Dolphins tell Culpepper they're 'going in a different direction'

Updated: June 7, 2007, 1:01 AM ET
Associated Press

DAVIE, Fla. -- Quarterback Trent Green is finally with the Miami Dolphins in South Florida, where Daunte Culpepper's time is running out.

Green passed his physical with the Dolphins on Wednesday, completing a deal in which Miami acquired him from the Kansas City Chiefs for a fifth-round draft pick in 2008. Green's agent, Jim Steiner, said the Chiefs may get a fourth-rounder instead, depending on how Green fares in Miami this season.

The team scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon to announce the deal. It's expected that Green will be on the Dolphins' practice field Friday when the team opens a three-day minicamp.

"I think everybody knows what this defense has done here ... " Green said. "It's time for the offense to catch up."

He'll immediately be penciled in as the starter in Miami, which went 6-10 last season and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

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Like Green, Culpepper wants to be there for minicamp, too -- but that's hardly a sure thing. A few hours before the Green trade became official, the Dolphins told Culpepper they "are going in a different direction at the QB position," according to Culpepper, who is resisting that plan.

"They would like to trade me in order to 'get something for me,"' Culpepper, who is his own agent, wrote in an e-mail after meeting with Miami general manager Randy Mueller and first-year coach Cam Cameron. "However, it is my position that I have already been down that road and I am not interested in being traded."

He may not have a choice.

Culpepper is due to make $5.5 million this season, played in only four games a year ago because of right knee problems and is still trying to recover from major surgery on that joint in 2005. He'd been largely a spectator for most Miami offseason practices so far, but received clearance from orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and members of the Dolphins' medical staff to resume football activity earlier this week.

"They have told me throughout the offseason that I am under contract to the Dolphins," Culpepper wrote. "Therefore, it will be up to them to either keep me under contract or release me. In the meantime I will continue to work out at the facility with the team and prepare myself for training camp, wherever it may be."

Cameron confirmed that the meeting took place, but didn't elaborate on what Green's acquisition means in the immediate sense for Culpepper's future.

"Randy and I are still working through some things," Cameron said. "By Friday we can probably lend a little more light on that subject. But today is about Trent Green."

In 5½ seasons as Kansas City's starter, Green threw for 21,459 yards -- an average of 244 per game -- and 118 touchdowns while completing 62 percent of his passes. He missed eight games last season because of a concussion suffered in the season opener, and didn't believe he would have a chance to compete fairly with Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard for the Chiefs starting job in 2007.

"They wanted to get younger," Green said. "I understand that."

So he wanted a trade and worked out a new contract several weeks ago with the Dolphins, who traded for Culpepper before the 2006 season. Culpepper, though, was hobbled in his four-game on-field stint, getting sacked 21 times before Miami shut him down for the remainder of the year.

"My position on Trent is that the Dolphins should get the best players that they can and let them compete for the starting job," said Culpepper, who tore three knee ligaments while playing for the Minnesota Vikings in 2005 -- but was still traded to Miami for a second-round pick a few months later.

The Dolphins clearly never intended to keep both Green and Culpepper. The team recently re-signed backup Cleo Lemon to a one-year deal, and chose Brigham Young quarterback John Beck in the second round of this year's draft after passing on a chance to take Notre Dame's Brady Quinn with the ninth overall pick -- which the Dolphins used on receiver-returner Ted Ginn Jr. of Ohio State.

Green would have made $7.2 million this season with the Chiefs. The Dolphins offered the Chiefs a sixth-round pick long before April's draft, but Kansas City reportedly insisted on a fourth-round selection.

"Trent has been a major contributor to the Kansas City Chiefs these past six years," Chiefs President Carl Peterson said. "We wish Trent and his family much success in Miami."

Green and Cameron have a long relationship. Both are former Indiana quarterbacks, and Cameron was Washington Redskins quarterbacks coach when Green was a third-stringer there in 1995 and 1996.

"The excitement for us has been building for some time, to get back together," Green said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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