Peterson Should Hold His Ground

Now that the Miami Dolphins have reached a contract agreement with quarterback Trent Green, the only thing left to do is work out acceptable trade compensation with Kansas City. Despite the fact the two teams agreed to a late-round draft pick before contract talks began, the Chiefs are playing hard ball, and that's exactly what they should be doing.

When it was reported early Friday afternoon that Green's agent, Jim Steiner, had worked out a new contract with the Dolphins, everyone expected the trade would follow. But Chiefs President Carl Peterson slowed the process down to a crawl.

After Matt Schaub was traded from Atlanta to Houston for a pair of second-round draft picks, Peterson thought the seventh-round pick the Dolphins were willing to send in exchange for Green was not acceptable.

Guess what? It's not, and it shouldn't be. Peterson is making a brilliant move because he knows he has all the leverage in these negotiations. Dolphins General Manager Randy Mueller is out of his league in trying to get one past Peterson.

Miami lost any edge they might have had when they leaked the fact they had no interest in trading for or signing former Texans quarterback David Carr. They have also worked the rumor mill by telling NFL insiders they could release veteran Daunte Culpepper – who may be headed to Oakland. They also released Joey Harrington before the start of free agency.

The issue at hand for the Chiefs is they know they have a commodity in Green, and they also have another team interested in him - the Detroit Lions, who have talked to the Chiefs about potential compensation.

Green would have to agree on a new contract with the Lions, but given his choices he may have to accept playing for Detroit instead of the Dolphins – especially if they part with a third-round pick.

The Chiefs are in the process of finishing up free agency, and in the next 10 days will start to evaluate the upcoming NFL Draft, where they hope to repeat their success of a year ago.

In order to do that, Kansas City is looking to secure as many first day picks as possible. Green isn't the only potential trade bait. Kick returner Dante Hall and safety Greg Wesley could also be on the market. Wesley has drawn interest from the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, while Hall's name has yet to light anyone's fire.

Peterson knows that Green has real value. Given the fact the Dolphins haven't really played very good poker with their desire to trade for him, Kansas City is in the driver's seat at the moment.

Peterson also has to be taking a bit of pleasure in making the Dolphins squirm over this deal, because they turned the tables on him during the Patrick Surtain saga that dragged out for nearly seven weeks two seasons ago. I realize Nick Saban was calling the shots then, and new head coach Cam Cameron currently allows Mueller to handle the business side of things, but there's no such thing as a short memory in the NFL.

Peterson and Mueller will sit down this Sunday at the NFL Meetings in Phoenix to try and hammer out the compensation, but Peterson will also talk with Lions GM Matt Millen. The two are good friends.

This deal will eventually get done, and Green will likely get his wish to be reunited with his old quarterbacks coach, Terry Shea. But it won't happen for a seventh rounder, and that's the right move by Peterson and the Chiefs. Top Stories