Sports Outside the Beltway

Are the Miami Dolphins about to cut Daunte Culpepper?

It appears to be a serious possibility.

The Dolphins are prepared to give Kansas City quarterback Trent Green a salary figure ordinarily paid only to a starter, meaning that his acquisition likely would lead to Daunte Culpepper’s release, two sources said Tuesday.

Culpepper, who was acquired in a trade last year and still is recovering from knee surgeries, has a $6.8 million salary cap number for 2007. Green’s incentive-laden contract would pay him $3 million to $6 million, and the Dolphins are obligated to pay third-stringer Cleo Lemon at least $1.3 million this season as they work on a long-term deal.

General Manager Randy Mueller also said he plans to select at least one quarterback in the April 28 NFL Draft, so “the Dolphins will have way too much money at quarterback for a team not getting good production,” a source said in regard to Culpepper’s situation.

Besides the economic issues, Culpepper still has no firm timetable for returning from knee injuries that forced him to miss most of the past two seasons. He was not given medical clearance to participate full-speed in last week’s mini-camp.

Either Daunte Culpepper’s injury is much worse than anyone is saying or this team has gone nuts. We’re about to deal for or sign a fourth QB in four seasons. What does that say about this franchise? I never liked the Culpepper signing from the start.

Note- The Miami Dolphin QB carousel has consisted of Culpepper, Joey Harrington, AJ Feeley, Jay Fiedler, Cleo Lemon, Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenthals since 2004.

If Culpepper is released or traded, the Dolphins will save $1.3 million against this year’s salary cap. However, because of remaining prorated portions of Culpepper’s signing bonus, $5.6 million still will count against the cap in the future. The Dolphins could absorb that hit in a lump sum this year or spread it out through the next two seasons.

But first the Dolphins and Chiefs must agree on a trade for Green, a transaction the two teams have discussed since late February.

Tuesday, Chiefs President Carl Peterson said trade talks resumed last weekend, but he suggested a deal might not get done before the draft.


The Chiefs are asking for more than the Dolphins are willing to give up for a 37-year-old quarterback who suffered a major concussion last season.

“I told Randy that they made a great trade with New England,” Peterson said, referring to Mueller sending receiver Wes Welker to the Patriots.

“They got – for what we would consider a third wide receiver and kick-return specialist – second- and seventh-round draft picks. I told him that I think a starting quarterback is worth that.”

The Dolphins would prefer to give up only a seventh-round pick for Green, who under his contract is scheduled to receive $7.2 million in 2007. Green’s agent, Jim Steiner, is free to negotiate a new contract with prospective teams, but that list is getting short.

So Miami could end up trading multiple picks to get another QB, one that’s nearing the end of the road age wise and has just come off a serious injury. Green is a short term disaster fix that won’t help the team long-term if Miami has to trade the Welker picks to get another one year QB. (I thought the Pats were nuts to give up that much for the WR though I do like Wes). Why not play a waiting game on Culpepper’s knee, the NFL draft and if KC just lets Green go first. Houston dumped David Carr without compensation

That Miami hasn’t learned from the QB fiascos of the last three seasons tells me this franchise has a long way to go before being a serious contender again. The solution to Miami’s QB problems is about to be released or traded again. What a sad state of affairs in Miami.

If I were the Dolphins, I’d start Lemon, draft a QB early, keep Daunte around as the 3rd stringer or put him on IR/release him and then find another QB off the refuse pile like this guy to be the 3rd string emergency QB. The key there was Miami gave up nothing to get the player. In other words, don’t make another QB deal. The only reason Dolphin management can’t see this is they have to be complete idiots.

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