Seau alters deal to help possible trade to Miami
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Miami would get lower-round pick
By Len Pasquarelli
The Miami Dolphins have yet to officially acquire linebacker Junior Seau. But the team is already making plans for the departure of Derrick Rodgers, the player Seau will likely replace as the weakside starter.
Dolphins officials have discussed a trade, league sources confirmed, that would send Rodgers to the Green Bay Packers. The Dolphins presumably would receive a low-round draft choice in return.
It is not known if Miami has spoken with other clubs about Rodgers. But the Packers certainly have a need at linebacker, and the Dolphins would prefer to trade the six-year veteran instead of simply releasing him outright.
Green Bay released former starting weakside linebacker Nate Wayne last month in a salary cap move.
By trading Rodgers, the Dolphins actually would reduce the amount of cap space they would be rebated, but would at least net a draft choice in return. A trade would create $250,000 in cap space for Miami. Releasing Rodgers after June 1 would mean a $1 million rebate on the 2003 cap.
Rodgers, 31, has been a starter all six seasons with Miami, which brought him into the league as a third-round draft choice in 1997. He has started in 89 of 93 appearances and never started fewer than 14 games in a season.
The former Arizona State standout has 378 career tackles, nine sacks, three interceptions and four forced fumbles. He started 15 games in 2002 and had 74 tackles and two interceptions.
He faces a one-game league suspension, for the opener of the '03 season, after pleading no contest in January to charges that he attacked his wife and another man in a South Beach restaurant. The Packers, as are all teams in the league, are aware of the pending suspension.
Seau arrived in Miami on Tuesday afternoon, will have a physical exam on Wednesday, and the much-rumored trade between the Dolphins and San Diego Chargers should be completed in a matter of days. The teams already have decided on draft choice compensation, with Miami set to send San Diego a lower-round pick in the 2004 draft.
The 12-time Pro Bowl performer facilitated the deal on Monday when he agreed to delay a $2.7 million roster bonus he was due Tuesday. Seau must sign a new contract with the Dolphins, who are expected to pay a portion of the roster bonus, but negotiations between Miami officials and agent Marvin Demoff have proceeded smoothly.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.