POSTED 8:15 a.m. EST, February 16, 2007
CLEO TIME IN MIAMI?
Buried in a Miami Herald item from earlier in the week was the revelation that the Dolphins have told backup quarterback Cleo Lemon, a looming restricted free agent, that he will compete for playing time in 2007.
The move makes sense, given that the new coach in Miami is former Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Lemon was a favorite of former Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer (and presumably of Cameron) in San Diego, and the decision of G.M. A.J. Smith to trade Lemon without Schottenheimer's knowledge or approval was one of the many things that caused their differences to become irreconcilable.
Now that Cameron is in Miami with Lemon, we expect Lemon to get as much of a shot as Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington to be the starter in 2007, especially since the expectations in Miami will be tempered a bit this season.
The more immediate problem for the Fins is to decide the right level of tender to extend to Lemon, given that the poison pill device makes it very easy for another team to craft an offer sheet that a restricted free agent's current team can't match.
Since Lemon was undrafted, the Fins will have to tender Lemon at the new second-round level, if not higher, in order to ensure that they will keep him around for another season.