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Jeff Ireland: Use of franchise tag 'a likelihood'

There's been much talk of the Dolphins potentially using their franchise tag designation on one of their own unrestricted free agents. Well, this morning Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said that potential is quite real.

"There's certainly a likelihood we could use it," Ireland said in talking about the issue at the NFL Combine.

The Dolphins have several candidates to use it on -- Randy Starks and Jake Long among them. Several media outlets have reported Sean Smith would be tagged. I've reported he will not be tagged. Ireland addressed tagging several players as possibilities in only general terms and gave no indication which specific player he would tag if necessary.

(Understand, it makes sense for Ireland to threaten every player with the tag to induce them to sign a multi-year deal, which is more cap friendly for the Dolphins. He has no intetion on using the tag on certain players but if they are convinced it is a possibility, they might be willing to do a deal that gets them more guaranteed money but also gives the team a lower cap number. Ireland would be dumb to tip his hand and eliminate anyone from the possibility.)

Ireland was asked about the apparent slow pace of negotiations between the Dolphins and their own players. Well, Ireland says he's not been in a hurry to get deals done because he has a deadline in his head for doing that and that time is not yet.

"The date that I have in my head is March 9," Ireland said.

March 9 is the first day free agents can begin talking to teams other than the ones they played for last season. Until then, there is supposed to be no "tampering" or communication between teams and the potential free agents from other teams.

(Yeah, right.)

Anyway, Ireland says the Dolphins have formulated a plan for re-sign certain players and chasing others starting March 12 when free agency kicks off. 

"We know the guys we want back and we know the guys we will potentially go after," he said. "It's a strong plan to do a little bit of both."

The Dolphins want Jake Long back. As I've reported previously, they have made at least two contract offers. Ireland confirmed the club wants Long back after his presser.

The Dolphins are clearly moving toward Lamar Miller as their lead back next year. But Ireland suggested Reggie Bush could return (sources say only for the "right" price) and play more of a role in the passing game.

The idea is to help the Dolphins get better because they've posted records of 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9 the past three seasons while the New England Patriots have been to two Super Bowls and the playoffs each year. The idea is to close that gap.

"There's a gap," Ireland said. "We've got to close that gap and we plan to do our best job getting that done."

The draft will follow free agency and that is perhaps more important to Miami -- a team with five picks in the first three rounds and nine picks overall.

Ireland quipped that the team brought every person in the organization to Indianapolis to get "eyes on every single player at the Combine." That's upwards of 50-plus Dolphins people in Indianapolis.

 "I think there are some difference-makers," Ireland said of the draft talent before adding he likes several offensive and defensive linemen and thinks there are good safeties available as well.



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No one else is in a hurry to sign guys Mando. As usual it will happen in a hurry so make sure your fingers are well rested around the 10th of March.

And that guy is jake Long, no doubt.

i dont see almost 11 million for smith and 16 million for long as franchise tags. Starks is more of a candidate based on the tag number.



Yeah, yeah, YEAH!

It's a good day to be a Dolphins Fan!

School starts tommorrow, so I'm taking my 15 year old out for some last minute target shooting.

Taking him on his first Goose Hunting Outing next weekend!

Shooting the shyt out of something should off set the Morphine quite well!


Posted by: odinseye | September 05, 2011 at 06:18 PM

Odindouche, Tell us about this hunting trip.

Great lets give away the only explosive player we have on the team for an unknown commodity in Lamar Miller, who knows if Lamar can even last the whole season he barley played last season.

I just dont understand Ireland thoght process. He wants to resign an OL whos been abused and injured the last 2 years but the guy who can score on a 60 plus yard TD at any given time we dont want to resign. Maybe you guys get it but I dont.

Ugh, Ireland sees lots of offensive and defensive lineman in this draft. This is not where he needs to be looking

Jake Will Get Franchised If He Doesn't Resign at The Right Price.


I know Some Of You Don't Want To Get Hurt! And Are In Denial!! But Jake Is Important To Our Future!! To Ireland's Future!

Plus, S.Ross Almost Certainly Has To Resign Jake!! Professionally and Personally!

Yo Jeffy,

There isnt one franchise player on your crap team!!

..I sure hope the tag isn't Jake Long. We talked about a bit the other day. I just think this would be a huge error. The only way it makes any sense is if a few things are in the mind of the team. 1 The team knows something about Longs health that we don't. 2 Long returns to form(I have been watching a lot of footie)
3..We don't think we will be able to replace Long through the draft(this could be because we don't believe we could move up to get the guy we want, or the evaluation says there isn't a worthy candidiate at or pick number 12) 4. Jon Martin.

So these are a lot of factors IMO that are far reaching, but plausible. If the perfect storm of the above are reality. Perhaps we should do whatever it takes. But we are ating like there can't be any other options outside of Jake Long. It is just false. And spending 15 million to tag him(they will use the transisition tag to soften the blow a bit) so lets say 13 million for one year of service???? It seems like wasted money to me. It's like buying a used Rolex because you won some money at a Casino, when the Tag you have is just fine.(I did this, so I know..dumb)

I agree booby, unless it's a dynamic pass rusher, please draft elsewhere. We've shopped at the OL and interior DL stores long enough.

Ireland "POPPIN TAGS" at the NFL Thrift Shop

Irland is doing such a bad Job.. Miami has 45 Million to spend plus 9 draft picks..GET A CLUE PEOPLE

DD, I'm a Breitling man myself .. although I haven't worked up the nerve to buy one yet.

But the Dolphins had a cap hit of $12.8 for Long last year. At $13 or so, they would effectively be extending him for one more year ... seems like a safe bet. But I think they only do this if the market for vet OTs shrink heading into free agency. Then it becomes a shrewd move because your #1 OT free agent may turn out to be Brian McKinnie ...

oops, that should read Bobby @ 12:06. I'm a horrible typist. My apologies ..

Sorry guys, reasking, from last post concerning Millner

Didnt we draft under Saban a shut down corner from LSU, Sabans ex team in the 1st round once before? Travis Daniels or something?

If I am right on that, the system scare of this Alabama guy is a legit concern in my opinion. I am not saying these two guys were equals. But I remember the hype of Daniels, ifthat was his name.

Franchise tag on Starks or Long only please. At least they we keep them from the pats and we can see if either are worth a longer deal next year, and more importantly even the player has another year to see their worth... JMO

Amen NJPHIN AMEN BROTHA !! Plus ireland just said 1 hour ago to R.Gannon that the Dolphins will not overpay in f.agency !! All f.agents will come on J.Ireland price or they wilp not play in Miami !! I agree with Ireland, why overpay a M.Wallace 60mil really ? Also he told Gannon that the Dolphins will build through the draft in which Gannon totally disagree s eith Ireland !! Gannon beleves Ireland should go all out and spend the money on playmakers I agree with Ireland's way of thinking bravo Jeffrey bravo !!

...Mark . I have a perfectly good Aqua Racer. Won a bunch of money playing Roulette a few years ago. Had a new girlfriend at the time. And decided I needed to upgrade to a Rolex..(The thing is this totaly goes against my chrarchter, and hers..Could have cared less, but the Oxycontin, and Grey Goose said otherwise)

I bought a vintage 1960's oyster perpetual, Awesome watch. Still, I never wear it. I do dumb things sometimes.

Lol Mark in Toronto, that's ok.

Please just LET LONG WALK! He has obviously displayed enough these past few weeks to show that money comes before team and by him painting out this to be Miami's fault with this contact crap is low grade. The dude is physically broke and if we pay him what he is asking then we are going to ultimately regret it. Unless of course we sign him then trade him before the first game so other teams don't have a chance to see his play even lower in 2013. Just saying he is asking the same amount as it would take to get Mike Wallace. One scores TDs and the other frequents the doctor for repairs.

Ireland may say that but he is going to overpay for Mike Wallace because Mr Ross wants him to, wants him to add playmakers immediately.

Adding one or two FA WR's is hardly going against the blueprint of building through the draft.

Ireland is going to draft an O lineman or D lineman who can rush the passer with the #1 pick. Get used to it. There is no WR worthy of the #1 pick at 12, it would take the guy a year at least to develop and Ireland has the cap space to get his playmaking WR in FA. Or WR's, plural.

Take every word a coach/GM etc etc says at this time of year with a pinch of salt. AS said many times before why would they tell the media anything more than can be summised by the public/fans?????????????????


Free Agency
Long will be back at 10 mil
Stark will be back 6 mil
Hartline willl be back 5 mil
Fasano will be back 2 mil
Jennings will sign 8 mil
Cox will sign 7 mil
Total Cap HIt - 38 mil

Draft (Cap hit 6 mil)
Trade back in into the 20's to pick up another 2nd
1 TE Eifert/ertz
2 DE
2 WR
2 OG
3 S Cyprien ( use a 2nd if needed)
3 CB
4 WR
5 CB
7 OL
7 DT

This fills every need possible and keeps us within the cap. Long is going to be back like it or not. Gets rid of Smith and replaces him in FA and Draft. Jenning Hartline Bess and a burner rookie gives us some play makers. Cyprien and Jones at saftely will be beastly. DE and DT are set but adding another in the 2nd will give great depth. Keeping Fasano and adding Eifert will give us a great TE tandem and our every eluding seam threat. Adding some OL depth in the draft to make this unit younger is a must. Hopefully we can find some diamonds in the rough in the later rounds.
What do yall think?

DD, that's a nice piece. In fact it might be worth jsut as much as you paid for it if you want to ditch it. I like that kind of stuff though so I wouldn't feel bad about it at all. i don't have my Breitling but I own three custom made watches myself. I love watches, suits,and cars. I'm a bit of a high maintenance guy.

..The thing about Jake Long is that I would love to have him back. I hope the team comes to terms with him. I just think it is one or the other. I said it before. Do a deal, or cut ties.

Also..PFF had a breakdown of eah Dolphin offesnive lineman. They partnered with another advanced statistial anayalsis site. And came up with grades for each Dolphin lineman for each game, run and pass. They took into consideration everything from the obvious. To penalties, when the penalties occured, pass pressures.

What is showed was the Pouncey was our best all around lineman. Long wasn't to far behind him. He was our best run blocker. And in pass protection he only had 2 games where he graded out poor. Contrary to what we all say. Now stats are stats. I like the advanced stats because they take into account more factors when it comes to their anaylisis. The piece even mentions the over reaction to the Colt beatdown as the game a lot of people look at. That game and the Buf game were the low points for Long. Other then those games he graded out a good.

What does annoy me in these high paid industries is when players have had their big payday most are not very quick to offer to come back on reduced money to help the TEAMS NEEDS and would rather look for the big $ elsewhere. IMO if you've made a LOT of money then i would like to see some howmtown discount from the player.....sorry i forgot the cancer of all sports - agents strike the deals not the players!!!!!!!!

I only see them drafting OL if they let Long walk and don't address it in FA. Or if a miracle happens and Warmack is still there. Incognito/Jerry aren't the biggest issues on the roster by a Long shot. I'd put my money on S or WR. Maybe DL if they let Starks walk.

DD, those ratings you mentioned and your interpretation make sense. Pouncey is clearly the best but jake is far from the bum a lot fo people paint him to be. In addition, after the recent cuts, the cap hits for OTs next year are starting to take shape. The average of the top ten tackles right now is $9.3M. Would $10M really be a horrible amount to pay for this guy on a long term deal?? I don't think so...

I have no problem with Ireland taking a DT with 12. I also would have no problem with him taking Vacarro or Milner if available. I DO have a problem with him taking a defensive lineman or offensive lineman wit 12. Lets take care of the playmakers we need. WR and TE should be priorities.


..Mark..lol. Yeah I am a shorts and T-shirt guy. But once you have bought a tailored suit. You can't go off the rack anymore. Last story, as I'm sure the blog wants to hear about mens suits.

My last name means Tailor in German. My Dads side of the family used to tailor suits for a lot of the Yankees back in the Day. Like 20's and 30's. My grandmother has a ton of pitures of my granfather as a young kid with some of the Yankee players back in the day.

DD, the problem is we want to be in and win playoff games and the SB. If Long can only play 12-14 games a season, we don't win in playoff games. We need him to be healthy AND play in more then 16 games. Can he do it??

If it only cost $10 M to tag Long then I am actually open to that idea. Before they were saying 14-16 M. But at that price to see if he can play a good full season is worth it imo.

By the way, anyone doubting Flacco getting any less than $20M a year are out to lunch. In fact, a cap hit of $20M would put him 5th (Ben would be 6th at 19.6M) in the NFL amongst QBs and considering how well timed his success was, that seems to be the magic number. Numbers and his station among the NFL qbs seems to be lined up right around there.

No common sense, the cap hit on Long is not 10 million.

CS, it wouldn't cost taht much to tag him because his cap # last year was 12.8 and the rule states you must get a 20% bump on a tag. A transition tag somehow softens that # though.

But given where the #s are lining up, $10M avg ona long term deal seems fair, at least for the inital years. Ramp up his cap # for the back end years if you wish but also make it easy for the team to get out without a cap slapping. I think everyone wins in this scenario. Get it done Jeff.

Ireland isn't using the tag. As usual, he doesn't reveal his hand and leaves everything open for speculation. The comment about the tag is a tactile ploy. The next time he will POSSIBLY use the tag is next year on Reshad Jones

Tannehill will be running for his life without Jake Long.

Tweet from Armando:
@ArmandoSalguero: Jeff Ireland said he and Sean Smith (agent @davidcanter) had meeting recently and he left feeling "optimistic." What say you, Mr. Canter?

DD, you are right about a tailored suit. I feel like a clown now if the jacket isn't cut for me exactly right.

That's awesome about the tailor stories. They ahd some nice styles back then. I watch boardwalk empire and those guys rock those suits. All about the three piece....


..Bobby. That is the huge question? There isn't a perfect answer. Only favorable scenarios. I would be much more comfortable with a deal that was a long term deal that we cut ways at little cap risk in the future. To me franchising him at more then his current value to see if he is healthy is a mistake. If he is..Then we are in an even bigger bind because his value all of a sudden skyrockets. Then what?

I'm sure Jake is going to want guaranteed money. How do we go about that is probably the hangup. I don't think it is the amount he wants but how it will be distributed in the future. The team has to take into account he hasn't finished a season in 2 years.

bobby, as the last surviving member of the Sean Smith fan club, I actually think that's good news.

For the 1st time in many years we can look forward to March Madness. I'm excited. Cant wait. GO CANES!!

He's not referring to Long. The hit is too large. The threat is universal but I believe Starks is the one and only candidate.

Let the process play out because at this point I doubt Ireland's offers will increase. If you put yourself in Ireland's shoes he's a firm type negotiator. Some frown on it, I understand the long-term strategy. You want people to know your word is solid so if you say this is it then they know not to expect more and SL.e might accept what you feel is a team friendly deal.

Hard to imagine who caves before the 9th but my guess would be Long and Bush. I know Long's best fit isn't our current scheme but he's still better than most and deserves a minimal commitment to see if he can get back on track. Bush will just realize his position handicaps his earning potential at this point in his career.


That is the great thing about Ireland. No One Knows what he is thinking. Even Mando,even if Ireland is His Dolphin source. The One Good Thing Ireland Took From Parcells!! The Secrecy!!

Even Last Year! After T-Hills Pro day It Was Almost A Sure Thing We Were Drafting T-Hill!! Ireland Still Had Everybody Fooled Til Draft Time!! He Probably Knew T-Hill Was Option #1! As Soon As He Signed Sherman!!

The One Good Thing I Like! Is Ireland Has A Plan!! He Wants To Shop!! But He Wants Value Over Anything!! Even With Jake!!

Best Way To Build A Team!! With Value!! Thru The Draft! Thru Free Agency!! Just Get The Most Valuable Player At The Time!! Doesn't Have To Be The Most Expensive!!

In Other Words!! Keep Making Safe Picks Ireland!!

We All Learned What Taking Risk In Free Agency Brings!! Parcells Taught Us That!! Plus, Reaching In The Draft!!

Parcells Tried To Rebuild Thru Free Agency In 08! Ireland Is Finally Out Of That Cap Mess!! In 2013!!

Ireland Knows He Is Still Rebuilding! Free Agent Spending Is Not That Important!! Getting The Draft Right Is #1 Priority!

50 People? Wow!! Ireland Brought Everyone And They Mama To The Combine!! Coaches and Scouts! Wonder If Philbin Is Being Drill Sargent At The Combine? Has Everybody's Schedule From Landing To Leaving! Even Ireland's! Even Has The Questions Ireland Will Ask!

Don't Worry?! No Prostitute Questions!! Just Do You Like Fifa(8-5)? What About Dancing(Reggie)? Yes, To Any Of These And You Are Not Draftable by The Fins!!

Sherman Just Has 1 Question! Are You A P"ssay? If Ireland Would've let Him Asked This Question! We Wouldn't Have Drafted Egnew!! Reason, We Won't Draft Te'o!!

Philbin Wants Football Players(Or Choir Boys), He Doesn't Want P'ssys On The Team!!

Like Some Have Said. We Are Still At Least 1 Season Away From Being Legit Contenders!!

This Season We Are Only Hoping The Offense Catches Up To The Defense And That We Might Make The Playoffs! A Top 10 Offense And A Top 10 Defense Will Be Fun To Watch For Once!!


I would like them to lose one game before the tournament it would be good for them. Going in on a 17 game win streak is not ideal IMO.

Steve in Ottawwa,
Tannehill needs to run, alot better when he is running. 2. Long got Tannehill killed quiet a few times last year. 3. Long cant make it past the 14th game of the season. So if the season comes down to the last few games Long isnt there anyways to protect him.

Sean Smith deserves a 6 year $82 million contract. He is the backbone of our defense, and by far the best player on the team. Don't agree? Name a better player on the team. Please don't say an offensive lineman. Their impact on the game is negligible.


Well I'm going by what Mr.Ireland said out of his own mouth 2hrs ago, we sill notes overpay for any f.agents !! I want to build my tesm through the draft if a f.agent is in our price range we'll pursue him if not we'll move on !! I couldn't agree more with Mr.Ireland's philosophy DON'T OVERPAY (M.Wallace 60 mil) PLEASE that's whst draft picks are for player development thank-you Mr.ireland you made my weekend !!

If Philbin gets enough sense to keep Jake out of preseason he'll make it fine. Even Sparano knew enough not to use Jake in preseason but Philbin never got the message.

lol Steve really? Remember that Sparano left Jake in too long during a preseason game against the cowboys and he tore is mcl if im not mistaken?
When you have 300+ lbs on a frame, over time the body tends to break down. Some guys start to quicker due to injuries. Jake is one of those guys.

I couldn't care less what Rich Gannon thinks!!!

The guy is commentator!!!

Stick your guns Jeffy!!!

My apologies for my bad grammar in my last post, Ireland thank-god will NOT OVERPAY for f.agents !! If Wallace wants 60mil J.Ireland isn't paying it sorry Dolphins fans it's either in Ireland's price range or it's not happening thank-you Mr.Ireland for having some common sense build through the draft like champions due(STEELERS PACKERS GIANTS RAVENS PATS) through the draft !!

Ill jump on the fire Ireland wagon if the Fins tag Long and dont have a plan in place to either trade him or do a new contract..
There are other FA tackles out there that are healthy and can make it all 16 + games without costing 10+ million a year. People bring up the fact he doesnt score TD's, he cant even give the QB the time to make plays, like he used to or any form like he used to. Especially not when hes on the sideline watching in street clothes at the end of the year


Coach Laranaga Is Not Spo!!

He Doesn't Coach Losing!!

These Close Games Are Good! Against FSU and UVA!

Laranaga Is A Perfectionist! And Mistakes Are What He Thrives Off Of! Not Winning and Losing!! You Can Win And Not Play A Perfect Game! The U Will Stay Hungry!!

I Believe Philbin And Laranaga Are Brothers! Not Just Cause They Look Alike! But Those 2 Are Guys That Have Strict Schedules And Are Perfectionist!

I Was Watching A UM Game, and The Reporter Was Talking About How Coach L Has Kept His Daily Schedule of The Past 30+ Years In These Black Binders He Keeps On Top His Desk!! Crazy!!

Reminds Me Of Philbin! Sherman Said, Him And T-Hill Knew 85% Of The Offense! Sherman Was Once Philbins Teacher And Has 700+ Plays! That Means Philbin Still Had Another 100 Plays To Add To Shermans Good Book!

When did the Heat start playing the world? Arrogant American.

Fireland will lose Bush in FA, Miller will get hurt and Danny Thomas will suck so badly that the Dolphins will be trolling the waiver wire for a RB by mid-October.

you heard it here first.

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