The deal that won't get done
Why Green is still a Chief; Pats, Vick, more NFL notes
Posted: Monday May 7, 2007 12:37AM; Updated: Monday May 7, 2007 10:59AM
NFL thoughts of the weekend, from the home office in Montclair, N.J.
News item: The Dolphins continue to play chicken with Kansas City over Trent Green.
"I don't know who's going to blink first,'' Green said Sunday afternoon from his home in Kansas City. "During the draft last week, I understand Miami was offering a [sixth-round pick], and Kansas City wanted at least a four. When the draft ended without a trade, I had a couple of tough days. These are smart people. I couldn't figure out why they couldn't reach a deal. It's pretty frustrating.''
I'll tell you exactly why they can't reach a deal. Simple, really.
Kansas City is dug in because president Carl Peterson figures Green is Miami's starting quarterback in 2007, and the Dolphins -- despite their quiet protestations to the contrary -- will eventually figure they have to have Green in camp to learn their offense in time to start opening day, and the Dolphins will give a better pick than a sixth-rounder.
Miami is dug in, refusing to offer a first-day 2008 draft choice, or even the prospect of one in a conditional trade, because it knows Kansas City can't get a better offer than a sixth-round pick anywhere. So the Dolphins figure, "The Chiefs can't go anywhere to get a better deal, so they'll either give him to us or make him come to training camp 11 weeks from now at $7.2 million on their salary cap. And they don't want to do that.''
Here's one more factor in Miami's favor: Green learned the offense used by Miami coach Cam Cameron 11 years ago, when Green was the third-string quarterback in Washington and Cameron was the quarterback coach. "Cam's tweaked it a little bit, but I could walk into the Dolphins today and pretty much know it,'' Green said. "I probably know 80, 90 percent of it right now.''
And that, believe it or not, really takes away any motivation the Dolphins would have to get the deal done quickly. Cameron needs Green in camp to get familiar with his receivers and to be the leader the Dolphins crave on offense. But if Green shows up July 20, no one with any football sense thinks he wouldn't have enough time to learn everything he needs to learn to play for the Dolphins by opening day.
"I understand why the Chiefs are doing this,'' Green said. "They want to get the best deal they can. I'm not bitter about it. It's a business. And I understand they want to go with the younger guy. That's the way football is. But they gave me permission to talk to other teams when this process started, and Miami was the team most interested in me. At least give me the chance to finish my career the way I want.''
I feel bad for Green, one of the classiest players in any sport. But this thing could last another month. Not that I think that's going to raise Miami's offer. The Dolphins have given away lots of draft choices over the last few years. (Remember the second-rounder they surrendered for A.J. Feeley?) Cameron and GM Randy Mueller are determined not to give away a decent pick for a player they think they're going to have, one way or the other, by August.
Miami has a slight edge here because Kansas City won't want to pay Green his money this year, and the Chiefs might even need that money to pay Larry Johnson. I still think Green will be a Dolphin. Just not very quickly.
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