Pre-Camp Analysis: Quarterbacks

As we start heading closer to the 2007 training camp, we break down the Dolphins position by position, analyzing what they did in the offseason and what to expect in the upcoming season. We begin our series with a look at the quarterbacks.

Who's new: Trent Green (Kansas City, trade), John Beck (draft), Gibran Hamdan (free agent)

Who's gone: Joey Harrington (released, signed with Atlanta)

Who's back: Daunte Culpepper (for now), Cleo Lemon

What happened in the offseason: This obviously was the focal point for the Dolphins, with all the speculation around the Trent Green trade, which finally was done in the first week of June. The other part of that equation, of course, deals with what would happen with Daunte Culpepper, and he's still on the team as of Tuesday, although there's no way he'll be on the opening-day roster now that the Dolphins have told him they want to trade him. Of course, the other issue there is the grievance Culpepper has filed against the Dolphins, a grievance that will be heard next week. For the long term, the biggest move was the drafting of John Beck in the draft in the second round, following the much-criticized decision to bypass Brady Quinn in Round 1 in favor of Ohio State speedster Ted Ginn Jr. The Dolphins also re-signed Cleo Lemon, who was a restricted free agent.

What to expect: There has been no official announcement or pronouncement so far, but it's pretty clear that Trent Green will be the starting quarterback in 2007, Lemon will be the backup, and Beck will be given the opportunity to sit and learn during his rookie before he takes over as the starter. As for Culpepper, it seems now that unless an arbitrator forces the Dolphins' hand, they will hang on to him for a while to try to get something in return in a trade, with the idea being that a team could lose a starter or key backup to injury in the preseason and then become desperate and willing to part with a draft pick to get Culpepper. The downside of that strategy is that it's going to make for some uncomfortable moments if Culpepper decides to continue showing up at the team's facility to work out and continue to rehab his knee.

What we think: Let's address the various moves individually first. Love the Beck selection and not taking Quinn, who probably was the most overrated prospect in this year's draft and would have been just another name had he not been the golden boy from Notre Dame. Beck will be just as good a pro, if not better. Two, the Green move makes sense because he's just a better fit for this offense than Culpepper ever could have been. Yes, he's a little old and he's coming off a bad season, but he was hurt by Kansas City's new offense (which was not the Cam Cameron-style system) and his concussion was a one-shot deal. Jason Taylor's comment that he could become scrambled eggs with another big hit could apply to any quarterback. A big hit likely will "concuss" a quarterback, regardless of whether he's been concussed before. Come on, it's not like Green has had the same background as Steve Young or Troy Aikman, who sustained several concussions throughout their careers. As for Culpepper, we're thinking the Dolphins are putting themselves through a whole lot of aggravation for a seventh-round pick or maybe even a sixth-rounder if it came to that. We're thinking they should have just cut ties already. But overall, you've got to like the overall design of the plan in place here. The Dolphins have a solid starter in place for this year and they have their quarterback of the future also on the roster, and with a year of learning at his disposal instead of being thrown into a situation where he would have to produce right away.


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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.