Lions trade QB Harrington to Dolphins for draft pick


MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins acquired quarterback Joey Harrington from Detroit for an undisclosed conditional draft pick, giving the Dolphins a fallback position if new starter Daunte Culpepper isn’t ready for the season’s first snap.

“We’re pleased to have Joey Harrington join the Dolphins,” head coach Nick Saban said in a statement. “We will work with him to get him acclimated to our system as quickly as possible.”

The Dolphins had been searching for a backup to Culpepper and targeted Harrington, the former No. 3 overall pick who didn’t live up to expectations in four years as the Lions’ starter. Harrington had expressed his desire to play with the Dolphins.

“I’m looking forward to playing for coach Saban and the Dolphins,” Harrington said in a statement released by the Dolphins. “It’s a chance to earn people’s respect – work hard, prepare the very best I can and contribute in any way that I am asked.”

Harrington’s agent David Dunn said he expects his client to do well with the Dolphins.

“I am thrilled for Joey as he turns the page to the next chapter of his career,” Dunn said in a statement. “Players like Steve Young, Jake Plummer and Trent Green have thrived when moving to a new location and team, and I expect Joey to do the same thing in Miami.”

Culpepper, acquired from Minnesota this offseason, is recovering from a serious knee injury and may not be ready for the Dolphins’ first regular-season game – at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7.

The other two quarterbacks on the Miami roster, Brock Berlin and Cleo Lemon, are young and untested.

Harrington went 18-37 as a starter with the Lions. He threw 60 touchdown passes and 62 interceptions, and his career quarterback rating is a modest 68.1.

Detroit had been expected to cut ties with Harrington before June 15, when he was due a $4 million bonus. He’ll likely be replaced by Jon Kitna or Josh McCown, both former starters for other teams who agreed to terms with Detroit this offseason.

AP-ES-05-12-06 2230EDT