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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.



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The Dolphins need to draft two CB's, one possibly in the first round if not a WR or pass rusher. Let Smith get whatever he will somewhere else. He plays soft and can not cut with the quick WR's. He is not even worth $5M. Further more he is not worth what he was paid.

Yes, there is a difference between Playmaker and Homerun threat, but they usually complement each other. Look at Ray Rice , they needed 27 yds in order to have a chance to win the Game, somehow, he got them. Also, you put the ball in this guys hands, you feel he can score from anywhere on the Field. Somebody like that is what we need.

Could be WR, RB, TE.

GN, semipromichael.

A couple things here

Mark, The Herald has installed some type of limit-er for the lengths of the post.

They already had one, it allowed for very long posts and informed you of when it was over the limit.

This new program does neither. They shortened up the limit quite a bit and if you exceed it, too bad. It doesn't tell you, it just does not post it.

Posted by: odinseye | February 08, 2013 at 08:52 PM

This was started because Odindouche Shut down theblog one nite when he was having a tantrum..


(PS: Please hurry any responses as I'm sceduled to give this **Smoking Hot Blondie** a Guitar Lesson at 10:30...........SHARP!


Posted by: odinseye | February 08, 2013 at 09:44 PM

LOL at the Old coot, He'll never stop..

Notice How Odindouche dissapears and all of a sudden FYI Shows up attacking the flip-floping YG4L?
Funny these two need to have a duel and I Hope There both great shots..

i have watched sean smith for 3 years in training camp. he cant stay with quick receivers because he cant swivel his hips. he gets toasted on a regular basis. he plays soft and doesnt like contact. let him walk.

Armando, otally agree with you. As thin as we are at C.B, it would be ludicrous to give Smith a raise & resign him! Mediocre at best! Can't blame Ireland on this one fellas

glad to see him go

Has anyone else noticed the steady exodus off the team from all of Irelands draft picks?

Posted by: Can we fire Ireland now? | February 08, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Boy -O- Boy is this Ireland stuff getting old.

Please just put on your helmet, your mouth guard, take your Thorazine, then STFU and watch what happens. I'm POSITIVE you post these ignorant "One Liners" for the simple sake of padding the all important blog hit totals. FINE, but give the Ireland nonsense a rest already. Your embarrassing yourself. Ireland freed up almost 50 million for free agency and SIMULTANEOUSLY stockpiled some PREMIUM draft picks.

Ireland might get fired one day, but not today and not this off season. Albeit arguable, Ireland actually earned a shot at this off season by reason of the aforementioned.

1. Ireland worked under Parcells initially in Miami. I suspect he was nothing more than a "Glorified Scout", regardless of labels and job titles. Don't fool yourself into believeing that jno one but Parcells was calling the shots.

2. Ireland's first year without Parcells was somewhat doomed before it started. Ireland was drafting for SpOranus' and Daboll's offense. Whats worse, Ireland drafted defense heavy for Nolan's 3-4 defense.

Philbin, Sherman and Coyles systems couldn't possibly be more different. Is it Ireland's fault that Parcells hired SpOranous as the Head Coach and gave him a roster that posted 3 losing seasons in a row?

3. An **EXCELLENT EXAMPLE** of the Cluster-Fvck Ireland was promoted into is the drafting of Misi and Odrick. Not taking anything away from Misi and Odrick. Not laying any blame on anyone specifically. The fact/example is that Misi and Odrick were BOTH drafted to play in a 3-4 defense.

Misi is an above average Strong Side Backer in the 3-4. It's not a glorified position, but Misi was coming into his own and seemed poised to take the next step. Not in the 4-3 defense though. He lacks the coverage skills and speed for a 4-3 OLB. Doesn't have the pass rushing skills to play end.

You can say many of the same things about Odrick. He obviously fits into and is more valued/suited to the 3-4. Thankfully he's versatile and talented enough to at least offer up some QUALITY depth.

These were two promising young players whom we spent a couple of premium draft picks on. But, because of Parcell's, SpOranus, Henning, even Daboll and Nolan, we had to start another REBUILD. We had to fire everyone and bring in all new Coaches that run completely different systems. Systems that rendered quite a few of our players obsolete. Misi and Odrick being the prime examples.

But hey man, lets spend a bunch of money on a plane and some flyers that blame Ireland for all this!

ROTFLMAO - I hope you are just an ignorant troll trying to run up blog hit totals. Because your logic and reasoning skills are flawed to the point of retardation-lol.


Someone Mentioned Derek Cox UFA. Jags.
Very Good player & replacement. By his numbers deserves 8-10.
Played on a bad team. If also bring I'm Mike Jenkins. ( you know how JI LIKE HIS COWBOYS) and Reasean Mathis.

I like Smith, but we've waited so long to be competitive in FA with cap room, don't blow it in one year. Lets make this a yearly thing.

Cut Marshall. Take a million off Patterson.
I like Clemons , his effeciency numbers are actually great.
56% Qb rating against him in coverage. But I'd go with Vacarro @ 12.
Seems like a higher ceiling.

The problem is the Dolphins are already thin when it comes to DBs. They may not want to pay Smith, but at the same time can they afford to lose him? Corner is major need even with Smith on the roster, it's damn near an emergency if he leaves via free agency.

The same is true for Hartline. He's not elite, but losing him means one more need to be addressed. If the Dolphins lose Bush, Long, Smith, and Hartline you might as well call this a rebuild year, which is what nearly every year is called in the Dolphin's organization to assuage fans from rioting and/or suicide.

Let the market sort it all out. If some crazy GM wants to pay him that kind of money 8-10 mil then he'll walk and eventually those kind of moves will cost him the GM his job. The thing that separates the good players from elite is consistent play on the field. Smith has the physical tools to be better but doesn't play to his full potential.

Hey dudes

First off we missed the big snow here in jersey thank god only got about 7 inches

Next Sean smith is a dog say goodbye and good riddance, jake it's been nice but see ya later,Brian get a grip your not worth 6 mil.and Reggie well we will miss you so now is the time to correct our mistakes of the past and move forward . Can anyone say playoffs , I know I can

Armando, good work on the Sean Smith piece although I think inconsistent is too kind an adjective to describe his play. His tackling, pass-catching, ball-tracking and overall pass coverage skills never seemed to warrant 1st team stature although the potential always showed.

I have always thought him to be more juvenile than his former partner in the defensive backfield. He can be a charmer when he speaks but too often, and disappointingly, chooses the role of punk. I think his play reflects this same disdain for professional behavior and he has been a player too long coasting on his athletic ability.

The Dolphins need players that want to be good- in the words of Joe Philbin, "want to be great." Sean Smith arrived in Miami thinking he was there already.

To simplify my thinking going intothe off-season I want to improve the offense and defense with the addition of ONLY ONE POSITION in the context of the players the Dolphins have, and who they might lose in free agency.IMO on offense I would get a WR with a lot of speed to make the defense respect the long pass and allow whoever else I have that plays receiver to gain that extra edge that helps them get open underneath.On defense my ONE player is a pass rushing DE,whoever I have in the defensive backfield will have to cover their man that instant of time less which makes a lot of diffence in the NFL.

My suggestions WR I agree with A.Salguero sign Wallace I already know he can play at this level.
At defensive end I would take my chances in the draft as the 1st pick.If anyone has any FAs that would complement Wake by all means post them.
The draft is a risk because being good in college does not always translate to being good in the NFL.IMO I think the drafting of a pass rushing specialist is a lot easier than drafting other positions,their are just less unknown factors in my mind as to if a great pass rusher in college can do the same in the NFL.

Whoof who of Sean smith you my friend are a dog it's time for your walk

Wallace , Jennings , Jared cook, or Dustin Keller all of the above , Andy Levitre that's what I'm talking about

The sky is the limit for us so let's go get it

This is no secret...Of course this is a rebuild/retool year with 5 picks in the draft in the first 90 and 40 + mil in cap space. We have to turn over a good portion of the team or they'll end up with the sputtering offense, awful pass defense and mediocre record. The good news is they have a chance to improve and let's not forget we have O. Vernon and L. Miller ready for a chance to play and compete from last years draft.

FYI (like i we can't figure out who you are)....i'm pretty sure one poster on this page got it right already......

I'm not 14....and don't get all RILED up and FLUSTERED because YOU think I have low-self-esteem...lol....

I guess my next move should be to oppose every thing YG says...and then argue with him ALL DAY...EVERY DAY....so I am prove my self-worth to you...I mean me.....

I'll fight MY OWN battles on MY OWN terms under MY OWN name....when I FEEL it's warranted....

but you already know this....I am sure I have taken you to the woodshed many times (under other names you use of course)....

the fact that you are to SCARED to post under ONE NAME consistently (and bring up my name CONSTANTLY to help you're argument) says a lot more more about you're pussyfication...then it says about my self-esteem.....

So lets review....

1. Pick a name....and post undrer it....

2. Speak for SELF.....don't ask me to fight your battles...

as a by product of step 1 and 2....the following step will happen on its own....

3. Grow nads....and life will be more enjoyable....i promise.....

Repetitous drivel, is all here.

Armando here can be your next topic. The solutions we already have on the team. Some act as though we don't already have some promising players already on the team but it's just not true. Given a chance past their rookie seasons guys do blossom into quality starters. Solai and R. Jones come to mind.

And the part that really makes me believe we need to turnover a good portion of the team is when you have players calling teammates a p*&sy and when Pouncey says we need better chemistry and leadership. I take a lot of stock in what he says because that guy gets it and is a beast.

#1. Smith sux

#2. There is a FA corner on the Steelers - Keenan Lewis (SP?) - this guy had a better year than Smith last year and can probably be had for half the price. This is the guy the Dolphins need to go after - and then draft a CB also.

#3. The Dolphins should draft QB EVERY year until they are 100% sure they have the right one.

I can't beleive that there is any condideration of re-signing Sean Smith,huh?

The Dolphins suxed with him - they can sux without him. Its time for him to go and get burnt for another team - hopefully the Jets, Bills or Pats.

Right, Pittsburgh Jim@8:17. Lewis looked very good this year and the Steelers don't seem to have the money he can get in FA to keep him in reserve. He should be Ireland's #1 target in FA.

Smith stinks!! He was the most targeted Corner in the league for good reason. Patterson played better than him without knowing the D.

SS - Can't cover, can't tackle, can't catch!!! Draft 2 DBs please!!!

would be absolutely stunned if ANY gm in this league pays him 8 to 10.
Posted by: Phins78 | February 08, 2013 at 07:42 PM

I would be surprised if no one offered him a contract at 8m a year or even 10m. Brandon Carr was a decent corner look what he got. People look at Smith and see a big, young corner who can compete with big WR.

Wouldn't GB like him to compete against Megatron twice a year and Brandon Marshall? GMs may or may not ignore the second-half slump he had but they'll see him blanket Fitzgerald and think "wow this guy can cover an elite WR"

He's certainly gone, there is no way he is coming back. My biggest concern is getting Hartline to stay and not walk

Draft 2 DBs please!!!
Posted by: MSmith555 | February 09, 2013 at 09:16 AM

Last time we did that we ended up with Davis and Smith, arguably 2 wasted picks but more realistically picks that never panned out. We expected superstars to lockdown our corners instead we got above average play. Not what you want our of 2 top picks



The poiint is, there were several playmakers we COULD HAVE HAD that would FIT IN ANY SYSTEM when we foolishly traded back for Odrick and Misi. We gave up real quaility for two average players.

MiamiD20, I know Smith's legend grew to be about how he covers big guys but not small, shifty ones but it's an exaggeration. If you go back and look at the stats from the Arizona game- and any game where the team faced a big receiver- you'll see that the receiver got his usual catches as averaged from immediately preceding games. I guess the legend comes about because Smith actually didn't disappoint to Dolphin fan's worst nightmares when covering the big guys. LOL

This defense gave up a hell of a lot of chunk yardage plays. Played good against mediocre QBs but sucked against elite QBs. When needed against crucial game changing plays, most of the time they didn't deliver. If it was me, I would be looking to replace almost every starter on this defense except Cam Wake. Sean Smith is NOT worth the money he'll be asking. Let him go! Both him and Vontae were part of the draft bust package picked by Ireland.

Kris takes the bait every single time. It's like fishing in an aquarium. LOL. Such a sucker that dude.

Sean Smith does not know how to play CB - Look at other players and you can see how professional corners become RECEIVERS once the ball is in the air and make a play. Sean never knows where the ball is and only looks at the WR until he makes a move. Sean Smith is a poser and not worth playing pro football.




Sean Smith and Brian Hartline are not worth half of the money they're asking... Let them go!!

The only player I would franchise if he doesn't a contract is Jake Long, because of a great need, not because he's worth it. After that, they're all 7-9 players and easily replaceable.

Sorry but the truth hurts. I'm a die-hard Dolphins fan, but I am realistic. They need to be as well.

Mando, I can't say this is welcome news.
There are several excellent corners in the draft, a few of them as far as 3rd-4th round, but who wants to start over at a position that should already be covered? --literally.
We'll do what we have to, and Yeah, unfortunately you're right, but it would be a whole lot better if we could just put a fire under Smith's butt.
But at $8 mill? Damnit, you're probably right that Ireland will think there's acorns to replace him, somewhere.

We need more physical players. We have a team full of pansies who don't know how to hit anyone. And Sean Smith is the biggest pansy we have on the team.

IF ..if, we have to replace Smith with the draft, here's my suggestions:
Obviously Milliner is top banana, but probably not reasonable, nor do I want to use our #1 on a corner.

2 rd. Desmond Trufant - does nothing but make big plays, and can consistently cover one-on-one.

4th rd. Sanders Commings. Gets overshadowed by all the other studs Georgia has, but Commings was probably the most consistent player on their D. Not special but plays his position, does his job, and makes plays against star talent when needed. Good solid pro I think.

4th-5th rd. Tyronn Mathieu. Yes, I said it. Yes, the kid is troubled. But he's a freakin monster when he's motivated. Not worth a top round pick, but once you get past the 3rd round, you're expecting either risky, or mediocre. I'd give him a try here.

Sean Smith = another Ireland bust


I've brought this up with you before....I don't get the negativity of your posts sometimes. The truth is we got 4 years out of Sean Smith. Was he great? No. To me, time's up on this guy. Too inconsistent, too much money. Other options out there, that will be good or better via FA or the draft. I don't know what that has to do with 'Ireland's acorns'? EVERY team in the NFL has to replace their players EVERY offseason. We're no different. Where is it written that it has to be 'an acorn'?

I don't value the CB position like so many others on here do. Are we good back there? No. But neither are a lot of teams. I don't believe the answer is to draft two guys high, as some do and I don't subscribe to the idea that this will solve the problem. We took two of the top guys available back in 2008 and it didn't really work out. I think we can guy by with the guys we have and add a guy in the draft or FA but more IMPORTANTLY for me, upgrade Chris Clemmons.


The dilemma is that it is that we have a bunch of picks, but it is a weak draft. I'd look to trade some picks for next year.

Craig M, you are aware that Clemmons grades out pretty well, right? I just posted this yesterday:

"Jones was strong most of the year and Clemmons play improved throughout the year in DC Kevin Coyle's system. The tandem was strong in both pass and run defense. NFL QB passer ratings against #5 rated Jones area of coverage = 38.0; #14 rated Clemmons = 52.4. Barry Jackson (Miami Herald) reports that Clemmons, according to Pro Football Focus, was the top rated safety in the league for allowing the lowest percentage of passes in his coverage area to be completed for first downs or touchdowns, while jones was 5th."

The team has real needs in so many areas, especially cornerback. I don't understand how you figure Clemmons at safety is paramount.

sorry I'm a downer to you, but newsflash... I hate Ireland's chocies/draft/attitude etc. Please ignore references to him if it causes you distress. Sorry, man, but it's not a spot I plan to change.

As far as Smith goes, I'm lamenting. Smith has talent, and could be pretty darned good. We may lose him (or dump him). Jake Long may leave. Starks is getting older. V. Davis was traded. We always seem to be chasing the replacement of guys who are either talented and productive, or at least talented and possibly productive. Hard as hell to fill the really glaring needs if we're always chasing our tail. Not anyone's fault really, just a bummer in the biz.

I would really hope to not have to replace Smith or Long. But good bet we'll have to. Smith, at least has been digging his own grave to said outcome.

I normally find WalterFootball's site to be the most generally accurate, but I'm not seeing eye to eye with them this year.
However, for those that care, here's their main man's mock draft for the Dolphins through 4 rounds.

1st Keenan Allen WR Cal
2nd Sam Montgomery DE LSU
2nd Dallas Thomas OG/T Tenn
3rd Jordan Poyer CB Ore. St.
3rd Stedman Bailey WR WVU
4th Justin Pugh OG Syracuse

*Charlie and Walter assume that Jake Long is gone for next year, hence the linemen. Picks. Puke. Why the heck are we always replacing the guys that actually HAVE some value already on our team? Oh well. the biz.
** I don't buy into K. Allen as a top receiver, but the experts will claim we hit the jackpot. Fingers crossed if so, that Allen pans out to expectations. I'm dubious, but I'll root like hell for him to be awesome.
*** To get Montgomery in the second, plus two receivers (one who is a burner)... that would be a pretty solid draft. IF IF IF we needed another tackle cause Long leavesm then these choices are as good as any. But damn I hope he doesn't leave, and we can use these picks for something else.

Craig M,

I dont get the positive spin on your posts? We have another bust QB drafted in the 1st rd this time. The worst GM in NFL history. A cheap owner begging the taxpayers for a handout and cutting any player that deserves 8 mill or more. Add in 4 consecutive losing seasons(soon to be 5) and the team is an absolute laughingstock. Zero chance at the playoffs plus an empty stadium. Dolphins fans have exited the team in droves. FA's avoid this team like the plaque.
. Are u in Canada by any chance? Clueless in Canada?

We keep saying "adios" to all the players who will command some sort of pay raise - so what now, Fins are turning into the Marlins??? If you want to win, you have to spend money, plain and simple!

MiamiD20 if the Packers want to sign him so he can help them God bless em! I don't know how much help he will be considering he is one of the worst starting CBs in the league but they can certainly waste their time if they want to. I've seen everything I have to see, if he's worth 8 million a season to someone that someone better start crossing his fingers now. We could draft someone in the third round or later that could give up the most first downs and TDs in the league and pay him far less.

Also I don't know how much help the Pack need covering Megatron and Marshall considering they swept both teams this season and the players in question had little impact on those games. As a matter of fact they went 5-1 in their division only losing to Minnesota in week 17. But I understand the point you're making, perhaps his value will be up there just not in the Packers eyes. The Pack don't sign other teams castoffs.

Fins are far worse then the Marlins. The Marlins have 2 World Championships last 15 years. And the Marlins did offer Albert Puljos 225 mill!! The Fins are just a joke franchise more concerned with hard knocks, celebrities, the stadium and the logo, then actually trying to build a winner.

Sean smith might be the best pre-season cornerback in the NFL.

MiamiD20, and Phins78,
I can understand letting Smith walk. Overpaying, even for a certain amount of talent - especially one who HAS NOT lived up to billing or his asking price, is not done by decent GMs. Can't fault Ireland for that decision if it happens.
But I'd kiss Long's butt to stay if it's just about money. Sure he's getting older, but another rookie tackle is going to have Tannehill's ribs busted next season and we'l be looking for QB replacement whether we liked Tanny or not.
Pay Long if it's less than the moon, and go get some playmakers to fill gaps that are GLARINGLY short any kind of talent already.

Also odinseye I read your post on Ireland and while I agree on questioning how much power he had under Parcells I disagree on another point.

I don't think it's fair to give Ireland a pass because he drafted players last year that don't fit the new scheme. Was he not the man in charge of bringing in the new coach? I know Ross was involved but I don't believe for one second that Ross is the one who compiled the list of candidates. I also don't believe he would have used his power to veto an Ireland pick considering Ireland knew the roster and Ross is clueless there.

So Ireland was the main man behind finding Philbin eventhough he knew the team wasn't built the way Philbin wants it.

You make it sound as if Philbin was thrust upon him and Jeff now has to fix the problems when in reality he himself helped to create the problems.

My verification code for today (the words I had to recognize before they would paste my post) .

"Shrimps gotgas" :D

To be clear, I'd prefer to have Smith stay (obviously for less than 8 mill), light a fire under his butt, and find some talent to replace the rest of more mediocre players on our roster.
But I would understand if he walks. God help anyone who pays him 8 mill.

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