WHEELS IN MOTION?

It's pretty obvious the Dolphins are trying to upgrade the quarterback position, but it's looking as though they might strike out on their top choice, former Jacksonville starter Mark Brunell.

The belief is that the Washington Redskins have the inside track at landing Brunell simply because they have decided to give the Jaguars a draft pick for the veteran quarterback.

The Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers also are said to be interested in Brunell, but the Redskins have the best position.

Brunell wants to play somewhere it's clear he'll be the starter, and all three teams offer that opportunity. But Brunell also wants to play for a team with a chance to contend, which pretty much eliminates the Chargers.

That leaves Washington and the Dolphins, but the Redskins have the advantage of being in a much better draft position.

For one thing, they pick before the Dolphins in every round. For another, the Dolphins don't have a No. 2 to give up because they sent it to New England last year for a third-round selection that was used on offensive tackle Wade Smith.

That means, for example, that Washington could offer a third-round pick for Brunell and the only way the Dolphins could top that would be by offering their first-round choice, the 20th overall.

And given Brunell's injury problems of recent years and the fact he's 33, they're not likely to do that.

Brunell has indicated he'd love to play in Miami, but he's also said to be impressed by the willingness of teams to give up a draft pick for him.

OK, so getting Brunell doesn't look good right now because Jacksonville apparently has decided they're not going to release him but instead will trade him.

So what happens in Washington if Brunell joins the team? What about Patrick Ramsey, the former No. 1 pick?

This is where it gets interesting. Word is the Dolphins would consider giving the 20th pick in the draft to the Redskins for Ramsey. The question now is whether the Redskins want to trade the former Tulane star.

If both those options fail, yet another possibility for the Dolphins is Eagles restricted free agent A.J. Feeley. But getting Feeley probably will require giving Philly a draft pick because they're likely to tender Feeley.

Feeley was only the third quarterback last year behind Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer, but the Dolphins aren't the only ones who think Feeley has nice potential.

In terms of veteran options, there isn't much left after that, which may be why Jay Fiedler's agent is saying he expects his client to be back in Miami next season.

But rest assured the Dolphins will exhaust every possibility before they go back to that situation.

As for a young quarterback, such as Drew Henson or Philip Rivers, that's more of a long-term project. The Dolphins need someone for right now, whether it be Brunell, Ramsey or Feeley.


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