NEW NO. 3 QB

The Dolphins made their second trade in three days when they sent an undisclosed 2003 draft pick to the Washington Redskins in exchange for quarterback Sage Rosenfels. Here's what we think of this deal.

A great move for the Dolphins.

The pick the Dolphins sent to Washington will be a low-round selection, making it a very small price to pay.

Anyone who watched the Dolphins' first two preseason games could clearly see that neither Zak Kustok or Tim Levcik is anywhere near being ready to play in the NFL — if they ever become ready.

That left the Dolphins in bad shape at the No. 3 quarterback spot should disaster strike and both Jay Fiedler and Ray Lucas get injured.

In Rosenfels, the Dolphins got a player who was deemed a good enough prospect out of Iowa State that the Redskins spend a fourth-round draft pick on him in 2001.

But Rosenfels had no shot in Washington because the Redskins drafted Patrick Ramsey in the first round last spring and because Coach Steve Spurrier brought in two former Florida Gators, Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews, who probably will make the team that neither is better than mediocre.

Rosenfels didn't see any action as a rookie in 2001, but he performed pretty well in the preseason this year, completing 32 of 54 passes (59.3 percent) for 476 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

"We are pleased to complete this trade for Sage," said Dolphins senior vice president Rick Spielman. "We liked him when he came out of college last year. He was in a very competitive situation in Washington where they had four quality quarterbacks, so we are fortunate to get a player of his caliber for our third quarterback position."

Two points to make on Spielman's comments. Number one, Spielman has to be politically correct, but calling Wuerffel and Matthews quality quarterbacks is being overly kind — in fact, Rosenfels probably is better than both of them.

Second, there is no competition for the third quarterback spot in Miami. Rosenfels has that job. He is a major upgrade over Kustok and Levcik.

This is good move for the present because the Dolphins now actually might have a shot if their third quarterback has to play in a game. It could wind up being a fabulous move for the future because Rosenfels has interesting potential.


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