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The day Dan Marino almost joined the Raiders

Perhaps the biggest story in the NFL this past week has centered on the possible trade of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported the Oakland Raiders are currently the leading candidates to trade for McNabb, a quarterback that has been to five NFC title games and one Super Bowl. And I would tell you there is precedence for the Raiders looking to make a big splash with a quarterback trade and that can be traced to Miami in 1990.

That's right, the Raiders once tried to trade for a pretty good Dolphins quarterback.

Dan Marino.

And they almost pulled it off.

This is nothing new that I am reporting to you. I've reported this fact previously. In fact in the mid to late 1990s when I first wrote it, I took a lot of heat from local sports talk radio because the hosts simply didn't believe the report.

Hank Goldberg, then on WQAM in South Florida, called me out on it on air. Goldberg had a relationship with Al Davis back in the day and promised his listeners he'd ask Davis about the veracity of my story over their next lunch. Goldberg never mentioned the issue again on the air that I know of, but he did confess to me once that he did indeed check with Davis.

And obviously, Davis confirmed the story.

What exactly is the story?

Well, on Dec. 26, 1989, Don Shula held his day-after press conference following the regular-season finale loss to Kansas City on Christmas eve. The Dolphins finished the year 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

Back then, missing the playoffs was a sin for Shula's team so there was obvious concern that Miami needed to do something dynamic to change direction. Shula wanted back in the playoffs and the idea of trading Dan Marino was starting to gain traction among fans.

Well, one reporter asked Shula if he might consider such a trade.

"I don't ... My actions aren't governed by ..." Shula stumbled as if surprised.

Then he recovered and said, "Furtherest thing from my mind."

But it got closer to Shula mind later in the offseason when the Miami coach and Davis started discussing a Marino blockbuster.

Shula, only the winningest coach in NFL history, not only considered the trade, but nearly took the step. The reason Marino didn't play his final decade in silver and black is because Shula and Davis came to an agreement on the trade and then Shula increased his asking price not once but twice.

[Mid-morning update: You probably want the details of the trade, right? You'll have to buy the book for that.]

Davis, who thought he had a deal for Marino at one point, balked at the final lopsided proposal from Miami.

Why am I telling you this? Well, the story still intrigues me because of the enormous personalities involved. The history and fortunes of two elite franchises might have changed had this trade gone down.

I'm also repeating the story because the story broke in the mid 1990s during an age when information still flew below the Internet radar. It is not widely known to this day.

Finally, I'm recounting the tale because I've heard from several people that they cannot believe the Eagles would consider trading an all-timer like McNabb. 

Well, believe it.

If the Dolphins could almost trade Marino, the Eagles can certainly consider trading McNabb.

[BLOG NOTE: The NFL preseason schedule is supposed to be released today. So check back throughout the day for that and any other updates that might might present themselves.]   


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Armando are you still here?

1st and 2nd... couldn't resist! ;)

I am still REALLY glad they NEVER traded Marino the year hotshot young QB Scott Mitchell had some good games in Marino relief.

It sure seemed like many had written Marino off as too old, washed up etc.

In the end they sent the right guy packing as Mitchell never amounted to much while Marino posted some decents stats for years after.

lol,hey 2nd is first loser,what does that make you Rob?Just sayin.lol

Here,Here Rob

One of the hardest things for me to think about is how Marino's abilities, knees, reaction times, anticipation simply eroded away from him near the end of his career... He is mortal and that stuff happens.

Then you look at what Brett Farve accomplished last year at his crazy age and it blows your mind. I still don't know how he is defying Father Time so.

Armando,are you gonna post you dolphin mock draft before it happens?Don't cop out.

Brett is special.

LOL Pay, A winner and a lose I spose. haha

I answered your last post on the last blog Pay.

OK,Armando it was #13 for who,who,who and who?comeon and spill


Hey I am gonna hop off. I hope you have a great day bud... cya next time!


Ok Rob,but we have a new D-man in control and this will change the direction of the jobs on the D so is the BP theory the way to go or does the nolan D take over who gets drafted?I think there is a difference.

If your out G-nite

If Marino had any good RB back then
He would have played longer. Everyone new he was going to throw and he still ate up the defense. There will never be no one better than him.

Ok just throwin this out there,Should BP draft any defensive guy or should Nolan do it?It's Nolans D,is there gonna be problems if the pick does not fit the D?Or what nolan wants to do?Just askin?

Marino was and is the QB god

Armando, I love this blog but you're killing me with this teaser. Anyone on here have any ideas what the first and then second asking price might have been? I was way too young back then (1990) to follow the news but I remember one day my Mom told me Dan Marino signed a 4 year extension to stay with the 'phins and I was on cloud nine. I'm not sure if Mom was accurate but it sure made my day anyway.


Mando wasn't the only one to cover the story. Maybe he was the first? Story broke out with several other journalists too. I remember. Just tells you how old I am...LOL.

The original report from one of the other media sources was a combination of players / draft picks = initial offer was (not sure what Shula's escalation was/were) = Marcus Allen, RB, (for those of you that were too young to remember...LOL), Lionel Washington, DB, and Jay Schroeder, QB, Draft picks: #1 and #4.

Keep in mind that they also had Willie Gualt, WR (speedster), Howie Long (newscaster now. Oneof the best DE vack then), DE, Marcus Allen, Greg Thompson, Scott Davis.

The Raiders might have been quite impressive given the rest of the talent. I believe Buffalo beat them in the Confernce champoinship that year, yes the Bills (With jim Kelly...LOL). How times have changed.



What do you guys think about Tebow possibly going to the Patriots?

i would have thrown up watching jay schroder qb'ing the fish...the losing just would have started earlier...don't blame marino for miami's failues...blame shula and crew for not knowing how to draft a rb, cb's, and safties and olivadotti for being maybe the worst d coordinator in the history of any sport that needed a d coordinator

i dont care where Tim Tebow goes as long as it isnt MIAMI. He is going to be forgotten shortly after he is buried deep in a qb depth chart.

We should have gotten rid of Shula! Dan the Man was the ONLY reason he got to coach until he did. Without Marino, Shula would have went out on the bottom and never got his all-time win record.

IMO I think the Eagles are crazy for trading McNabb. If they need a change so bad get rid of that crappy coach they have. McNabb isn't the problem and if they do trade him...no more playoffs for them.... Glad Shula wound up not trading Marino. He is the reason I became a Dolphins fan

i agree Scotty. McNabb is taken for granted in Philly. Sucks that now that he finally has some weapons at WR is when they decide they want to trade him. He went 10 years with garbage WRs outside of one year of having T.O.

"The Dolphins finished the year 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season."

Your words Armando - can you imagine any QB, or coaching staff, not getting us to the playoffs in this day and age, for four consecutive seasons? We'd be hysterical and screaming for the coaches and players to be fired. Amazing, the Marino apologists are still saying good thing we kept him even though we never got back to a SB.

BTW B4 anyone goes ballistic, I'm not knocking Marinoe or Shula - just sayin!!!!!

i'm not sure why Marino would need apologist. he clearly wasn't the issue with those teams. Marino allowed Shula and the front office to be off the hook for years. Surrounding a star with marginal talent back when there wasn't a salary cap - Ferrel Edmunds was a pro bowler with Marino throwing to him but out the league once he left the Fish.

Lets switch gears since this blog post sucks.

WHO IS BETTER Suited for the WildCat?

1) CJ Milk Spiller
2) Tea-bow
3) Golden Tata's
4) Dexter Mclovin
5) Pat White

Any idea who Miami would have gotten in return?

Mclovin if he was the one playing QB in it. Spiller if he's playing the role of Patrick Cobbs.

The reason Miami never won a championship with Dan Marino is the same reason Miami is struggling today. Our defense was deplorable and we had Tom "I'm about to be outofajobby" Olivadoti. And earlier George Hill... Neither ever provided Marino with a Defense that could hold one of the leads Marino could place on teams. Marino would put 47 points on a club and lose 49-47. And, much to his Credit/Discredit... Shula would never run up a score when he had a lead... and did not have a good enough defense to be so gallant. Its true Marino never had a real running game. They really didn't need it. They were so far ahead of their time... they were a team who would have thrived in today's NFL. We are now a team that would have thrived then... sucks huh?

What were the trade parameters? B Reilley - thanks for the info (just trying to see what Mando knows/knew).

And again... B4 anyone rips my head off... I loved Don Shula then just as I do today. Dan Marino will always be my favorite Miami player. Dan was a victim of never having a team... and that's what wins Superbowl's... Players can't do it on their own... in Baseball 3 good players and 6 decent ones will take you to a pennant... not so in football.


None of the Dolphin QBs should consider themselves safe if it wasn't for Marino.

Are you preparing us mentally for a possible blockbuster trade that's in the works for Henne?

Do you think any player on this team would be traded for the right price?

Who would be safe?

Pat White is a football player; he goes to any other team who can utilize him properly and he shines. I'm hoping that we can do so this year; I'd really hate to see him go.
Same thing with Ginn. He should be used for bubble screens, slant routes, etc... a lot more often. Not plays that require major separation! Also there have been numerous times where TG has been wide open and didn't get the ball thrown to him. I'm not saying he's a number one by any means, but he would nicely complement one.
My 2 cents.

I have the first $20 on a "Whack B. Marshall" pool. I'll kick it to $50 if it can get done this week... I'll pay anything not to have to read some Gointz pine & whine over him every time someone brings up a past or future Miami event. I am beginning to think among B. Marshall's many other crimes we should add fan rape and brain washing... because some dudes got more love for girl beater then a simple player crush.

What were the two sides offering? This is pure crap and shouldnt even be published even in a blog if you havent got a scrap on that.
Even a casual reader might be interested in:
What value (compensation) did the two principals place on Marino?
What course might each franchise have taken given said compensation?
Instead you state the mundane and attempt to attach some significance to what happens every day in sports.
Two guys (coaches GMs owners) rub elbows and say what would you give for my guy or what would you want for your guy? Thats how it starts and 99.99999% of them never get done.
Thats usually how it ends too. Unless some crappy 2nd rate guy writing for a lousy fish wrap decides he has skills and writes a blog entry that, like the inside of his head, has nothing inside of it.

FB... I really do hope that Pat White can break through eventually. But I think so many people are confounded by what QB's do when they are in College when using spread formations. They are using movement and numbers of players on the line that is illegal in the NFL. So when they move on, they do not get the separations that a spread offers in the NCAA. It takes a particular blend of talent and brains to be a short QB and to grow out of a spread and into a 3,5 & 7 step drop NFL passer. Drew Breese is one of those guys who is effective even though his is not so tall. When I saw Pat on the field this past season... Really, I mean this... I feared the guy was going to get put to sleep for good. He just did not see the speed and ferocity in the NCAA that he is seeing at LB in the NFL. I don't believe he will make the transition unless he switches position. I have been wrong before and may be this time also... but I don't think so.

This is pure garbage.


Posted by: JUSTIN CREDIBLE | March 31, 2010 at 06:33 AM

Plungie!!! Plungie!!!

where the crack jack you fool stop picking on my man Armando.

Wow, I didn't know that. I'd probably be a Raiders fan today if that would have happened. In fact, it's been pretty tough to be a fan since Dan left. Zach and JT made it a little easier, but, alas, their time is done now too...Oh Danny boy, where art though?

I think the Eagles would be smart to peddle McNabb while they can still get something for him. He's a free agent next season (assuming there is a season) and it's obvious they aren't going to extend him. Kolb has had a couple of years to be groomed and should be ready to take over. It's similar to the Henne situation here in Miami. It's his time. Vick is there to provide some veteran leadership and start if Kolb struggles.

Get what you can for MCNabb while you can still get something for him. Philly does a great job of getting the most out of their vets, while developing the kids to take over. Knock the franchise all you want but Reid and Company are competitive every year.

Probably most of you are too young to remember it but Joe Robbie was notoriously cheap when it came to 'buying' players. This was back in the pre everything days. No caps, no free agents. If you wanted players, you went out and bought them.

Hey, we owe Joe Robbie and Danny Thomas for bringing pro sports to Fla. but facts are facts.

Miami's demise started before Olivadotti. It started when Bill Arnsparger left after the '83 season. That's when Chuck Studley became the defensive coordinator and started the long, slow decline of a once dominating defense. Arnsparger was one of the best defensive coordinators the league has seen. Don't forget he was the DC when the Chargers went to the SB in '95. If Nolan has half the success Arnsparger had, we'll be holding many Lombardi trophies!!

Cocojoe, I do remember those days. And yes Robbie was cheap or frugal shall we say. I am glad Marino was not traded.

Look at me. Love me. The best, PERIOD!!!

You are 100% correct Moose63... I am glad that there are others out there who know and remember names like Bill Arnsparger in Miami. I only went back to George Hill and was afraid people would be scratching their heads wondering "Who!"... Bill A. was the architect of the "No Name" or the the "53" defense!!... Where #53 Bob Matheson would move Miami in and out of a 3-4...4-3 alignment without warning... it Led to winning Superbowl 7 with only 8 of 11 passes completed for 88 yards... Miami's Defense was so dominant that teams were stupefied...

fake NJ, you're not the best. I'm better than you, that's for sure.

It was that 95 charger team that beat Miami in the AFC chapionship. Dan Marino vs. Stan Humphries! Who woulda thought!

For sure Knight, you are the best, but all of you know I said it first, you can check all previous blogs.

It's not that important what I say, because I am obviously just a tool. What is important is for all of you to look at me, for all of you to love me. I'm WORKING OUT right now, as I type, therefore my opinions matter more. PERIOD!!!

Standley23 Miami lost to the Chargers in the divisional round that year. The Chargers beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship.

Knight i went to your blog...

Yep Standley.... Miami was up 21-6 at the half... Then had a TOTAL of 16 plays in the entire second half... Horrible friggin day... Their Defense just shut Miami's offense down and our defense could not stop them for nothing in the second half... it was was of the best Half Time adjustments I ever saw by a team.

But... It was not for the Conference championship (Miami & San Diego)... that came against Pittsburgh a week later...

I meant to say to go to the afc championship. All I remember was ar were killing them at the half Marino threw 3 tds only to watch Stoyo miss a long Fg.

I'm sorry, fake NJ. I didn't mean to upset you. I don't want to lose you as a friend. Thanks, WestVaFins, you are a loyal fan.

Very entertaining, Armando. You make coming to this blog every morning a pleasure.

I live about 20 minutes outside of South Philly and the trade talks on the local radio stations are of course going crazy.

I never thought McNabb was a big game QB. The Eagles had some very good teams. They had everything on defense but on offense McNabb never had anything at WR until recently. He had one year to work with T.O. and the results were a Super Bowl L to the patriots. Last year he had Desean Jackson, Maclin and a very good under rated TE Brent Celek but the defense dissappeared.

Adding to McNabb's woes was he is not a true leader. He likes being the guy the center of attention but he doesn't take control of his team in close games.

Saying that I think McNabb is a very good but not great QB. He might get energized by a new location and embrace the city, something he never did in Philadelphia. I'm not a fan of McNabb but can appreciate what he did for Eagles fans. He went to 4 NFC Championships and at least gave them a chance to believe, something I haven't had in Miami in about 15 years. Since about 95-96 Marino was never the same and the Fiedler, AJ Feeley, Culpepper eras were all failures.

Henne make us believe again. Isn't that the best part of sports? Just believing the team you root for has a chance.

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