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Emilie Arkin

Headline: Starting QB for a lousy Round 5 pick?

It’s almost amazing a quarterback who passed for more than 4,000 yards in

three of the last four years is worth no more than a fifth-round draft pick.

But then, Trent Green will turn 37 on July 9 and was banged up in 2006, so

that’s all the Chiefs got for him in a slow-developing deal with the

Dolphins.

Miami dreams of another Rich Gannon, who was about Green’s age when he was

NFL MVP in 2002. They see Green putting them in the hunt with the AFC East’s

2006 playoff teams, the Patriots and Jets (the Browns face all three in

2007).

The Chiefs hope they stole draft value in exchange for a craftsman they no

longer wished to pay. But a measly fifth-round pick?

Actually, Kansas City struck fifth-round gold in 2000 by drafting Dante

Hall, who became a return whiz.

Since then, though, Round 5 hasn’t exactly brought Chiefs fans out of their

seats.

Tight end Billy Baber (2001) caught three passes over two years before

getting cut.

Linebacker Scott Fujita (2002) is coming off a breakthrough year, but not in

Missouri ‹ the Saints reached the playoffs with Fujita starting.

Jordan Black (2003) started 15 games at left tackle for the Chiefs in 2006,

but only because they lost Willie Roaf to an injury ‹ and now Black is a

Houston Texan.

Boomer Grigsby (2005) has been a backup linebacker and special teams player

through two seasons. Wideout Alphonso Hodge (2005) hasn’t caught a pass with

either of his two teams, the Chiefs and Jets.

Marcus Maxey (2006) was a nonfactor as a rookie cornerback, appearing in two

games.

The Browns were in early trade talks involving Green. Shaky as Cleveland has

been in its expansion-era drafts, the Browns are an example of why teams are

paranoid about giving away even later picks.

Linebacker Andra Davis (Round 5, 2002) has become a fixture on the defense.

Ryan Pontbriand (Round 5, 2003) hasn’t quite induced long-snapper fever, but

he provides a necessary service.

Jerome Harrison (Round 5, 2006) is projected as the change-of-pace back

behind Jamal Lewis this year.

Still, it’s odd a quarterback who has passed for 4,591 yards, as Green did

while setting a Chiefs record in 2004, can’t fetch more. It’ll seem stranger

if Green lifts Miami out of the muck, Gannon style.

This is different. The year Gannon turned 37 and passed for a Raiders-record

4,689 yards, he was in sync with a seasoned team that had gone 10-6 a year

earlier. Green is the new guy on a Miami team coming off a 6-10 year.

A year after his 4,689-yard sizzler, Gannon crashed, and so did the Raiders.

If the Dolphins don’t reach the 2007 playoffs and Green fades to gray, they

essentially will have received nothing. The Chiefs’ fifth-rounder at least

may amount to something.

CHARLIE vs. BRODIE

There’s a chance the Chiefs’ Aug. 11 preseason opener at Cleveland could be

a battle of starting QBs picked in recent third rounds. Charlie Frye, the

No. 67 pick in 2005, figures to start for the Browns. Herm Edwards won’t say

yet whether Kansas City’s starter will be 24-year-old Brodie Croyle, the No.

85 pick last year. Damon Huard, who played well in place of an injured Green

last year, is the alternative, but he will turn 34 next month, and time is

on Croyle’s side.

Edwards is being predictably diplomatic toward both QBs as training camp

nears, but don’t forget what he said about Croyle at the NFL Combine: “He

has a lot of potential and played in a good program (Alabama) ... we’ve got

to get him more opportunity this year.”

MUZZLE TIME

 The blow-up over Clinton Portis’ ill-advised comments about Michael Vick’s

dog-fighting issues will produce collateral damage to NFL writers ‹ and

readers. Portis basically said illegal dog fighting is no big deal and

shouldn’t be held against a fine citizen like Vick, for which he became the

butt of jokes and was blasted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Consequently, some players will be more careful about what they say in an

already-reluctant world.

For years, agents have schooled clients in politically correct babble. The

number of players willing to conduct a real conversation shrinks each year.

“From now on,’’ he told Redskins beat writers, “I don’t comment on nobody.’’

His public humiliation will have a ripple effect.

HOT CORNERS

In retrospect, the Bills were astute in drafting ex-Ohio State cornerbacks

Antoine Winfield at No. 23 overall in 1999 and Nate Clements at No. 21 in

2001. However, Buffalo lost both to NFC teams in free agency. A Sporting

News poll ranks Clements (49ers) No. 1 and Winfield (Vikings) No. 5 among

NFC cornerbacks.

Clements must prove he can handle the pressure of signing a $50 million deal

despite never making a Pro Bowl. Winfield is unhappy with his current team’s

effort to upgrade the offense and has skipped some spring drills.

While Winfield is ticked off, 2005 free agency pick-up Steve Hutchinson is

fired up.

“It seemed like every day last year, we had to re-explain or the coaches

would have to go over the philosophy of a play or a scheme,’’ Hutchinson

told The Pioneer Press. “This year it seems to be understood.’’

Vikings personnel chief Rick Spielman upgraded his comfort level by hiring

long-time confidant George Paton as his director of player personnel.

Spielman and Paton worked together with the Bears and Dolphins.

POOR ASANTE

Asante Samuel is being a bit of a, well ... The former Round 4 pick out of

Central Florida wants out of New England now that he has broken through as a

solid starter. Within the NFL pay system, it’s not as if the Patriots are

treating him like cheap help. The team basically promised him almost $8

million for 2007 by designating him as a franchise player.

Tedy Bruschi, who has done far more for the Patriots’ defense than Samuel

during the current golden era, is in the final year of a four-year, $8.1

million contract. Bruschi hasn’t whined. Teammates have noticed the

difference.

THE BRADY BUNCH

Tom Brady told New England beat writers he won’t talk about becoming a

father. Actress Bridget Moynahan became pregnant with his child shortly

before they broke up late last year.

Brady is romantically linked with Gisele Bundchen, a 26-year-old supermodel

who had a bit part in “The Devil Wears Prada.’’ Moynahan, 35, got busy

making movies in 2000, when her credits included “Coyote Ugly.’’ She

co-starred opposite Will Allen in “I, Robot’’ (2004) and plays the female

lead opposite William Hurt and Tim Robbins in “Noise,’’ set for release this

year. It appears Brady’s first experience with fatherhood will roughly

coincide with his 30th birthday on Aug. 3.

TRY THE VEAL

“The Bus’’ is hiring busboys. A casual dining spot named Jerome Bettis’

Grille 36 opened in Pittsburgh’s North Shore area last week.

Among Bettis’ guests were assorted Steelers and fellow former NFL running

back Eddie George, who opened a sports bar in Nashville when he played for

the Titans. Bettis’ last course as a Steeler was a win in Super Bowl XL.

ROMO WORRY

Uncertainty over quarterback Tony Romo’s ability to build on his stunning

breakout year went up a notch after Flozell Adams, a fixture on the

offensive line since 1999, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery recently. The

Cowboys hope Adams will be OK for training camp, but he is a high-mileage

32-year-old. Dallas might need early help from tackle James Marten, a Round

3 pick out of Boston College.

NFL LOSES GEM

The league is losing a brilliant young public relations man, Steve Alic, who

has accepted a job with USA Football as director of communications. USA

Football is an independent group hatched by the NFL and NFLPA largely to

improve and grow youth football.

Reach Repository sports writer Steve Doerschuk at (330) 580-8347 or e-mail:

steve.doerschuk@cantonrep.com