In what seemed like something that was never to happen, the Lions and Dolphins finally agreed on a trade to send Joey Harrington to Miami. This comes after a long span of events that led up to the deal.
About a month or so ago, the Detroit Lions gave permission to Joey Harrington to shop-around for a trade as he was no longer wanted in the Motor City. Harrington went to a few teams, but didn't feel welcomed until visiting Miami. Both Harrington and Miami worked out and later agreed to a deal that would put Harrington in a Dolphins' uniform. All that was needed was for a release or trade of Joey Harrington.
This is the spot where everything came to a screeching halt. Detroit wanted a pretty high draft pick from this year's draft, but Miami wasn't willing to give up that much. They decided about a week ago to just be patient and wait until Harrington was released, which would've been June 15th as Detroit didn't want to pay him a 4 million dollar bonus.
Over the last weekend, Matt Millen got back on good terms with Miami and lowered his want for a high draft pick in the 2007 draft. The Lions and Dolphins resumed talks earlier this week, and today, after the long saga, got a deal both teams could agree to. This is great news for Detroit, Miami, and Joey Harrington.
The exchange for Harrington is that Detroit will receive a 2007 draft pick, but it's a conditional pick. If Harrington does well with Miami this year, then Detroit will get a 5th round pick. But, if Harrington doesn't meet the expectations of Miami, then Detroit will get a 6th round pick instead. The long-await for a deal to go through is good, as now Detroit can close the chapter on Joey Harrington, and look forward to the future.
When asked about the trade, here's what Dolphins' head coach Nick Saban had to say:
Also, Joey Harrington's agent, David Dunn, had this to add:
Joey Harrington was the happiest out of everybody as he didn't feel wanted in Detroit anymore. Was he really ever though? Harrington should be very content with his new home; he is the one that decided on Miami originally. Miami also gets a good deal out of this; Daunte Culpepper is still rehabbing his injury, and it is unclear if he will be ready for the start of the season. It's always good to have a plan B, and right now, that's what Joey Harrington will be.
Detroit now can look at the next starting quarterback for the Lions. Right now reports highly suggest that Jon Kitna will be the starter come September, just edging out Josh McCown. Kitna has made furthered himself from McCown in the most recent mini-camps. Change is always nice, especially when you're constantly finishing in the bottom half of the league.
I'm glad that a deal was worked out so that the Lions could receive something in return. It's bad to just release a player because of money issues, and then not get anything back. Plus, if Harrington plays well in Miami, then a 5th round pick for the 2007 draft would be coming to Detroit. The 5th-or even 6th-round of the draft is where the eye for talent is shown. One of those marquee players slips by and is the "steal of the draft." Detroit sort of did that by picking up Jonathan Scott this year, an offensive lineman out of Texas. The one real thing to look at is if Joey Harrington succeeds with his new team. Most say that Detroit just brings football players down, and we'll get a great look at if that perception is actually true.