KC Playing with Fire in Harrington Game

On Sunday morning, embattled quarterback Joey Harrington was nearing a deal with the Miami Dolphins that could end a five-year flirtation with the Kansas City Chiefs. It could also be a deathblow to the Chiefs 2006 season if anything happens to starter Trent Green.

When it was announced two weeks ago that Joey Harrington was going to be released by Detroit, there was little doubt that his name would surface as a candidate for the back-up job in Kansas City. With the report that he's close to a deal with Miami, this move smells a lot like the Chiefs choosing kicker Lin Elliott over Nick Lowery.

If Harrington goes to Miami, it puts the Chiefs in a bad position for the 2006 season.

I'm not saying that Harrington is the second coming of John Elway, but the Chiefs current quarterback is almost 37. They have a young quarterback in Casey Printers who showed major potential in 2004, but he's nowhere close to being ready to start.

The risk the Chiefs are taking is believing that Damon Huard can do anything but hold a clip board. Huard does not have the ability or the talent to start in the NFL. I've seen enough of him in OTAs, mini camps and training camp to know that he doesn't have the arm strength or field awareness to complete even the simplest of passes.

I can buy using Huard in a pinch for a series or two, but the Chiefs would have to give the ball to Larry Johnson 50 times a game for that to work.

The Chiefs are playing Russian Roulette in hoping Green can make it through another season without injury. Last season he was injured in preseason and had a stint placed in his leg to increase blood flow.

Former back-up quarterback Todd Collins joined former offensive coordinator Al Saunders in Washington early in free agency.

The Chiefs have spent a significant amount of time interviewing young quarterbacks like Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler and Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst. But there's no guarantee that either will be available in the second or third round. Cutler has been predicted to go anywhere from the top five to the second round.

That's what made Harrington so attractive to the Chiefs. But Miami is offering him a two-year contract, which the Chiefs are not willing to do.

Harrington wants to play for the Chiefs and it would have been a perfect match. In an off-season that has been littered with free agents like running back Quentin Griffin, defensive tackle Ron Edwards and cornerback Lenny Walls, the Chiefs have sat and watched other teams get better through free agency.

That was the plan when Herman Edwards took over. But at some point this team has to acquire better talent and relying solely on the draft is risky. Especially if this team really believes it's a contender to win the AFC West in 2006.

The draft is a crapshoot. Refusing to grab an experienced quarterback and instead relying on a CFL product and a journeyman; leaves me wondering if the Chiefs brass running the show at One Arrowhead Drive care about what the fans think at all. They don't but they should listen to us this time.

We were right a decade ago about Lin Elliott and we're right about why this team should acquire Joey Harrington.

Let's hope the Chiefs come to their senses and steal Harrington away from the Dolphins.

If not, Chiefs fans better pray that Trent Green can play all 16 games next season.

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