Trent's Time?: Dolphins Could Still Go Green

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Trent's Time?: Dolphins Could Still Go Green

John Beck might never evolve into a quality starter and Cleo Lemon is destined for a career spent buried on a depth chart, but would the Dolphins really resort to trying to win in 2008 with 2007's first choice at quarterback?

If Jim Steiner, Trent Green's agent, is to be believed, Bill Parcells has expressed interest in bringing back his client, which is startling at first thought.

Still, the obvious concerns with Green, while serious, aren't necessarily insurmountable roadblocks.

It's true Green didn't look quite outstanding in his limited first season with the Dolphins: He had a feeble 72.6 rating in the five games he appeared in before his season-concluding injury. On the other hand, he completed a somewhat respectable 60.3 percent of his passes and threw for five touchdowns, although he was also intercepted seven times.

But it wasn't all his fault. It's important to remember that Green was mired in a deep, wide swamp of incompetence, and his unfortunate showing was about what we came to expect from nearly everyone wearing a Dolphins jersey. Plus, even with the now-departed Chris Chambers available at the time, he had few genuine targets.

Also, the Miami offensive line was very young at the time, playing together in its very first true action. It was a real-world experiment which, while only led to him getting sacked seven times, nonetheless created an adjustment period for this team.

Another problem for Green is that the Earth continues to revolve around the Sun, leading to the unavoidable truth that he will be 38 by 2008's Week One. That said, Parcells doesn't seem to mind older quarterbacks.

While he eventually turned to Tony Romo at the end of his Dallas tenure, he first brought in the graying Drew Bledsoe as his starter. Previously, Parcells used Vinny Testaverde as his guy; born in Brooklyn but schooled at the University of Miami, Testaverde could have fought for either the North or South during the Civil War.

The more imperative concern than Green's age is his health, but only medical professionals know how significant that concern is.

While Green suffered a concussion in the each of the past two seasons, including the horrid one he sustained while leading the Chiefs, it's up to him and his doctors to determine his worthiness. Some observers may be surprised to learn that the player and his physicians might just have a better grasp on the situation than the fans and writers calling for his retirement.

Even if there's a danger, it's ultimately Green's danger. Every NFL player takes a risk every time he's on the field and the ball is snapped. It's cold, but the choice to face the potential for an injury that could affect one's career or well-being after football days are done is the individual's.

It's Green's right to evaluate the threat and possible consequences and choose to continue to face risk or not. Those urging Green to take up broadcasting right now should bear in mind that, aside from the fact one can sit in a television studio forever but only play sports professionally for a finite time, he gets to make that judgment.

If Green is willing to venture back onto the field after making an informed, measured decision, he could serve as a stable, experienced option among young players who will need leadership.

If nothing else, an aging Trent Green offers more, even with questions swirling around him, than a questionable second-year man or the utterly marginal other current option.

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