Green Gets His Wish

It was messy, ugly at times, emotional and silly on some fronts but logic won out in the end. In the final minutes of daylight on Tuesday afternoon, the Miami Dolphins caved. The Chiefs got the pick they wanted as the team that badly needed a quarterback pulled the trigger.

There is something to be said for patience. It's both a great virtue and a curse. For a loyal person like Trent Green, the edge of his sanity was tested. There was no doubt he wanted out of Kansas City in the worst way, but after being quiet in the beginning, he got louder until finally he pushed his demands to anyone who would listen.

The Chiefs did, and were able to extract a conditional fifth-round draft choice that turns into a fourth-rounder if Green takes 70 percent of Miami's offensive snaps.

The Chiefs continue to get younger at every position. It was plain to everyone after Green struggled down the stretch last season that he wasn't the same quarterback he was before the concussion.

Head Coach Herm Edwards knew he had to make a change at quarterback after the Indianapolis playoff loss. Green saw the writing on the wall when the team asked him to take a pay cut in February. He refused, and when that happened the team began to work on a new contract with Damon Huard. Meanwhile, Edwards began talking about Brodie Croyle's opportunity to win the starting job.

Green went public with his desire to be traded because his chances to get a fair shot at regaining his starting job were slim. All of this is moot now, however. Green received his wish and is now Miami's starter after passing a physical on Wednesday.

In retrospect, Green grew up in Kansas City. He became the quarterback he always believed he'd be. After a series of close calls as a starter, he arrived in Kansas City with the recommendation of his good friend Dick Vermeil. After a rocky first season, he became KC's leader. He took a beating in 2001 but responded by changing the fortunes of an inconsistent offensive football team.

That says a lot about a guy who was probably facing his last chance at NFL stardom. The Chiefs - and in particular Vermeil - gave him the opportunity, and he made the most of it.

As talks between the Chiefs and Dolphins broke down, that was lost on some fans. But Green never lost sight of his feelings for the organization and the fans. At Saturday's mini-camp, he signed every possible autograph and talked to reporters with some regret over the situation.

Though he wanted to leave Kansas City, Green understood it was not his choice. If it was up to him, he'd retire a Chief. And that was probably the deciding factor in the granting of his wish.

Chiefs President Carl Peterson took a lot of heat, but he stood his ground and did what was best for his football team. He played hardball with the Dolphins while Green faced some harsh realities over the last four months.

This game is brutal and at times extremely unfair, but for a franchise in transition like the Chiefs, difficult decisions have to be made. As one Chiefs player told me last night, Edwards wants younger players who make plays, and that was ultimately the deciding factor in pushing Green away.

The Chiefs felt he just couldn't make the plays anymore. We'll see if that analysis is correct in a few months, but regardless of how well or how poor Green plays with the Dolphins, he's one of the classiest people I've ever met in this profession.

Selfishly, I hope he does well and performs at a high level for the Dolphins.

For the Chiefs, I hope he gets his snaps so they receive a higher draft pick.

Either way, I'm glad to write my last article on the subject. It's time for all of us to move on.

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