Browns pass on trade with Lions for QB Harrington

Updated: April 30, 2006, 2:38 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The Lions handled the Joey Harrington situation like a game of poker Sunday.

Detroit told Harrington's agent, David Dunn, that they were going to try to trade him to Cleveland. The Browns called Harrington and the quarterback told them that he didn't want to come to Cleveland.

Quarterback
Detroit Lions

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp Yds TD Int Rat
330 188 1885 12 12 72.0

So what did the Browns do? They kept drafting and didn't make a trade. They took four players -- linebacker Leon Williams, guard Isaac Sowells, halfback Jerome Harrison and cornerback DeMario Minter, leaving them only sixth and seventh round picks to move.

The Lions' threat so far hasn't worked as Harrington continues to plan to go to the Dolphins. Now, the Dolphins are considering not giving the Lions a sixth-round pick in 2007 and just waiting for him to be released in June.

Harrington visited the Dolphins and the Bengals after the Lions gave him permission to shop himself with a trade. He canceled a visit to the Broncos and decided to go to the Dolphins. Harrington and the Dolphins worked out a two-year agreement that would facilitate the trade. Because he has a $4.45 million salary and a $4 million roster bonus due around June 15, Harrington needs to restructure his contract before any trade.

Although Lions president Matt Millen told Harrington he would let him go where the quarterback wanted, the Lions don't want to trade him for the sixth-round choice in 2007 being offered by the Dolphins. The Lions prefer a draft choice Sunday.

The Dolphins' position is that Harrington wants to join their team. The Lions' position is that the collective bargaining agreement doesn't permit a secret deal and might go to the NFL Management Council for help.

The market for Harrington in a trade diminished when the Broncos drafted Jay Cutler and the Chiefs drafted Brodie Croyle, leaving the Browns as one of the few options for the Lions aside from Miami.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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