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DMN: Agent Steinberg says Dallas 'highly desirable' for Jacksonville QB


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Brunell looks toward Cowboys

Agent Steinberg says Dallas 'highly desirable' for Jacksonville QB

By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News

If the Cowboys are interested in Mark Brunell, then the veteran quarterback would be interested in the Cowboys.

The question would be, however, just how much the Cowboys would want Brunell. Jacksonville granted Washington permission to speak with Brunell and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, and Redskins coach Joe Gibbs met with Brunell Monday.

"Mark would obviously be interested in Dallas," Steinberg said. "The presence of a Hall of Fame coach in Bill Parcells and one of the most dynamic owners in professional sports in Jerry Jones makes it a highly desirable place. I certainly can tell Mark all about the incredible times Troy Aikman had in that city."

Per league rules, a trade could not be announced until March 3. Though Parcells and owner and general manager Jerry Jones have backed starter Quincy Carter, they also have said they would look to upgrade any position. Tampering rules prevent the Cowboys from commenting publicly on Brunell.

Like most teams, the Cowboys were under the impression that Brunell would be released prior to March 1 and had discussed possibly pursuing him as a free agent. San Diego and Miami are also believed to be interested in dealing for Brunell. The Cowboys have only five draft picks and might not be as willing to part with an early-round selection.

Elsewhere on the quarterback front, the Cowboys are expected to attend Drew Henson's workout Thursday in Houston. Henson, who has not played since 2000 at the University of Michigan, was drafted by the Texans last season and recently gave up his baseball career with the New York Yankees.

But Henson is more of a project than Brunell, who has thrown for 25,793 yards with 144 touchdowns and 86 interceptions in his 11 seasons. Jacksonville chose to go with first-round pick Byron Leftwich three games into the 2003 season after Brunell suffered a minor elbow injury.

E-mail tarcher@dallasnews.com


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No way the Cowboys go after Brunell.This is smoke on the part of PArcells and JJ. Plus they can't even talk about it publically but they can call Jacksonville and say "Hey we have an interest. Would you take a third rounder for him?" then all of a sudden San Diego gets involved and Miami then Miami makes a call and Dallas is out of the bidding but the price is driven up. That is exactlly what's happening and it's just fun to watch. I would bet you also that if you do get Brunnell then he is your starter on opening day because he will demand a gaurantee that he starts. That's just the way it will go down. nPlus I wouldn't want him in Dallas anyway. The guy's knees are like pudding.

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To me it sounds like Steinberg is simply saying this stuff to try and make more teams pursue Brunell even harder. One day Miami is his first choice, then Dallas becomes "highly desirable".

It's all part of the mind games that Steinberg is playing with these teams, in order to help his client's cause and help him land a better contract.

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The primary reason that Brunell is trade bait. If one is going to read between the lines, let's at least make sure it's pretty narrow in there.

No signing bonus

By Associated Press,

© St. Petersburg Times

published May 3, 2003


JACKSONVILLE - Mark Brunell took the field Friday for minicamp, fresh off a meeting in which owner Wayne Weaver told him 2003 will almost certainly be his final season with the Jaguars.

Joining Brunell was his designated successor at quarterback, first-round draft pick ByronLeftwich.

In political parlance, Brunell is a lame duck. In football terms, the whole thing looks like a mess.

"I wasn't doing back flips on draft day, I'll tell you that," Brunell said. "It's something I'm going to have to deal with."

Brunell has two years left on his contract.

When he met with Weaver this week, he was offered a contract extension that didn't include a signing bonus. Brunell said that when he refused to sign it, Weaver told him he would remain Jacksonville's quarterback for this season, but the team would not be able to keep him next year.

Weaver, who encouraged the Leftwich pick, was miffed that Brunell went public about the meeting.


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Brunell still has considerable power to decide his fate. If jax gives him the $2 million roster bonus, he will have a cap figure of $10.5 million for 2004. You can't trade him to a team he won't renegotiate with. It's an elaborate multi-party game of chicken:

Brunell wants to go to the team that will pay him the most and give him the strongest guarantee of starting.

Jax will eventually have to cut him if he isn't traded, the longer they wait, the more dead cap space they absorb.

The longer jax holds out for a high pick, the more teams that will resolve their qb problem with another player - his trade value goes down.

If the team that wants him and Brunell wants to play for wait long enough they can do it for free - at a cost of Brunell missing a portion of mini-camps and regular camp. Still the longer the team waits, the less time Brunell will have to learn a new system.

But if Brunell wants the Skins and we want him, what should we pay to have him in camp a few months earlier?

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