Chad Henne was roundly abused by Miami fans attending the opening of the team’s training camp this week, the Dolphins QB telling reporters that hearing chants for potential trade target Kyle Orton hurt his feelings. “It makes me sick,” Head coach Tony Sparano declared at yesterday’s press conference, adding”when people come to the stadium like that, in one of those kind of events to support the Miami Dolphins, that’s what we should be thinking about.” While Sparano might not respect the fans’ right to free expression, Pro Football Weekly Eric Edholm suggests it’s owner Stephen Ross (above) and GM Jeff Ireland who deserve the most scorn for putting Henne in his current position.
The Dolphins were the one team really pursuing Orton once the other QB pieces fell into place around the NFL, and they did so in a very public manner. They wanted their fans to get excited about the move and about the direction of the team. The Orton-to-Miami rumors were some of the worst-kept around the league.
The trade failed because the Dolphins couldn’t get the financials in order. Sources say the two sides were not even close. Miami couldn’t afford Orton’s roughly $9 million salary for this season, but that’s an affordable number for a starting quarterback, quite reasonable by today’s standards, in fact. The Dolphins were willing to publicly and openly let word of the trade float out — and hang their current starting quarterback out to dry in the process — and yet they were not willing to sign Orton to a long-term extension.
While some meathead fans surely are to blame for the booing, it’s hard to blame them given the atmosphere around this team. The Dolphins have created an atmosphere of distrust and disdain and style over substance.