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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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My "evidence" of what? The fan poll and the team's reaction to it?

Everyone who has ever had Dolphins season tickets or bought a single game ticket through the team's website probably got the same poll e-mailed to them. Not only that, but Dolphins CEO Mike Dee was quoted repeatedly how the team got the message regarding the whole celebrity thing and that's why it was dropped from the gameday experience.

Had you been paying attention at the time or received the poll you might have known this instead of running off with your whacked out theories with no basis in reality.

Plus, the "celebrity owners" are more "stockholder" than owner. Combined, they do not have enough "ownership or stock" to "over rule" anything Ross wishes to do do.

I think Huizenga still has 1-2% ownership in the team. Could be as high as 5%, I forget.

YG, same here on the destiny of the franchise. I have no opinion on the logos, though. Just can't get into it.

Not sure why they're doing this logo poll. The new logo has already been finalized and submitted to the NFL. It will be unveiled before the draft.

Posted by: the reality cop | February 09, 2013 at 03:44 PM

Sorry, but, Im done with conversation with you or any of your aliases today. Thx for stopping by, it's been a pleasure. LOL...

Well, of COURSE you're done. I exposed your silly theories for the genuine nonsense they are.

Hey, drop the crazy stuff and you probably have some perfectly good things to write about. I'm not judging you overall--just calling out the crap.

Well, one thing for sure, change of logo should drive up the price for any 70's Dolphins championship memorabilia. If you own any, dont throw it away, I wont! LOL...


Posted by: DolphinDave | February 09, 2013 at 03:53 PM

No such beast as ROSS'S. Try Ross', works much better with real english language.

Just saying.....

Wrong YG. It is Ross's

Dave, you obviously didn't attend any home games last year. If you had, you'd know the celebrity crap (the videos, the Orange Carpet, all of it) is long gone.

I keep hearing this repeated here and it makes it pretty obvious who does/doesn't atually go to games.

The Sun-Sentinel actually has the far better "logo poll."

Check it out. The leading vote-getter is rumored to be an actual team-leaked design that may well be the new logo or very close to it.

Here's a look at it: http://the305.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/new-dolphins-logo-2013.jpg

reality cop,

Does anyone really go to the games anymore?

Monte, they dress up as orange seats.


..I don't know the relationship between Parcells and Ross. I personally think that Parcells left because of Ross. The reason I say this was right after the Hall of Fame induction. Parcells did an interview with Chris Russo. They were talking about Parcells then shakey relationship with Pats owner Robert Kraft. They did not hit it off, but the two have come to respect each other over the years. Enough for Parcells to say he was wrong about Kraft and wished he could have changed they way things went down in NE.

He went on to say that he has respect for every owner he worked for. He mentioned Huizenga, Kraft, the jet owner at the time. Jerry Jones, the Mara's. He never mentioned Ross. Now I don't know if it was an oversight, if this means nothing. But He did talk about the mistakes in his past, and nothing about Ross came up, nothing.

Parcells was Irelands mentor. He knew at some point that he would take the reigns. I just wonder how much influence Ross had on the departure of the Tuna. To me the interview said it all by saying nothing.

Parcells left mostly because of poor health. Had he wanted to stay in football, he could have. He's had multiple offers. The fact he's said no to all of them is pretty telling.

DD, yeah Parcells couldnt stand Ross. Huizenga was a likeable guy. Ross, not so much. And the meddling had to irk Parcells.

"According to ProFootballFocus.com, Smith yielded more combined first downs and touchdowns than any other NFL cornerback".

Let him walk and when he comes crawling back, sign him based on performance. Meanwhile keep looking.

Was does getting rid of Sean Smith and Vontae Davis say about the people drafting. Now were going to have to draft or sign two new players at the position. Thats also why you make offers before they are able hit the free agent market. Quit complaining about the money you have to pay these guys. Ireland doesn't have a clue and I would bet money I could do a better job than him in a heart beat.

I live near Philadelphia and we had no snow at all from this storm. Nothing.

billcale (from earlier),

I'm not much on stats and prefer to judge based on what my eyes tell me. As far as Clemmons is concerned, he's average at best. I will agree with you that he played better in the second half of the season but I take that with a grain of salt and some of the QBs we played (Henne, Fitzpatrick (twice), Sanchez, Locker). Not exactly a stable of great QBs or passing attacks. To me, Clemmons tackles bad angles, misses tackles and offers very little in support to his CBs. What I'm saying is, a better safety makes our corner backs look better. I think you had him ranked 14th. That's average and I think we're both agreeing he played better in the second half. Not saying it's out BIGGEST need but it is a need.

It's going to be interesting to see what KC does with the top pick and what they do with Branden Albert. Everything I've read suggests that they will pick Loeckel with the first pick. If they do that, what does that mean for Albert. Woould the Dolphins looks at this guy as Long's replacement, should the price be lower? Could be.

"The Carroll County Times says impending free agent CB Cary Williams is not expected to be re-signed.

The Ravens are expected to try and re-sign Williams, but he'll undoubtedly find more money on the open market than Baltimore will be able to offer him. The Ravens have a couple of capable in-house corners that can replace Williams on the right side in Corey Graham, Chykie Brown, and former first-rounder Jimmy Smith. LCB Lardarius Webb is also set to return from a torn ACL. Williams is said to be seeking upwards of $8 million annually."

Forget Sean Smith. This is the guy we need to make a 'full court press' to get.

BTW--Mike Wallace is said to be looking for $11 Million a year (like Vincent Jackson) according to John Clayton. I like Wallace but I don't like him THAT much.

albert will be franchised


How do you figure? Where's he going to play?

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | February 09, 2013 at 04:19 PM

Seems all Parcells is good at is apologizing for the past these days. LOL...

hes gonna play left tackle. dorsey will look long and hard to trade down. thats the chiefs first choice. bad kept secret here in kc. they also will try hard for alex smith

Ha! The main reason Parcells left was he knew what a mess he had made in Miami and wanted to distance himself from it.

how bout those canes!!!!!!!! killed nc today, now 10-0 in acc

Posted by: Craig M | February 09, 2013 at 04:48 PM

Great of you to "catch up". Ive been advocating "going after" both Albert and Levitre in fa. Albert can play LT and Martin can move back over to RT. Or have a camp competition and loser goes to RT.

Levitre is a definite upgrade to Jerry.

no chance albert is let go, kc will franchise him. and yes even if they take joekel which has albert a little mad


First the Chiefs are going to pay Albert $15 mil to play the position. Secondly, they can try all they want to trade down. I highly doubt there will be teams looking to trade up. Loeckel will interest teams but I don't see anything close to what happened to get RGIII last year. At the end of the day I believe they'll draft Loeckel. Tell me that Albert won't be there next year. I do believe they will pursue Smith but I also think Reid will look long and hard at Vick too.

Let him walk and when he comes crawling back, sign him based on performance. Meanwhile keep looking.


If we sign Smith based on performance then I don't think he's worth more than $2.5 Million a year. Not even kidding. Same goes for Long. These guys are looking to make three to four times what they're worth. The truth is that neither player earned a new contract from us based on the 2012 season so let someone else overpay for them like. Think Kendall Langford...

The unpredictable thing about fa is that we can widh for this or that player. But the reality of it all is that it will come down to "These 3": That player's comfortability playing in the chosen city, the organization, and price. Not just money alone.


This is no longer the "Shula glorified era" of this once lustrious franchise. Absolutely nothing's written in stone.

Should have said 'KC AREN'T going to pay Albert $15 mil to play the position'.

Craig M,

I think it is marvelous that you post here wearing lederhosen and vinyl go-go boots.

reid will look hard at vick if hes cut. and they dont expect much for trading down. they want gino smith and know they can move down and still get him. and if not they like wilson. but kc wont let albert walk

i agree on s smith, let him go. guy just isnt good

First the Chiefs are going to pay Albert $15 mil to play the position. Secondly, they can try all they want to trade down. I highly doubt there will be teams looking to trade up. Loeckel will interest teams but I don't see anything close to what happened to get RGIII last year. At the end of the day I believe they'll draft Loeckel. Tell me that Albert won't be there next year. I do believe they will pursue Smith but I also think Reid will look long and hard at Vick too.


First of all his name is Joeckel. Luke Joeckel. And I think the Chiefs will keep Albert & take someone else with the first pick. I also think they'll re-sign Bowe too.


Yeah I meant if Vick is cut. I highly doubt KC will pick Gino Smith, but we'll see.

great seeing lebron and wade at the hurricanes game today. canes are big time legit

"i agree on s smith, let him go. guy just isnt good"


I think Mando actually did a nice job explaining the issues with Smith. He's too inconsistent, he doesn't match up well with smaller guys, he doesn't jam guys at the line of scrimmage, & he doesn't capitalize on his INT opportunities. Mando forgot to mention that he's also a poor tackler.

And his agent is looking for $8 Million-$10 Million a year??? Are you kidding me??? For what??? I can't wait to see what team signs him....I just pray it's not us!!!

also forgot to mention that he has hands of stone. how many ints does this guy drop a year

I'm more interested in seeing how Reid does in KC. He's been awful with Vick and without Jim Johnson. Reid lost complete control of that team under his watch and it turned into a circus.

"Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post reports the sides are "far apart," with Smith asking for a contract close to the six-year, $43 million pact the Tennessee Titans handed Jason McCourty last summer, according to a source. The Dolphins aren't about to furnish that type of cash to Smith, the source said."

Good. Finally some sanity in Miami....

well reid has ton of work to do in kc. no qb, zero wrs or tes. one good thing he has is one of the best blocking olines and top 5 rb in charles. but he usually refuses to run, lets see homw smart he is now. defense is actually solid its just the offense makes it look so bad

funny part is smith will get that from someone. good to see we know he isnt worth near that

"I'm more interested in seeing how Reid does in KC. He's been awful with Vick and without Jim Johnson. Reid lost complete control of that team under his watch and it turned into a circus."


Vick made the Pro-Bowl after the 2010 season & arguably had his best season so what are you talking about??? The O-line was a mess the last two years with all their injuries so don't put that all on Reid & Vick.

As for the defense--you're right that it sucked after Jim Johnson died. With that said Reid did an unbelievable job as a HC in Philly.


As the Colts and Rams showed this year, you can turn things around in the NFL in a hurry. Andy Reid was in Philly for too long. They have some holes ot fill there but I wouldn't doubt that Reid will have theat team playing respectably again in no time.

If we don't resign Smith, you would think we will have to sign one of the free agent corners and / or draft someone like Milliner or Banks.

Surely they don't intend on going into the season with. Marshall and Banks as our starters.

I think I would rather take a shot at Cary Williams or Rodgers Cromartie in the 5/6 million range.

If their gonna pay 10 million for a cb..which I doubt. It may as well be Grimes.

Chiefs have a huge problem on hand. If they dump Cassell, its a 9.825 million "cap hit". That's also too expensive to sit the bench.

Chief did do one smart thing. They only signed Brady Quinn to a 1 yr deal.

funny part is smith will get that from someone. good to see we know he isnt worth near that


I wouldn't put too much stock in these reports from 'sources.' In the end I can see Ireland breaking the bank on Long & Smith & also letting Hartline go. If Ireland ever gets fired (& I don't think Ross will do it) he's going to leave this team with some horrible contracts.

yes craig, fisher has done a great job already with rams and colts , well they got luck

yesterday that isnt true. this is the first year they can cut cassel with no hit to the cap.


Can you show me where you're getting that the cap hit for Cassell would be $9.825 mil. I was of the understanding that they could chop him and it wouldn't be anywhere close to that. Not being smart but I didn't it was anything close to that.

correct craig, they can cut him now without any penalties or cost

of course i'd love to have the fins resign smith but i'd say 5 million per would be the top end of what i'd accept as reasonable for the fins to pay.

i wouldnt jaison, its not even about the money. smith just isnt good. lets get some new corners in here

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | February 09, 2013 at 05:31 PM

You Need Brain Surgery,

Its early in the proccess, Smith will be allowed to test the market. 6yrs $43 million is slightly over $7.1 million a year. About where Smith will fall in.

Every GM and player are pretty much far apart in negotiation this early in the process. Do you think this "definitely means" the Fins wont resign Smith?

Then boy do I have a bridge for you. LOL...

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