Was the Price Right?

Dolphins coach Cam Cameron said Wednesday that if the Trent Green deal didn't get done this week, it probably would have gotten done somewhere down the line. The truth is it also could have been done earlier had the Dolphins made their offer of a conditional fifth-round pick that can go to a fourth sooner. But now that the deal is done, the question is whether the Dolphins paid too much.

On the one hand, the Dolphins gave up less for Green than they gave up for either A.J. Feeley or Daunte Culpepper, neither of whom succeeded in Miami -- albeit for different reasons.

For comparison purposes, Baltimore gave Tennessee a fourth-round pick last offseason to get their hands on Steve McNair, who like Green no longer figured prominently in his former team's plans.

The pick going to K.C. will become a fourth-round choice if Green takes at least 70 percent of the snaps, according to reports. If that's the case, then the Dolphins will have gotten out of Green what they looked for, which is someone to hold the fort until John Beck is ready to take over the reins.

Really, a fourth-round pick isn't that much to give up for a quarterback, even if he starts only one year -- if Green can deliver better than predecessors Jay Fiedler, Feeley. Gus Frerotte, Culpepper and Joey Harrington.

Actually, we'd gladly settle for the kind of work the Dolphins got out of Frerotte in the final month of his only season in Miami, that being 2005.

Green, who will be 37 at the start of the 2007 season, is not an elite quarterback, not along the lines of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger.

But Green is a solid veteran who can get the job done, and do it a lot better than either Culpepper or Harrington did last year.

Just look at the Dolphins' losses last year. Generously, the Dolphins don't lose at home to Buffalo, at Houston, against Jacksonville or at home to the Jets if they get any kind of quarterbacking.

That's where Green can make the difference.

What about Culpepper, you ask? Couldn't he have done the job in his second season if he came back healthy? Yeah, maybe.

But if he came back healthy, and that's a big if. There's also a big issue with Culpepper, and that is that he hasn't had much success at all since he's had to play without Randy Moss, who in his prime could make life much easier for any quarterback.

Say what you want about Green being Cameron's guy because the two were together in Washington in the mid-1990s, but the truth is the Dolphins just didn't think they could trust Culpepper -- either becoming totally healthy again or being successful at running the new offense.

Cameron totally has that trust in Green because of their time together and also because of the fact that Green worked in Kansas City with new Dolphins quarterbacks coach Terry Shea.

Look, it's entirely possible that Culpepper could go to another team -- our friends at JagNation.com seem to think Jacksonville could be a landing area -- and put up big numbers, but is that really likely?

The ceiling -- to use a sports cliche -- indeed is higher with Culpepper than it is with Green, but Green sure looks like a much safer bet at this point.

Could the Dolphins have gotten him for less, though? Sure, but who knows how long Carl Peterson would have held on to Green to get what he wanted.

The truth is a fourth-round pick isn't such a heavy price to pay. The Dolphins have paid a lot more before. Let's just hope this time they actually get what they paid for.

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.