Bye Bye Culpepper.......This has everything to do with the fins going in one direction=(the future) and Culpepper going in another=(the past, before the injuries when he WAS a pro bowl QB).
Trent Green will teach John Beck (the future of the team) how to run Cam's offense and lead the team on and off the field the way Cam wants it to be led.

Daunte Culpepper can't teach his talent, size, and arm strength to anyone. Unfortunately for him Cam doesn't view the QB position through just measureable physical ability. And that is why he would never win in an open competition against Green.

Once again bye bye Daunte.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite possibly the stupidest article of all the stupid articles that have been written. Have you not noticed that the Dolphins selected John Beck? The plan is that he will assume the QB position when he is ready for the next DECADE. Are you trying now to assign Sabanisms to the new coach that he is somehow insincere in letting Culpepper compete? As if this was as bad as denying the alabama job while negotiationg terms with the Crimsom tide? Culpepper is done (with the Dolphins and maybe in total) my friend. He wasn't asked to join this team by the current coach. And what if the Green trade fell through? Would Bellicek have shown his hand in the same situation? And if he did not would he then lose his team too as you suggest as a possible outcome here? What a set of ridiculous parameters. This is a business, and teams like Atlanta with a starting QB soon to be doing time maybe a deal for Culpepper could make the Green trade nearly a wash. But mark my words, Daunte will never don an aqua and coral uniform in real game ever again. Stir it up if you need something to blog on about, just make sure next time it makes some sense.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous WVfinfan said...

Trade Daunte to the Falcons for a 2nd round pick, and if you can't get that, then let the competition begin. Trade for whatever you can get once the regular season starts and a starter is named. It doesn't really matter, if the O-line doesn't play an better Dan the man himself couldn't release it before getting sacked.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 12:03 anonymous poster. Maybe you should check your grammar before posting. Reading your post makes baby jesus cry

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, you're missing the point. Miami doesn't expect Daunte to stick around. I fthey felt he was going to succeed in this offense they wouldn't be so desperate to get Green. Green will start and groom John Beck while Daunte gets tossed out like the trash. Unfortunate, but Cam's plan is to have Qbs who can run a smart offense, and Daunte wasn't an option...

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree that the Green trade means that Daunte is not in the Dolphins future plans, it would be ridiculous to trade or release him before training camp. Nowthat he is cleared to play, if he practices and plays well hie trade stock will go up. Perhaps the Dolphins will get that 2nd round pick back. A healthy Daunte Culpepper would be a steal at that price. He was when the Dolphins traded for him. Unfortunately, his rushing back from knee surgery prematurely made him a bust. I still believe Daunte can be a Pro Bowl QB again. I am sorry he won't be a Dolphin when he does.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous Chopper 13 said...

For all of you who believe the fins will get a second round pick for Culpepper, think again. No team will give that high of a pick for C-Pep, and this is not bashing Daunte. I hope he fully recovers and plays well (by the looks of things, somewhere else). The best scenerio is that the fins trade for a conditional pick, perhaps a 6th that could become a 5th or 4th, but even that is pushing it. Best of luck C-Pep!

Now, Green has to take the role of leader and mentor. I can't think of a better, logical and realistic scenerio for the Fins and Beck to be in. Green brings 13 years of experience with him to mold Beck, and Lemon for that matter into a quality NFL QB. If Green has 2 years left in him, that would be plenty, and I am assuming that the 2nd year would be a mix of starting and backing up Beck. If Beck has the tools that the coaching staff believes he has, the Fins are sitting pretty.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although the fair scenerio would be Culpepper and Green battling for the spot this summer, with the winner being the starter and the loser being traded. I just don't think that will happen. Culpepper will be traded or released before then.

Trent Green will start this year. if he gets injured or if the Dolphins have a losing record, then we will most likely see John Beck, and get a feel for what he brings to the team. I feel this was done mainly to enable Beck every opportuniy to learn and be a capable starter in the NFL, while giving the Dolphins a good QB who gives them a chance to win while Beck learns the ropes.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point that is being missed in this blog is this fact: Jay Fielder/AJ Feeley, Mitchell/DeBerg or Trent Green/Dante Culpepper? The latter is a MAJOR upgrade to both QBs over any other pairing. If they both are allowed to compete for the starting job, which I'm hoping for, then let the camps divide as they may. The Fins are better off today with this QB "controversy" than any other.

Also, last I checked, there was a divide over Brady/Bledsoe before that team rolled to 3 Super Bowl victories.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous lady phin said...

I'm gonna have to agree with some of you guys that this Green/Beck thing is probably the only scenario...C-Pep will probably be released but that 2nd round draft pick might be a pipe dream...I think this moves shows the confidence that Cam has in his boy (Green) being able to lead and mentor the future QB for the Phins. I don't give a damn if they brought Chubacca in to mentor, if Chewy can help Beck lead us to the playoffs then i'm all for it...

Weirdly, i'm not as upset with this decision as initially thought

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

One thing I would like to add which I believe someone mentioned a while back. Even during his near MVP season Culpepper only led the Vikings to an 8 & 8 record. There are more reasons of course than just the QB, having Mike Tice for a coach is the obvious example, but the guy has just never won anything.

Okay Green didn't win a SB but he consistently got his team to the playoffs before his injury last season. The guy has 3 4,000 yard seasons running a derivative Cameron's offense. Culpepper just does not fit in that offensive system.

The significance of allowing Culpepper to compete in the early camps would be to prove his health to up his trade value. At this point I don't see the Dolphins getting as much as a 6th rounder for him.

8:59 AM  
Blogger JPAO said...

NOTHING is guaranteed....We HOPE that Beck proves himself to be the 'future' - history suggests that will be a 50/50 proposition. We HOPE Daunte's knee holds up and he shows competency again. We HOPE Green comes in quickly grasps the offense and keeps his head clear for a full season. There are too many unknowns for the Phins to cut anyone until a full preason plays out, including a VERY COMPETITIVE QB Try-Out process. Anything other than this and Cam is a fool, not an offensive genious. If Cam is a true NFL Head Coach he can handle the locker room through this process. Now lets see who PROVES themself as the starter...should be fun to watch!

9:14 AM  
Anonymous finndolphan said...

there seems to be one name missing from this article and discussions and that's cleo lemons!if daunte is indeed history then cleo becomes the chief competitor for the qb job with green,and i believe if it is a legit competition lemon wins hands down!he's a gazelle compared to green's tortoise,has a stronger arm and knows the offense just as well, if he can do the job and relegates green to back-up then it stays a fifth rounder right?green stays as insurance and a mentor to both lemon and beck(if his ego can handle it).

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

To anonymous poster 2:29 AM (I'm not the other poster you commented on):

Does the baby Jesus correct term papers? You're on a football message board to correct grammar and not post anything relevant to the discussion? Actually, you didn't even make a correction, just a snide comment. In other words, you were a putz. I think that would make baby Jesus cry more. You know, the whole 'be a good Christian' thing (I'm not).

Green will likely be the starter. Culpepper will likely be cut or traded; though anyone that thinks we'll recoup that 2nd rounder is smoking something REALLY good. Culpepper doesn't strike me as the most academic player on the field. From a teaching standpoint, Green is the better choice. He'll be around a season or two barring injury, and if Cameron made a good pick with Beck, he'll take over. I don't really see how cutting Culpepper hurts Cameron's credibility. He never guaranteed anyone would get to stay on the roster to get a chance to compete.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous tommy a. said...

Get a 2nd rounder for Culpepper????
HA!
No one wants him! Every team in the league has already filled their need at QB through the draft or free agency.
It is impossible for almost anyone to learn an entirely new system at this point in the year, let alone a guy that is still injured and hasn't played since forever.
Daunte is getting released and that is all there is to it.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just got word that culpepper is ready to pratice so thats the perfect time for all of ths to happen because if green came to the mini camps and stuff and culpepper couldn't be part of them it would give trent points and take away alot from culpepper and he should get the chance to battle it out on the field if not i promise we are in for another horrible season

9:26 AM  
Anonymous POLLYANNA said...

Puleeez, Armando. I have to agree with the astute assessments given by others that Cameron can in no way be characterized as dishonest in this affair.

He has said there will be open competition for all positions. He hasn't told Green (confirmed by Green) that he will automatically start. If Culpepper is still here, we will compete; if Culpepper isn't on the roster, how can he compete? Your point is silly.

Can you imagine the REAL soap opera if Brady Quinn had been thrown into this mix? Ha Ha.

As to the rest of your post (and all the other 'journalists' and columnists writing about the Dolphins) you guys have had MONTHS to consider what you might write about when this deal came to fruition and I haven't seen a post yet that merits more than a yawn.

Surely there are more interesting things Dolphin fans would like to know about Green and this trade than what you have presented.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Mommy said...

"Anonymous said...
i just got word that culpepper is ready to pratice so thats the perfect time for all of ths to happen because if green came to the mini camps and stuff and culpepper couldn't be part of them it would give trent points and take away alot from culpepper and he should get the chance to battle it out on the field if not i promise we are in for another horrible season"

Anonymous 9:26 AM ~ Absolutely brilliant analysis! Now get back in your highchair.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

Miami Herald is reporting Culpepper has been informaed that the Dolphins will be trying to trade him and that he is not in their plans for the future.

http://www.miamiherald.com/breaking_sports/story/130379.html

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

Sorry the link din't come all the way through, but they Cameron and Mueller apparently met with him this morning. Culpepper emailed the Herald.

9:39 AM  
Blogger sugrdaddy79 said...

c-pep's career was on the downslide even before he injured his knee...so i think miami did a good thing in bringing in someone with experience with our offensive system. Green will also prove to be a great mentor for a young qb such as beck. we will just have to wait and see how this pans out.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Herb said...

I was high on C-Pep when he first came to the Fins. I was envisioning Chris Chambers catching those long bombs and speeding into the end-zone. It never happened. Truth is, since Randy Moss left, Culpepper became mortal. He became Samson without his hair. My high hopes have now dwindled in regards to Culpepper and I won't be sad to see him go. On the other hand, what weapons did Trent Green have during his most productive seasons? Aside from Tony Gonzalez, the Chief WR corps are not made up of anyone memorable. Eddie Kennison? come on!! Okay, so they had th PRIEST and L.J. to take the pressure off. The also had one of the finest O-lines in football. That won't be the case in Miami. I agree with the poster who said that Green's struggles last year came at the hands of Herm Edwards' sucky offense. I think the Fins are in a much better position now with Green as their QB, who will pave the way for Beck in a year or two. Remember, Green is not a used and abused QB. He's only been a full starter for 8 seasons, with 1 and half of those being missed due to injury, so you can laugh at me, but he's a "young" 37. ;-) Ahh, the speculation is what makes this so good.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous tommy a. said...

Has anyone noticed how Daunte hasn't asked for a trade or to be released????
Even he knows Miami is his last chance to prove he can still play!

He doesn't even want the job starting for this team......he just wants to play in a couple of preseason games to hopefully make someone out there think he can still be a pro bowl guy and take a risk on him the way Nick Saban did.

This guy is desperate and needs to be released before he does damage to the team.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous jon said...

Question Cameron's word on what he says? Why, because he cuts c-pep and his bum knee for a guy that can teach Beck the ropes and play, and play well for one or two years? You are trying to hard to make a story here Armondo, no one has even mentioned this, or brought it up before you.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Jon, you are correct. I am the first to bring this up. Thank you for noticing.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let them compete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that a decision has to be made to keep one or the other, however I don't think the decision has to me made right away. The locker room split will only happen if we go into the season or at least into pre-season with both QB's on the roster. Why not let them both compete for the mini-camps and for the pre-season and then make a decision to let one go. That way both ARE given a chance to compete and yet no locker room split will occur.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando -- I usually agree with you, but this time I have to disrespectfully take issue with your underlying assumptions. Having a competition at each spot doesn't preclude roster cuts, trades, or free-agent signings. Cameron didn't say that he would keep the roster completely intact and then have an open competition. At the end of the day, there may well be an open competition at each spot, but that doesn't mean that Daunte is guaranteed to be around for that competition. And although it's pretty clear how the QB position would line up with Daunte gone, that still doesn't preclude competition. For example, if Green 's skills have declined due to the concussions, will Cameron keep him in? Only then can you say it was all a lie.

John V

12:36 PM  

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