What price for Harrington?

Reports indicate the Dolphins and the agent for Joey Harrington have agreed to terms on a two-year deal, so the only hurdle remaining before Harrington joins Miami is working out a trade with the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, that's proving to be a little difficult at this time. From the Dolphins' standpoint, the question is simple: How much is too much for Harrington?

The Dolphins don't have a lot of ammunition when it comes to draft picks to trade away because they're already without selection in the second, fifth and sixth rounds.

What Nick Saban would like to do is ship one of his three seventh-rounders to the Lions for Harrington, but Detroit has said no thanks to that so far.

The Lions, in fact, are believed to want the Dolphins' third- or fourth-round pick, and we're having a hard time envisioning Saban giving in to that demand.

That's why the word now is that the Dolphins have begun to take a serious look at former Rams backup Jamie Martin as an alternative.

Martin would be OK as a No. 2 quarterback, but he's doesn't have Harrington's upside -- Harrington's struggles in Detroit notwithstanding.

Maybe there's a little bluffing going on here. Actually, it's very likely there's a lot of it going on.

One day, Lions coach Rod Marinelli says he wants to have the Harrington situation resolved as soon as possible, the next team president Matt Millen says he's perfectly willing to wait until long after the draft to deal Harrington because he isn't due a bonus until the middle of June.

So what gives?

The Lions obviously are trying to maximize the return they get for Harrington, while the Dolphins are hoping to get him as cheaply as possible.

There's no way the Dolphins should give Millen their third- or fourth-round pick for Harrington. Maybe throwing in a second seventh-rounder would be the way to go. Or perhaps making it a fifth- or sixth-round pick in 2007.

Somehow, we're thinking this poker game will come to an end before too long because the Dolphins apparently really want Harrington and the Lions really want to close the door on that situation.

Who blinks first? Well, you've got Saban on one side and Matt Millen. Hmm ... we're thinking the Dolphins will do just fine on this one.


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