June 3, 2003
SportsLine.com wire reports
DAVIE, Fla. -- Negotiations between former Denver quarterback Brian Griese and Miami continued Tuesday, but it wasn't clear if a deal could be completed before the end on Thursday of the Dolphins' three-day quarterback school.
The sides opened contract talks Monday, shortly after Griese was formally released by the Broncos. At least two more negotiating sessions took place Tuesday.
"They know where we're at," Dolphins vice president Rick Spielman said. "We'll see if we can bridge some things on incentives or whatever we have to do. We'll just keep working at it and see if we can get it done."
Griese's agent, Ralph Cindrich, said that no deal is imminent, but that more talks were scheduled.
Cindrich said other teams have expressed interest in signing Griese, but would not specifically say which teams, or how many clubs may be competing with the Dolphins for Griese.
Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt did not sound optimistic about seeing Griese in camp anytime soon.
"I was hopeful two days ago, but we'll wait and see," Wannstedt said.
Griese is a Miami native whose father -- Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese -- led the Dolphins during their glory days of the 1970s and won two Super Bowls with the franchise.
The Broncos parted ways with Griese on Monday, releasing him in a move that will save the club more than $6 million against the salary cap in the next two seasons, including $4.9 million this year alone.
Miami is seeking a backup for quarterback Jay Fiedler, who the team insists will be their starter again this season. Fiedler has a 28-13 record as Miami's starter; Griese was 27-24 as a starter in Denver. Ray Lucas, Fiedler's backup last season, was released in April.
The Dolphins opened their third quarterback school of the offseason on Tuesday, with four quarterbacks -- Fiedler, Sage Rosenfels, and rookies Lon Sheriff and Josh Blankenship -- on the field.
Team officials were hopeful that Griese would be signed in time to join them; in fact, Blankenship's jersey number has been switched to No. 7 from No. 14 - Griese's number.
Players said Tuesday that the ongoing negotiations are not a distraction.
"I think he'd be a great addition to this football team," Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael said. "Of course, he's going to push Jay, but I don't think he'd let him come in here and take his job. So I think it's going to make Jay a better player and that makes us a better offense."
Neither side has publicly divulged what the holdup in the negotiating process is, but one stumbling block is the league's salary cap. Miami has about $2.8 million remaining under this season's cap, Spielman said, but it's unknown how much of that space Griese wants or the Dolphins have offered.
Cindrich would not talk specifically about offers from either side, but said Griese is asking for a deal worth less than $2 million for this season.
"If Brian ends up being the starter and the team does well, there would be an expectation of a reward based upon that," said Cindrich, who is seeking either a one- or two-year deal from the Dolphins.
Wannstedt said that Griese is anxious to join the team as quickly as possible.
"We can only do so much," Wannstedt said. "If it was up to Brian, he'd be here. His agent's got a job to do and we've got to do our job. That's where the negotiating's going right now. It's not the kid at all."