McNOWN LEAVING TOWN

In a move that didn't come as much of a surprise to those who have been watching the Dolphins practice this offseason, the team has decided that Cade McNown was never going to be an answer at quarterback.<P>That's why they traded him to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2003 draft.

In other moves, the Dolphins also released linebacker Corey Moore, fullback Matt Kalapinski and wide receiver Darnell MacDonald.

The departure of McNown, as mentioned before, was expected because his passing was very erratic in the offseason training sessions and he hadn't shown nearly enough to make the Dolphins want to keep him.

At least, Miami didn't lose much in the whole episode -- only a couple of late-round draft picks -- which began with a trade with the Chicago Bears last summer.

The trade leaves the Dolphins with four quarterbacks on the roster -- starter Jay Fiedler, backup Ray Lucas and rookie free agents Zak Kustok and Tim Levcik, who could battle for the No. 3 job if the Dolphins don't pick up another quarterback. If they don't add anybody else, Levcik appears the clear favorite to win the third-string job because he has better size and much better arm strength than Kustok.

"With five quarterbacks in camp, it would have been difficult for everyone to get the work they needed, and we felt that we wanted to get a good look at Tim Levcik and Zak Kustok," said Coach Dave Wannstedt. "Cade did everything we asked of him -- he worked hard, he was totally professional in his approach and he interacted well with the players and the coaching staff."

Among the players released, the biggest name was Moore, an All-American defensive end at Virginia Tech who hasn't been able to make the move to linebacker in the NFL.


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