Harrington to Dallas: Any Chance?

Joey Harrington in Dallas? Could it happen? Will it happen? TheRanchReport.com puts everything we know on the table in this report!

It started with players like Tony Banks, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright and Chad Hutchinson.

It continued with Drew Henson.

Ever since the departure of three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Troy Aikman, the Dallas Cowboys have been searching for a signal caller to lead them back to a World Championship, or first, a win in the playoffs.

At the time, Banks was thought to be washed up but was given a chance to be a starter in training camp and didn't work out. Carter was a huge reach in the second round of the draft who was eventually released due to a rumored drug problem. Wright never lived up to expectations and consistently made poor decisions and Hutchinson was nothing short of a bust after Dallas signed him away from Major League Baseball.

Henson has yet to prove his worth, but a springtime tour in NFL Europe speaks volumes about where he is in the Cowboys quarterback pecking order.

Yes, the Cowboys did sign Drew Bledsoe last year, and by all accounts, that move has proven to be successful. The only question concerns his age. At most, Bledsoe has three more years left in the tank.

So now, with a veteran quarterback entering the prime of his career the Cowboys are going after ... Joey Harrington?

The former first-round draft pick that has won a grand total of 18 games in four seasons with the Detroit Lions? The same quarterback who has thrown more career interceptions than touchdowns?

That Joey Harrington?

A report in the Dallas Morning News Tuesday evening confirmed rumors reported on TheRanchReport.com Premium Message board almost a week ago- that the Cowboys have shown an early interest in Harrington.

Or at least, the organization has inquired about his services.

Harrington, who has been the subject of much controversy in Detroit in recent weeks, is on the trading block and as many as eight teams are seriously entertaining thoughts about what it would take to acquire him.

The former third overall pick of the 2002 draft has two years left on his existing contract, one that has him scheduled to earn $4.45 million in base salary in both 2006 and '07. He's also due a $4 million roster bonus June 15.

While rumors are running wild about Harrington's eventual destination, TheRanchReport.com believes there's a much better chance he lands in Kansas City or one of a handful of other teams as opposed to Dallas.

The most likely scenarios are posted below:


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: The Chiefs have held an interest in Harrington since the 2002 draft, when they attempted to jump from the No. 8 pick and swap with Detroit's No. 3 pick. Lions' GM Matt Millen, obviously, held firm despite the attempts from Chiefs' GM and friend, Carl Peterson. That interest hasn't waned. In fact, a common perception around the league is that Harrington didn't fail in Detroit, but that Detroit failed him.

The Chiefs will return starter Trent Green, but the injury-riddled Pro Bowler is nearing the end of his career. Neither of the team's reserve quarterbacks, Casey Printers (CFL) or Damon Huard, are even a lock to crack the roster.

The two teams have spoken, and Kansas City is considered a perfect fit for Harrington. Given Millen's history with Peterson, and Harrington's apparent interest in K.C., this is the most likely scenario, with the Lions receiving either a draft pick in exchange.

CINCINNATI BENGALS: After losing Jon Kitna to Detroit, a quasi-swap might be in the making with the Bengals.

With the uncertain health of franchise quarterback Carson Palmer (knee) less than settling, and the absence of a capable reserve, Cincinnati is eyeing Harrington as well as several other quarterbacks.

Ego might affect whether or not Harrington would agree to Cincinnati. Although the Bengals are loaded offensively, and Harrington and Palmer are friends who share the same agent (David Dunn), the idea of playing understudy to a player drafted one year (and two picks) ahead of you isn't appetizing.

Also, according to several published reports, Harrington visited with Cincinnati today.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS: The moment Patrick Ramsey landed in New York as Jet, the Redskins have entertained the idea of bringing in Harrington to work beneath veteran starter Mark Brunell.

Of course, former Chiefs' offensive coordinator Al Saunders is behind the iniative.

Saunders, now the Redskins' quarterbacks coach, has always valued Harrington, never believing Detroit used him to his potential.

The Redskins brought in Todd Collins, Saunders' pupil in Kansas City, but the team wouldn't mind spirited competition for the backup spot. But the inability to guarantee Harrington at least the 'primary' clip-holder position could nix any reciprocal interest.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Seattle isn't likely, given Mike Holmgren's west coast offense and Harrington's failure to adapt in the last four years. Still, Holmgren does think outside the 'Mariucci' box, allowing his quarterback to throw downfield. Starter Matt Hassebeck and the defending NFC North champs, meanwhile, are also without a second in command.

DALLAS COWBOYS: Yes Dallas would like to add a young quarterback to be groomed to replace veteran Drew Bledsoe, but would the organization be willing to part with a third round draft choice to get Harrington out of Detroit? Probably not. A late round draft choice? Maybe. Sources around the league believe that Harrington still has the potential to develop into a strong starting quarterback at the NFL level, but the Cowboys would only pull the trigger here for the right price, a price that is likely too low for the Lions.

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