BISHOP SLIPS AWAY

The Dolphins put in a waiver claim for former New England quarterback Michael Bishop, but lost out when Green Bay also claimed the former Kansas State star.<P>The Packers got to claim Bishop because they finished with a worse record than the Dolphins in 2000.<P>The Dolphins still might wind up with a potential quarterback of the future in the next few days, that being former Bears No. 1 pick Cade McNown.<P>

Bishop was waived by New England over the weekend after spending two seasons with the Patriots. He had been a seventh-round draft pick in 1999 following a brilliant senior season at KSU that saw him finish second to Ricky Williams in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins still have their offer of a seventh-round pick on the table to the Chicago Bears for the services of McNown.

The Bears reportedly are looking for more for the former first-round pick, something along the lines of a fourth-round choice.

It may come down to a waiting game for the Dolphins because it seems a foregone conclusion that the Bears don't want to have McNown on their roster once the regular season starts.

While it may appear the Dolphins are desperate for a quarterback, their interest in Bishop and McNown is rather easy to explain. Mike Quinn is a serviceable No. 3 quarterback, but his potential is limited and it's debatable whether he will ever become a starting quarterback in the NFL. So if the Dolphins can add a young quarterback with good potential without paying a big price, why not do it?

Bishop wouldn't have played a role in the Miami offense had he been acquired, and McNown won't, either, if he winds up joining the Dolphins.

But the Dolphins might have to address the quarterback position before too long because Jay Fiedler is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

And Bishop and McNown both appear to possess potential star quality, even though there's no guarantee either will ever show it on the field.


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