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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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Ross honoring our opponent Tebow and then having Tebow beat us on our home field with his fans screaming for Denver is a perfect example of what a football idiot our owner is. And then trying to hire a HC before firing the HC was MORONIC. As well as Ross's claim that Chad Henne was the 2nd coming of Dan Marino! WTF Ross? And letting Ireland destroy the team year after year after year? The worst owner in sports?

JS obviously agreed on Smith but imo Long needs to be more reasonable with his salary demands.

He's asking the team to pay him as if he's going to start getting better when the truth is he declined every season. I watched every game and what I witnessed was Long allowing multiple defenders to pressure and hit Tannehill. If that's what we have to look forward too we can certainly slide Martin over and draft a RT. It's a tough situation. 6 mil would be my final offer.

Got to go clean some snow, Ill check back later.

..JS..I have to ask. Do you find the Walter site the most accurate because you agree with their picks, or is factually accurate? None of these draft sites get close to the reality of draft day, Really after the top 10, it is a crapshoot. And how any draft service can predict rounds 2-7?? It is impossible.

There are always draft day suprises because the 100 or so web sites, and experts who do mock drafts. I understand these sites are fun to look at, compaire, and maybe give a guy that interests you to do some digging on. But these are all shams, It is a bunch of guys like us, giving lists of guys they know little if nothing about.

Phins78, good point on Ireland steering Philbin to Ross. But maybe Jeff, like the rest of us, was tired of the same failure year after year. Philbin brings the change and promise of West Coast offense and reversion back to a 4-3 D. That and finally getting a young, good looking QB is enough to buy Jeff time in my book. I am looking forward to seeing what he does this year.

We all saw that Martin cant handle LT. If they let Long and Bush leave.... Tannehill is toast.

Armando, you keep forgeting the best CB in FA, A. Cason from San Diego. Give him $8-9 mil. #1 Cb potential!

That allows Miami to leverage Smith into taking $6m per for #2 Cb money! If not, take the kid Banks from Mississipi in the 1st round & let him, Marshall & Patterson duke it out for #2,

I like Smith as a #2 Cb at the right price even though he's soft & I hate his lack of effort in tackling.

Ross is too cheap to pay any player that gets good. Its no wonder we stink.

I like WalterFootball because they seem more accurate based on history. They keep the previous year for comparison, so you can see where the differences are.
Are they accurate? No, of course not. Nobody's are. But IMO they're better than most, and I like their research into prospects too.
Like I said, don't always agree, and this year is more of a crap shoot than any year I can remember...
But several other big named sites like CBS, etc I find far fetched in some of their analysis.
My opinion.

But this year... who the hell knows. Strange lack of consistency in propects among many sites.

Maybe. And if you were a GM, this is exactly the problem you would face, and may be the exact answer you'd have.
But as a fan... I lament. Why O Why do we keep replacing the guys that are talented and/or productive, and keep hoping to get away with leftovers for other positions.

Martin is growing to become a possible decent RT. No way in hell he'd be instantly a good LT, and may not even be a great RT next year (needs muscle). You were one of the loudest to exclaim that Tannehill shouldn't start this last season because he would get pummeled and lose confidence. So how do you think he'd fair with a rookie RT, and a semi-rookie LT?

I'm all about building the future, but there isn't an immediate replacement for Long unless you want to hire a FA, who of course would cost a pretty penny. Robbing Peter - pay Paul. So pay Long, draft a dude to be left or right tackle within the next two years, and let waive Long in a couple years if he goes backwards.

Not the best plan, but geeez how many pro-bowlers do we have on our team?

Btw, CBS/NFLDraftScout have us taking either Allen or C. Patterson (WRs) in round 1.

Of the two, I'd much rather have Patterson.
they don't have any other rounds, unfortunately.

..LOL. Antoine Cason??? Where are you getting your information? He was worde then Smith last year. Less snaps 1056 Smith 1068 (pretty much the same) But Cason is the third worst rated free agent corner this year with a -10 grade. Smith was graded at -3.5 . So I'm not sure where Cason is a number one guy, and Smith is a number 2 guy??

I will say that the Cason was part of the worst free agent cornerback tandem in league history..His partner. Quinten Jammer. 1016 snaps also a -10 grade. They both stink.

For total snaps, and positive grade Chris Houston is the best URFA available. Followed By Terrance Newman, and Sheldon Brown. The only issue with Brown, and Newman would be age.

Bill, Phins, JS,

I agree that Smith is not worth the 8 million and he is simply above average (at best) but I have no doubt someone who's on the cusp of going all the way will snatch him up for that kind of money. I use GB as an example of a team that has to cover big WRs in their division, some crazy team will offer him a contract to leave Miami and I am already planning next season with Patterson, Marshall (who we should cut), and Wilson (who we should move to Safety if Clemons walks) at CB ((and if we cut Marshall to save his money it gives us more space for Long who we should keep at a reasonable price))

I don't think Smith played lights out against Arizona, I'm figuring GMs will use that as a reason to justify his potential, thus his bloated contract.

Now, unless we're drafting a DE high or signing one as a stud (thus moving Odrick inside) I'd rather keep Starks for that kind of money (though Long > Starks)
What we should also be looking out for are LBs. I'm pretty sure Burrnett and Dansby are gone next year and you can count Misi out too. Next year all but our DL is going to be toast unless we improve.

Oh, and if a top-notch kicker falls to us in the 6th round grab him. Legatron proved kickers have value in late rounds

..JS_ I don't think we are drafting a wr in round 1. Now everyone is making a big deal about how there are no Elite recievers in this draft. It is insane. We don't know this. The process is still early. We don't know who rises up the ranks. Even further ahead, we don't know which if any of these guys will be great.

This has nothing to do with why I don't see us drafting a reciever. I think free agency is where we will do damage as far as upgrading the reciever position, then rounds 2-3. Now maybe one of these guys that everyone feels is over-rated climbs the boards and we take a chance?

If I had to pick between the 2, I would probaly pick my nose. I saw Allen 1 time, and had not heard of Patterson until a month ago. Wasn't Hunter the guy from Tenn that everyone was bonered up over?


Fact, No oe can dispute Jeff Ireland 100% controlled the last 2 drafts.

Fact, A rift existed between Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano before the 2011, in what would be Sparano's last season in Miami.

Fact, Pouncey's the only member of the 2011 draft class guaranteed to be o this roster opening season 2013.

Fact, Comparing 2011's draft class to 2012's is like comparing night to day. 2012's draft easily outclasses 2011.

Fact, Ireland has boasted he's in this offseason today as a "well thought out plan".

Hmmm... Did this well thought out plan comprosed of "sabotouging the 2011 draft" to guarantee Sparano's ouster?

Just food for thought folks, just food for thought. LOL...

Great job Armando, I argee - he is just ok... but ok doesn't get 8 million... I watched him make 7 huge mistakes last year that helped us lose games we needed to win - Indy - let the winning TD happen, dropped pick for example. Why we traded Vontae and kept Sean I don't know

Lets say part of Ireland's plan has been to oust Sparano all along.

Now, would this also include players that were "Tony Sparano loyalists?" Is there a player purge soon to follow?

Vonte Davis-- Shipped out
Marshall-- Shipped out
Gates--- Shipped out

Who's next? Long? Smith? Hartline? Stay tuned folks. Gotta love a good mystery, even if it is fictional. LOL...

Cee did you even watch Devlin in preseason? He has accuracy, poise and athleticism in the pocket and a strong arm. He's got a lot of upside and will make a good back up QB. Philbin is fond of him too. He knows QB's better than all of us.

CB is one of our biggest needs, our secondary is the weakest part of our D. We need to sign one of the 3 free agent safties that are hitting the market, a reasonably priced CB and draft 2 more CB's. We need to go after Bradshaw to shore up our running game and let Miller take the Bush role in the offense.

Sean Smith = class C player. Poor tackler, very few INTs, gets burned too often. That hardly makes up for the occasional good game he has.

Seems Ireland is last man standing with Steven Ross. Ross immediately "forced" Parcells out. Ask yourselve, "Isnt strange how easily Ross allowed Parcells to take the money and run?"

Next, Ross tries to "backdoor" Sparano out of the picture. Dont you find it strange Parcells was so easily allowed to walk away and Ross literally tried to push Sparano off of his plane"

Finally, who's the last man standing in the picture? Jeff Ireland. Why?

I'll tell you why, Ireland never held any true loyalty to neither Parcells nor Sparano. Jeffy boy began selling them both out as soon as Ross walked into the building.

Funny how Jeff's best work happened once Sparano was gone(2012 draft). Ireland bosts this offseason of the "grand plan". Could that grand plan been in the works ever since Parcells was "arguably" allowed to walk? LOL...

D20, understand on the Smith comments. On the CBs though, I would expect Ireland to upgrade Patterson, Marshall (and Wilson is moved to safety). Reason is, he can get better players in FA for the money Patterson and Marshall are making. I wouldn't cry if they return though, they have been better than what the team started the season with. Agree on the LBs also.

Hey man, preaching to the choir on draft a LB. OLB, or DE is my top plan for round 1, assuming a worthy one is still around when we pick.
A MLB would be great too, but I am reluctant to keep doing what I lament about .. replacing gusy who are already productive. Dansby isn't elite, but he's actually pretty decent. An upgrade would be nice, but not my top priority this year.
But if we did, well, then who? Te'o? Ogletree? I love Ogletree, but he's slight for a MLB. If everyone thinks he can put on the necessary poundage, then yeah he's a nice add. I actually was hoping he'd fit as an OLB, poundage unnecessary.

DD, This year's WR crop just isn't round 1 material IMO, except for Hopkins. And I would prefer a stud DE, or OLB in rd. 1, but... I'm also betting on Ireland's history/psyche. He caved to pressure last year and went QB rd.1. He admitted it was pressure. Nowadays the pressure seems to be to get a top WR. So, since I think ireland is a weak man...
viola', WR rd.1.
Just a wager.

crap, sorry. MiamiD20, that first part of my last post was intended to answer you.

Ogletree really isnt that light for a mlb. He's roughly 235lbs, so was Zach Thomas. Only challenge to having a smallish mlb, iks that you better have some damn good DT's in front of him in the run game.

Zach had Gardner and Bowens. So you better as sure as hell resign Starks if going that direction using a little undersized mlb.

There is no reason for D Thomas or Eggnew to take up a roster spot they both will be cut. And if Smith, Long, and Hartline arent worth keeping, are any of Ireland's draft picks worth a shyt?

My official position on this year's wr crop is that at least the top 5 wr's are "far better" than anything we presently have on this roster.

So, to anyone selling this crop short, in comparison to what's presently on this roster, at least the top 5 are a HUGE UPGRADE to what we currently have.

Possibly even the first 10 best wr's. Its not difficult at all to do better 3 tds for your entire wr corps. What are some of you thinking?

Ask yourselve, "Isnt strange how easily Ross allowed Parcells to take the money and run?"

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | February 09, 2013 at 02:10 PM


I did ask myself and the answer came back "no, not really strange at all."

Parcells contract allowed him to walk anytime he wanted. He didn't need permission from Ross or anyone else.

YG, I think Jeff Ireland owns all player acquisitions from 2010. The convincing item is the signing of Brandon Marshall. This was definitely NOT the work of, nor done with the approval of Parcells. He disliked to pay out big money and especially to WRs. I'm guessing pressure came from Ross and Jeff obliged. Just like with the QB in 2012.


Strange how once Sparano is pushed overboard, how quickly Marshall was also pushed overboard. None of were flies on the wall in that room in 2010. But it is possible Sparano had huge input in signing Marshall and Ireland "complied".

Marshall was on the first thing smoking out of Miami after Sparano got the boot wasnt he? This may not be fact, but, it is "food for thought" right?

I definitely agree that most any receiver in the top 5 (I'll step you one up and say top 5 rounds) are an upgrade to our corps.
Love to have them all on my roster.
But, drafting is not just about getting some decent players. It's about being smart, and taking advantage of your choices.
If the WR choices are bunched in the 2nd 3rd rounds, then spend your house-money wisely and go after what IS valued in the first round.
But, I won't be crying if we draft a WR round one. Not at all.
Left tackle or guard? Yeah .. crying.

Philbin is doomed with Ireland as his GM.

Posted by: No Deep Dark Conspiracy | February 09, 2013 at 02:29 PM

Ross knew of the contract terms prior to taking over. Maybe his football consultants steer him away from making "nice-nice" to Parcells coming in.

So knowing of the "Parcells contract terms" coming in, he "made sure" that Parcells would want to take advantage of that clause.

Who's to say as part of the terms of buying the club from Ross. That Ross hadnt agreed to "personally out of pocket" the early departure of Parcells.

A billion dollars exchanged hands, so whats a few million in buying out Parcells? Buying out Parcell mayu have been part of the franchise handing over deal.

Yesterday's Prawn,

Have you ever thought of Bea Arthur lactating?


Yardage wise, I love what we got from our wr's. But, those kind of stats have zero effect on the outcome of the scoreboard.

Hell, I would be more than happy to have 2 wr's with 650 to 800yds between the both if I got 5-6 tds from each. 5-6 tds each from Hartline/Bess in 2012 and we're easily a wildcard playoff team.

YG, totally agree.
I've never been a stat guy, and can't stand those that try to throw in my face some statistic that proves Player X is elite because of soem overall #s.

There are stats I DO follow, but overall yards, and catches isn't one of them.
A Bubble screen where the defender skips, and a good block is thrown, and Player X looks like a monster with 50 yard "catch". Hate that.

Or player X gets a nice 9 yard catch on 3rd down, when the marker is at 10. Useless .

Yg, try this: Jeff and Steve got close in 2010. I think Steve was frustrated with the Bill Parcell's method of building his team and went to Jeff, counseling him that it would be OK to work behind Parcell's back. Thus, the Marshall deal.

In 2011 we see the debacle in the west when the 2 of them tried to get Jim Harbaugh behind Tony's back and ended up embarrassing everyone associated with the Dolphins. I find it hard to believe that Ireland was behind this because it surely reflects a novice's approach. By this time, everybody knew Tony would have to find a new home soon, though.

In 2012, we find Jeff securing a new coach and QB for the Dolphins- and Ross suggesting these were HIS first 2 moves since taking over the franchise. It doesn't take much to understand why Steve and Jeff are now joined at the hip.

Posted by: billcale | February 09, 2013 at 02:53 PM

Exactly man! There's more to this Steve and Jeff story than will ever be revealed to us.

It struck me when Ireland began ranting that this offseason has been a long carefully thought out plan. So the questions occured to me, "Was Parcells and Sparano departures also part of that long carefully thought plan?".

Then, "Will the remaining Sparano loyalists become part of the final stages of a purging plan?". Seems Brandon Marshall may have been "first batter up, and Vonte Davis 2nd batter up" in this process.

It will be very interesting to see who's resigned and who's allowed to walk this offseason. It may lend better insight into who are "Sparano boys" remaining on this roster. LOL...

Also, before selling the team to Ross, Huizenga may have had conversation of his deepest regrets. Parcells may have been part of that.

Ross may have had a "long sitdown" with Ireland and Ireland concurred the things Huizenga confided in Ross. Ross' football people probably gave him a "glowing endorsement" of Ireland moving forward.

Then from this point forward, Ross and Ireland handshake, and Ross has his man. Ireland's first great reccomendation: "Push Sparano from the Plane". Which they literally did on the west coast flight to interview Sparano.

Also, there was never any real intention to bring Cower nor Fisher aboard. Unless either agree to be "hogtied and muzzled". LOL....

YG, I wondered about the "plan" comments myself. He could have been referring to He, Philbin, Ross, et al... but he could have been referring to He and Ross from 2010 or so. Still can't make up my mind. LOL

Parcells was sick of Ross's meddling and celebrity circus and flew the coop. You cant blame Parcells for leaving. He did do a great job while he was here making the playoffs his 1st year after 1-15.

I'm going to write something that is humorless and boring but if I put 'LOL' after it maybe some people will think it is funny and clever. LOL

Also, Ross being a realestate magnate out of NY, he may have known of all of the little known dirty secrets of Parcells. Coming in, he may have had absolute "ZERO" intentions of working with Parcells from the very beginning. LOL...

Posted by: Shula 73 | February 09, 2013 at 03:16 PM

Who's to say the meddling and celebrity circus wasnt part of the Ross plan to make it uncomfortable for Parcells to wanna stay? Ross hasnt brought aboard not one other celebrity owner since Parcells departure.

Hmmm.... LOL...

The Miami Dolphins need to stop cutting first tier talent with the hopes of replacing it with second or third tier talent.

If it ain't broke, why fix it?

There are enough needs on this team that the F.O. doesn't need to keep cutting the better players on the starting roster.

So who is the replacement for Smith going to be? Woodchuck Jones from Groundhog State??????

You're starting to sound ridiculously clueless with your fanciful theories based on nothin more than an active imagination.

"Never any real intention" to hire Fisher?!? Ross went after him HARD, dummy.

And since when is it news that a coach and/or GM wants their OWN players on the sideline? You make it sound like some web of intrigue when it's simply how EVERY SINGLE TEAM in the NFL has conducted their business forever.

Jesus, get a breath of fresh air or something, dude.

Smith is worth $4 million a year, but will get $6 million from someone(not the Fish!). We should spend our money on a WR(Jennings for $7 million a year), a TE(Cook for $4 million), Starks ($6 million), and a Guard(Levitre for $6 million). There's still enough money to sign Bush for a reasonable price if they want to(or let him walk). Oh yeah, the Ravens probably can't resign Bolden and I'm betting the Fish can get him for $6 million a year too. Can you imagine Jennings, Bolden, Hartline, Bess, and Cook? Good Lord. Then spend our first 5 picks on DE, CB, WR, DE,and CB. Next year we can draft ILB, OL, and S. That's how I'd do it from my IT Specialist cubicle.

Jesus, get a breath of fresh air or something, dude.

Posted by: the reality cop | February 09, 2013 at 03:23 PM

Like you would know "ANYTHING" about JESUS. Trolls never cease to amaze the blind, crippled, and crazy. LOL....

The celebrity crap stopped after the Dolphins conducted a very extensive fan poll (which I participated in, actually) that revealed how deeply unpopular it was. Ross got the message and the team no longer features any of that stuff as part of the game experience.

But if you want to continue your foray into Crazyworld with these inane theories about Ross/Parcells/Celebrities then enjoy your tinfoil hat.

YG, you think up some absolutely wild stories!


Posted by: the reality cop | February 09, 2013 at 03:23 PM

And the Lord commanded, "Do not use my name invane."

Food for thought, troll Satan. LOL...

Hey, I'm trying to HELP you before you're permanently branded here as the resident lunatic.


You're right, YG. We'll probably never know the whole story of *what* has gone on. I personally think Parcell's left because Ross let Jeff start acting like the Dolphins GM and made it clear that Jeff was not subordinate to Parcells. When Jeff started to act out his title, he created some anxiety in Tony who had been loyal to Bill. Their relationship deteriorated from then on and Ross easily convinced Jeff that Tony had to go- however possible.

Posted by: the reality cop | February 09, 2013 at 03:27 PM

Post your "evidence" of this Mr. Cop Troll Satan. Or do "cops" no longer need "evidence"?

At least my post has a chance of being successful under the "preponderance of evidence" statutes. LOL...

Posted by: billcale | February 09, 2013 at 03:33 PM

I could easily concure with this.

If they dump the expensive stars Ross can pocket more money.


Whatever happened behind closed doors, I 100% approve of if it finally leads back to the path of glory for the Fins franchise.

BTW, have you checked out the top 10 logo sunmissions on the site? Logo 3 and logo 4 seem to have the most momentum right now.

Posted by: Steve in Ottawa | February 09, 2013 at 03:37 PM

Didnt he pocket money by "selling" small parts of the team to them? Dont they also assume part of the "tax liabilities? Seems Ross made and is still making money to me.

Is it just me or is anyone else expecting YG to next discuss being abducted by aliens?

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