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A look at Sean Smith's cut at free agency

I lke Sean Smith. He's intelligent. He's well-spoken when he wants to be. He seems to get it when he wants to and that was apparent when he lost weight and worked his backside off in training camp prior to the 2012 season -- understanding his contract year loomed. And he's problematic for the NFL's big-bodied wide receivers that like to win by simply being bigger than the cornerbacks they face.

So I like Sean Smith on the Dolphins.

But he is not elite.

He is not franchise player material as one local publication reported in January.

He's, well, something between terrible and good. And that makes him inconsistent.

Smith started this season a house on fire. He locked down Larry Fitzgerald. He did great work against A.J. Green. And then something changed.

Suddenly he was giving up first downs like it was part of his job description. And yes, that was him in the picture and beaten on a handful of TDs caught by opposing wide receivers. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Smith yielded more combined first downs and touchdowns than any other NFL cornerback. That number is a whopping 46.

Something didn't seem to fit. Seems he's not comfortable against smaller, quicker receivers so he plays off. And at 6-3 and 218 pounds, he doesn't have the quickness and explosion to close on receivers on out patterns and comebacks for first downs.

That's not all.

The elephant in the room is the guy should be an interception machine. But isn't.

He plays well enough often enough that balls come to him. Unfortunately, he drops most of them. He dropped one against Indianapolis last year that could've been the difference between a win and loss. Yes, he had two picks on the season, but his drops have far outnumbered his catches over his Dolphins career.

And he was a wide receiver in college at one point!

I didn't know what to make of Smith after the season so I asked two former Dolphins receivers about him. I asked them to compare Smith to former Miami cornerback Vontae Davis. Both players said the same thing.

"I'd much rather go against Sean than Vontae," one said. "Vontae is a pain in the [butt]. He gets his hands on you, he holds, he grabs, he gets away with stuff that nobody sees. Sean is just easier. He's fast as hell. But he guesses a lot and a lot of time he guesses wrong."

And so this is the resume Sean Smith will take to free agency in March.

I believe he's going to free agency because his agent David Canter is confident Smith will be a hot commodity in free agency. I don't doubt that's true. First, Canter has made his reputation by knowing the market. Second, Smith looks like a beast if you put on the Arizona tape.

But I was there for all 16 games this year. And all the games in 2011. And the ones in 2010 once Smith recovered from being benched in favor of, wait for, Jason Allen.

And I don't think it would be wise for the Dolphins to spend a lot of money on Smith. I say that that knowing that Canter will be asking for a lot of money for Smith.

As I have reported, that camp believes the market for Smith is similar to the Brandon Carr contract with Dallas or the Jason McCourty contract with Tennessee. Carr got $50 million over five years and McCourty got $43 million over five years from Tennessee.

So Smith is looking for anywhere between $8-$10 million.

The Dolphins don't see that. And much as I like Smith and respect Canter, I don't see it either. The performance simply does not rise to that level. And frankly, I'm not sure it rises to half that level, either.

Then there's the other question that must linger in the mind of the Dolphins brass: What is going to happen once Sean Smith gets paid? He worked hard to get ready for the contract year. And then he faded anyway.

Is he going to work harder once he gets guaranteed money?

I don't know that he isn't. I also am not sure he will.

The cornerback market has potential bargains. Yes, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie will want a big payday that I don't think he's worth. But guys such as Cary Williams and Brent Grimes and Michael Adams will be out there. They all come with questions marks. That makes them no better than Smith.

But they'll probably be cheaper than Smith, at least initially.

Then there's always the draft. A couple of years ago the Dolphins fished a little-known Utah cornerback out of the draft's second round and he started immediately. He wasn't great but he wasn't bad. And he was cheap. That made him a good value.

His name is Sean Smith.

But for $8-$10 million? No thanks.

 

Comments

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yesterday thats just bs and u know it. harvin before he was injured was the mvp last year. guy is awesome. can play anywhere. well worth the risk

well believe it aloco, even saying that they have zero interest in him. would never pay franchise on him again and wont even think of a multi year deal for him. hes long gone. prob sign hartline to fill lloyds place and use eldelman as welker

Doesnt make sense to have a player(Percy Harvin) thats more apt to be on injured reserve than your "PLAYOFF ROSTER" anyway.

No matter how good a player, the primary goal is to help win a championship. He cant do that if he's on injured reserve just before regular season ends.

lol u have to win in reg season before u have any shot at a championship

THE PATS WILL PART WITH WELKER LIKE IRELAND WILL PART WITH STUPID!! IT AINT HAPPENING!!

sorry aloco, already did

dustybottom,

Ted Ginn barely sees wr playing time now. SF has wr's that are actually wr's. It makes it tough for a kick returner who happens to play wr to get into the game.

I dont ever see Percy Harvin being anything big in this game. He'll probably have far more impact returning kicks or running reverses than he'll ever have as a "pure wr".

I didn't realize those former dolphins wide receivers played against both davis and smith to make such a assesment. Cornerbacks don't have to be tall, they have to be very fast and in your face. Sean Smith is neither. If he liked to hit, he could be a very good saftey, but he doesn't like to hit or tackle. Another problem is Kevin Coyle he doesn't know how to put together a scheme that suits the strengths of his players.

lol again what are u talking about. i dont give 2 sharts about ginn. hes horrible. u were one who was mad when the clown left. comparing harvin to ginn is like comparing marino to henne

dustybottoms,

I worry about you son. Sometimes I wonder if youre a Bellichik hoping Ireland reads your posts and does the wrong thing. Or you just are still very young and green when it comes to real football talent.

Not picking on you, but at times Im really concerned about you.

lol good to hear yesterday. im glad to be different opinions anyday from u. not bashing u like the others in here do to u. but just glad to be thinking ahead

u wont have to worry about us getting harvin anyways, said prob half the league would be interested and eagles might give up a first for him. yikes he would be dangerous in kellys offense


Posted by: dolffnman | February 10, 2013 at 08:49 PM

Guess you didnt get the memo man. Last season we went from 3-4 to 4-3 defense. Nearly all of the defensive personnel suited a 3-4 defense.

Now if Coyle did what you suggested, that means we wouldnt be playing a true 4-3 defense. So what was the use in the switch, we would be playing neither a 3-4 nor 4-3. We would be playing all over the board trying to accomodate what different players do.

You would end up with a mass of confusion and probably the nfl's worst defense doing this.

Certain defenses have certain disciplines. If a player's skills doesnt fit the discipline, you ship him out and bring in a players who does. You cant "babysit guys".

Yesterday's Gown, I admire your dedication to proper dental hygiene.

dusty bottoms and oscar canosa, same person.

James, I love you and hope you are never killed in a tragic accident after taking a trucking job in Alabama to try and lift our family out of poverty in the Chicago ghetto.

JJ and Michael say hello, too.

Reggie Bush is great at moving the chains, getting the 1st downs. Losing him would put even more pressure on both the defense as well as Tannehill. Losing Brandon Marshall and now Reggie Bush would be a further nightmare for this team.

NE is a Classy Organization and I have no doubt that Welker will get his due. Happy, ALoco?

That's exactly what makes an Organization, Classy. Fairness.

These scatcacks RBs like Bush, CJ Spiller are great to have in any System. Properly used, they can get you 10-20 yds in a hurry whenever needed.

Never get's old....idiots

Good Lord Flipper beads been posting for 15 Stright hours., Flipper can you beat Odinstanks 32 hours of non stop posting?

Wonderful Post Mate,Get Updated Reviews on your Favorite Video Games, The Most Updated Game Reviews for PC,Xbox and PS3.Click my name to visit the site.

Every quarterback in the league know he has a safe zone on the field. Sean Smith is out there with no hands. None! So quarterbacks immediately lose all fear of interception. Then Smith is big and gangly and cannot cover the Wes Welkers out there. He is constantly beaten and takes a space on the roster where we need a playmaker.

Sean Smith is a target for opposing Quarterbacks. If he could catch and tackle would be one hell of a Safety. Let him walk. Draft new corners. Matter of fact, bring in Honey-Badger. He will be cheap. Just make him piss on a regular. A good pass rush would regulate rookie corners. I would rather sack the QB then rely on corners. No one shuts a good receiver down.

Percy Harvin is worth going after via trade!!!!

Greg Jenning (Free Agent signing)
Brian Hartline (Re-sign before March 13th)
Percy Harvin (Trade a 3rd round pick)
Davone Bess (already locked down on current roster)

......should be our receivers for Tanny to throw to next season (2013)!!!!

That can be established BEFORE THE DRAFT, which will then allow the draft to be focused on Pass Rusher, Safety and Tight End. With the CAP $$$ and draft picks we have, we should easily move to being a playoff team in 2013!!!!

Vontae Davis was not a BUST. Poorly handled and should have not been traded unless this 2nd rounder is a star. Smith should have been the one traded.

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