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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, you should ban this guy Knight who says Ni! from posting his blog address here. He comes to this blog to drive traffic AWAY and to his blog.

The nerve.

I'm in my late 30s and didn't really immerse myself in Dolphins coverage until after college so I don't remember this story originally.

But I really do appreciate you retelling it Mando!

Marino almost got traded again then, when JJ first took over there were open talks of him going to the Vikings.

Alex, you are totally incorrect. I'm a huge Armando fan. My hope is that people quickly glance at my blog but then spend the rest of the day here with me at Armando's blog. I often hit refresh 500-600 times a day on Armando's blog.

fan, out of curiosity, why do you bring the Knight stuff to this blog when Knight doesn't even come here?

"24 Philadelphia Eagles - Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland; If McNabb leaves, this guy is the obvious replacement for him in Campbell’s Soup commercials. "

Damn that was good Knight!

Cowboys FS Ken Hamlin missed the first day of voluntary workouts on Monday after he was spotted at the Playboy Mansion over the weekend.
Hamlin is reportedly on the roster bubble thanks to his declining production and lack of guaranteed money left on his contract, so you would think that he'd show up for all the workouts. Still, missing one day doesn't qualify as a very big deal for a veteran. If he gets cut, it will be because the Cowboys don't think he's worth paying nearly $6 million this season.

Is this scrub any good?

No worries Knight. You will always be top gun in my book.

I just need to be looked at. I just need to be loved.

I attack and name call when people disagree with my idiotic comments because I can't do or say anything intelligent in response. It's not my fault, I'm working out.

Looked at me. Love me. PERIOD!!!

his blog is just a joke page from what i can tell. no serious threat.

I dont have my own opinion - I copy and past it from Pro Football Weekly - but listen to me because I am right - and I always say everything before it happens.

Hamlin ain't what he used to be. And coverage isn't his strong suit.

and there is no way he gets brought back if $6 million is the price tag.

Moose63 | March 31, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Post of the day.

If Nolan meets expectations we can be a contenda this season.




Not Myron Rolle----i said Myron Lewis from Vandy---im a hug fan---dolphins bringin him in 4 a visit in 2 weeks

Trade Henne to Raiders for Richard Seymour and Raider's 1st pick 2 years from now.

Give Pat White the offense.

What's the worst that can happen? 1st Overall pick next season?

We have no OLB's or FS. We're going to give up 40 pts/game next season anyway, the 12th overall pick will not change that.

Marino was the greatest football player of all time, peroid. He carried Shula and the Dolphins on his back his whole career.

I am IMPRESSED! I don't get into combine numbers or Pro Day numbers but Earl Thomas ran a 4.35 at his Pro Day. I still want Graham first and foremost. If Graham isn't the guy or isn't available and E. Thomas is the pick I won't complain.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Another article posted in the wee early hours of the morning.

Did you get up super duper early to post it or where you pulling an all nighter ?

I am putting together my own draft and I need some input.

My draft is the "Scrip club Playa's Draft"

The Club with the Hotest women choose first, second hotest choose second and so on and so forth.

The playa's in the Draft are based on things like...How big is thier Posse and how much they can make it rain, How many arrests, How many convictions.

In this Draft a Team like say..The Gentlemans Club already has a Ben Rothlisburger on there roster they wouldn't need a Santonio Holms an thus he would fall to another club.

Still working out the details and any input would be appreciated.

Soiled :)

he's our best ever. however, we were still getting toyed with every january/december by buffalo. maybe things would have turned out different. I hated losing to Kelly, thurman, reed, and the rest of them.

PriceMaster, your post is nonsense. How do you know Miami is going to give up 40 a game? That's what the draft is for.

Trade Henne to the Raiders for Seymour? Dude with all do respect, get a clue.

PriceMaster... Why in the world would you give the offense to Pat White? He's not even tall enough to see over the line nor tough enough to survive a sack. Why not just give it back to Pennington and trade PW for a new waterboy? In fact we could package him with butter hands TG and get a water, towel and jock washing boy...

What do you mean trade pat white for a new waterboy!!!!

We need a new cleat guy

I am not a Pat White supporter, or hater. To question his toughness is stupid. He never shied away from contact. He ran smack in to the middle of the defense a few times. Obviously people will refer to the PIT hit, but what made that so violent was his feet got tripped from underneath him, he had no chance to brace himself or anything. The average human being would have been half dead. It surprises me the stupidity of some people. Heck, we have one of the most scared acting players in football in Ted Ginn, that's is a guy who shies away from contact. Say what you want about Pat White, to question his toughness is asinine.

It's ashame what the Eagles are doing to McNabb. 5 NFC championships games in 11 seasons. 1 Superbowl appearence , which matches a franchise record. Just came off the second best year of his career and finally has a good reciever corps other then the year he had TO. The Eagles are giving away a proven player for an unknown. It took the Dolphins 10 years to maybe find a fill in for Marino...the Eagles should be careful.

Moose 63 is bang-on. The Arnsparger D's were top notch...the Arnsparger D took the team to the '82 Super Bowl with iffy QB play and a pedestrian receiving corps. The D was showing signs of aging in late '83 (Bill A's last season as D coordinator) and got run over by Curt Warner and the Seahawks in the '83 playoffs. In 1984 - Chuck Studley's first as DC - defensive shortcomings were masked by Marino's high octane passing game - until the Super Bowl. In 85 more slippage as the Pats ran over Miami in the AFC Champ game...in 86 the D was pitiful...Marino would put-up 40 points and lose. 8-8 season despite 4,700 yd and >40 TDs from Marino.....Without Marino that team would have been a 4-12 squad at best. Studley was very bad and his replacement Tom Olivadotti was just as bad for the next 8 seasons.

The reason we never won anything with Marino is because Shula sucked at consistently drafting talent, especially in the 1st round. We never had a running game with Dan, ever. Shula's ineptness was staggering in the 8 years following the Marino draft:

'83 - Dan Marino
'84 - Jackie Shipp - sucked
'85 - Lorenzo Hampton - sucked
'86 - no pick
'87 - John Bosa - sucked (see the pattern here)

'88 - Eric Kumerow - are we serious???? and he passed on Ickey Woods, Ironhead Heyward, Chris Spielman, Daniel Stubbs, Randall McDaniel, Lorenzo White, Brad Muster, Jumbo Elliott in this draft alone.

'89 - Sammie Smith, with the 9th overall pick no less. Shula sucked bad. Passed on Trace Armstrong, Eric Metcalf, Steve Atwater, Andre Rison, Steve Wisniewski. We did get Louis Oliver with a 2nd pick late in the 1st round. Doesn't make up for Sammie Smith though.

'90 - Richmond Webb - finally got one right after 7 years.

'91 - Randal Hill - sucked. By the way, passed on a guy named Brett Favre.

DrBullis.... That's Right! And every Philly fan could learn from other teams like Miami who have STILL are looking for another Franchise QB to rely on. We are hoping and pulling hard for Henne... But he has a lot to prove. You never know what you got till its gone... (Wasn't that a Poison song? or was it whitesnake?) anyway... Philly will regret it every day if they let him go. Franchise QB come around once and a great while for teams... Miami was lucky to get Marino so soon after Griese... Even though I still think David Woodley and Don Strock were decent QB's... Woodley just drank too much and was whacked out...Shula was a good judge of college QB's. Even with Scott Mitchell he did not miss by much. Had Scot hit the right team at the right time he would have done well. But the LIONS?... Damn.

Dan Marino could've played for atleast 3 more years before he retired It was that F'ing Jacksonville Jaguar game that killed it for EVERYONE! hate remembering that day

This is the problem with miami sports bloggers. Every other blog is about Marino or Shula.

That was 27 years ago! Time to move on and forget about the past guys.


I remember the story. The trade was Pro-Bowl Guard Steve Wisnewski (spelling) another Pro-Bowl player (I forgot the player) and two first round picks. The Dolphins might have won a Superbowl had they traded the guy who refused to run the quarterback sneak (which resulted in the Dolphins punting atleast once an game). Wayne Huizenga's biggest mistake as Dolphins owner was not letting Jimmy Johnson trade Dan Marino following the 96' season. Jimmy built a championship caliber defense. With extra picks he might have built a championship offense. It didn't make sense to keep Marino when he was in rapid decline. The Niners traded Joe Montana and they won another Superbowl.

Bootang25 is right! I am no Pat White fan or hater but there is no doubt that he is not afraid of contact (a fact that may kill him because of his small size). He is also right that one of T.Ginn's biggest issues is that he shys from contact. He flinches in traffic & that is one reason why his hands aren't very good... he's already flinching as the ball arrives because he's anticipating a hit. Either way, neither are going to be hall of famers.

Marino was a great player and a member of the Hall of Fame. His performance and record breaking stats speak for themselves and he broke those records when the rules were a lot tougher on the passing game. He changed the game of football.

It is true that Miami was bad in other areas during his career. Miami's running game, defense, drafting were all very poor. In the later years, Marino's injuries, especially his a-heel and knees crippled him severely. He spent a lot of practices sitting or laying on the sidelines because of his knees. Eventually, he slowed down enough that defenses caught up to his release and decision making abilities. Another thing that showed how good he really was and how much he meant to the team was when he left.... It took years before Pennington came in and solidified the position (only to fall to shoulder and arm issues).

Marino was a great one. Anyone that knows anything about football, knows that much.

No way that would happen. Might be tempted by several first rounders but never would happen. That's why the price went up

armando, no offense....but I can run circles around your reporting...I notice how you deleted my (correct) meaning factual trade scenario between the Raiders and Dolphins after the 1989 season. PS. Shake and Bake. You are no nighthawk, I'll call you chickenhawk

Blasphemy! TG it did not happen. Would not have made HOF...

Uh-oh, Armando. Cote just laid the gauntlet down in his column regarding who covered the Marino near-trade back then...

The traid with Okland MAYBE would have given us a superbowl win. But guess what, as a TRUE DOLPHIN fan I would give up a superbowl win to have the 17 years MARINO gave me as a fan. For 17 years I walked around wiht my head held high, there is only ONE team since MARINO DAYS, who can say they are in every game no matter waht the score (Colts). If I could get those 17 back right now knowing we will not get a ring, DAN MARINO, I will take that in a heart beat. THANK YOU DAN FOR it was a GREAT 17 years.

Isn't this tipical Armando, always likes to take credit for something, when the credit doesn't belong to him. Always beating his chest about something or other. Greg Cote reported this trade back in the early 90s, what do you think of that Salguero?

From what I understand after the 1988 season when the Dolphins went 6-10 Marino himself asked Shula that maybe he wanted to be traded. After going 8-8 in 1989 they entered talks with Marino's consent with the Raiders

I recall it was Marino for offensive Tackle Steve Wisniewski and a first round pick at the end of the 1989 season. The Dolphins instead did not Trade Marino and drafted Richmond Webb.

So there. Ask Dan he will confirm this.


Thats the link to the newspaper article where Marino asks for trade.

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