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Dolphins’ Lemon Waiting His Turn


The Dolphins spent yet another second-round pick on a quarterback, this time using it in the NFL Draft by taking John Beck. They also engaged in a protracted semi-hostage negotiation to get Trent Green from Kansas City.  Some people would call those moves a hint and a half for quarterback Cleo Lemon that any dream of being an NFL starter would be colored something other than aqua.  So why did Lemon re-sign with the Dolphins?  “I was told the competition is open,” said Lemon to the Miami Herald, who signed a one-year deal in late May.  “I can only go off what I’ve been told, work accordingly and hope I get an opportunity.”

Besides being a restricted free agent, there’s also the reality of what’s out there beyond the Dolphins and what’s here.  Also, NFL Draft weekend and the succeeding few weeks are decision making time when it comes to NFL teams and their quarterback situations.  The Dolphins were one of the few teams that left that period with any uncertainty about who would be under center for the first live snap in September.  Lemon worked with the first-team offense up through the second day of the June 8-10 minicamp, when Green began getting the majority of the snaps with the first team. Now the big question is whether Cameron will make Lemon or Beck the backup in September.

Lemon got out of the No. 3, emergency-quarterback slot last season when Daunte Culpepper (whom the Dolphins acquired from the Vikings for a second-round pick) had lingering problems with his right knee, and then saw his first regular-season action when the offense stagnated under Joey Harrington.  Lemon relieved Harrington in losses to Buffalo (21-0) and the Jets (13-10), and then started the season-finale loss in Indianapolis (27-22).  How the battle for the #2 QB job is anyone’s guess at this point.  However, I think the signs go towards Beck getting the backup QB job.  Lemon, as was the case for him when he was with San Diego, is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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