Closing the book on a bad chapter

A.J. Feeley's stay with the Dolphins came to an end on Tuesday when he was shipped to San Diego in a trade involving third-string quarterbacks, but it had been a while since we knew he had no future in Miami and that the trade to get him from Philadelphia last offseason was going to go down as a big-time failure.

It's almost laughable to think now that the Dolphins gave up a second-round pick for a player who wound up starting a mere eight games for the team.

The trade unfortunately was former GM Rick Spielman's signature move during his one year in charge of personnel decisions and it will go down as one of the worst trades in franchise history.

Spielman's thinking at the time of the trade was that Feeley could become for the Dolphins another Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Delhomme, former backup quarterbacks who became successful starters after being traded.

The price to get Feeley, however, was seen as exorbitant from the start, given that Feeley's body of work was limited to five starts for a powerful Eagles team in 2002.

But it became apparent fairly quickly that even though Feeley possesses good physical skills he lacked the intangibles to become a big-time quarterback in the NFL.

What we're talking about here is pocket presence, game-management skills and decision-making.

Feeley is severely lacking in those areas and it doesn't matter that he can move well or that he has a strong arm. Those deficiencies always will show up.

In Cleo Lemon, the Dolphins get a young quarterback who is very, very raw and might never amount to anything in the NFL.

But you never know and, besides, the Dolphins saved salary-cap space with the move.

But the bottom line is that the Dolphins coaches simply didn't think Feeley was ever able to help.

Philadelphia got wide receiver Reggie Brown with the second-round pick it stole from the Dolphins in the Feeley trade.

To use a familiar Don Shula phrase, it was the type of trade you hate to be associated with.

Now that Feeley is gone, perhaps it will be easier to forget about it.


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