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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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First of all, I'm not even sure why we're having this conversation. Fields isn't a FA. I just threw that out there. Secondly, the tag number on Fields isn't very much. He's one of the better punters in the league. Why would we have to use a 5th round pick on a punter when we can have this guy on the team? We wouldn't be the only team to tag a punter or kicker. It's been done many times before. Has nothing to do with a guy scoring points. It's about fitting guys into your cap structure.

Why are canadiens on a Miami blog?

No really, I hate you man. You suck!

Is it the same guy who makes those dumb a** comments on here all the time? REALLY? Nothing better to do? Like why are you here?

It's not your fault you know nothing about football but why come here. Go find a blog on sewing or bird-watching or something and leave the rest of us talk about something we love, our team.

No really, I hate you man. You suck!

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 21, 2013 at 03:53 PM

I can so picture you saying this to your mother when she forced you into the bath water after pissing your pants. LOL....

Ok guys, I'm out.....been lots of fun. I'll let the joker(s) have at it. Enjoy....

Well, almost time for Mark In Toronto's father, Odin, to come home. He'll have to relinquish the computer for his nutty father odin to do night shift on this blog. LOL...

Anyone notice Mark In Toronto exclusively does days, and Odin exclusively does nights and "wee hours" in the mornings here on this blog?

Father and son sharing is "such a beautiful thing". LOL...

Wow, a psychologist would have a field day with your comment @ 3:58. how would this even pop into your head? So odd.

Anfd you do 24-7 and talk to everyone and know their schedule. I thinks that says more ...

Wait a sec. Most People here are assuming that Long is done as a Football Player. Aparently, Miami's FO that has spent countless $$ in medical tests for Long, doesn't agree with you Guys. They think Jake has something left that still can help Us. Now, how much left is there? It will be shown by his value to the Dolphins. Obviously, they think he's not as valuable as before by the rejection to their offers made by Long's side. But, let's say they offered some contract valued at 7-8 mill x 3 years. That's 20-25 mill there. Now, if you can Franchise him for 15 mill and sit down with him next year, wouldn't that make sense? Think about it.

Anfd you do 24-7 and talk to everyone and know their schedule. I thinks that says more ...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 21, 2013 at 04:09 PM

Just wait until your father odin to gets home. The we'll have heard the last from you sonny boy. LOL...

I think the tag is for Starks personally.

And from the last blog, not sure if Tannehill is the answer or not, but I do know it was about time to at least ATTEMPT to draft a franchise QB in the 1st-round. That hasn't been done in 30 years. If Tannehill doesn't work out, let's pray it's not another 30 years before we try again.


No way Long is signed to 7-8 million in any sane universe. Long's a deal at 10 million max to any team in the league. Except those who already have a top 10 LT that's still in his rookie contract.

I don't agree with franchising Long at all the 15 + mil figure is just too high. It only ends two ways Long gets hurt and the team has wasted 15 million dollars in cap space for a year. He does well and he wants even more money and has all the leverage at the negotiating table next year.

I hope Ireland offers him a contract with base pay of around 7-8 million. Then throw in some incentives like pro bowls, all pro team selections, playoff wins, and superbowl wins ! This could allow the contract to maybe 10 million a year. (10 million a year would make him the third highest paid OT in the league.)

Jake could probably honestly make a bit more money than this elsewhere if he really wanted though. He could stay though based on him and his wife liking the Miami are, no state income tax, and team loyalty.


We didnt have a wr corps to correctly measure if Tannehill's the answer or not. So the offseason focus isnt on what Tannehill is or isnt. It's about adding the most amount of offensive fire power possible.

Then we can no for sure where we are with Tannehill. You ca hand Tannehill a popgun in semi automatic offensive football league, then assess your rookie qb isnt quite good enough.

I actually think for what Tannehill was handed and his limited starting exerience, he did quite well. Now the team needs to define what that truly means, and can only do this by giving him "real offensive weapons".


IMO, franchising Long comes down to two things:

1. Jeff Ireland's belief in Long being a, not neccessarily top 3 LT, but, high quality player moving forward.

2. 11 millions is tops they'll resign him to. He made 11 million lastyear.

YG, if Ireland thinks hes a quality LT then by all means sign him for 10-11 mil. I just don't see any benefit in tagging him for 15 mil for one season only as some people are suggesting.

Right now, I think both Jeff Ireland and Jake Long are negotiating thru the media.

Just recently, Long says he wants to stay and its up to the fo. Then a few days later(today), Ireland says(according to Armando):

"Ireland confirmed the club wants Long back after his presser."

So both are sending messages via the media outlets. I believe a deal gets done.

After years of trying to get a read on Ireland I realize that he's very good at not showing his cards. It actually might turn out that it's the only thing he's good at. Regardless of what he says I have no idea what he's doing in terms of re-signing ANY of our players, what he'll do in FA, & what his plan is for the draft.

If you think he's given away some clues about his plan with this presser or anytime he speaks for that matter, think again, he doesn't do that.


What would be ironic is, if Long were allowed to walk and the team traded up to draft Luke Joeckel.

Long protected Henne's blind side in cllege and the nfl. Joeckel protected Tannehill's blind side in college. Trading up to get him would be a "Henne/Long" type situation.

Not saying this would ever happen on this side of the universe, it's just something Itoyed with inside of my head. Then "oh, snap" I woke up. LOL...

WNP Clueless,

Everything leaves a trail if you know where to look. Even a criminal who leaves no trails, leaves a trail in "what you will not find."

When this occurs, the trail is always what you dont find, not what you look to find. But Im sure this is wayover your head too. LOL...

From Barry Jackson;

Asked about making a splash with a marquee signing in free agency, he said: "I don't really feel the pressure that it has to be a name guy. If that player we think is going to help our team move forward and if he has a big name, great."

This is exactly what I'm talking about. He reveals nothing!!!

CoFo, I would not bring back Long for 10 million, but rather draft a LT, or get one in FA. Wallace instead of jennings, Cox yes!, but Fasano will not sign for 2 million, need at least 3 million to sign him, I believe. Agree with rest of your wish list!

No one knows what's truly going on but day by day the chips will start to fall and the big picture will come into focus . When it's said and done the new Dolphins will emerge better than ever

There is no such thing as the "perfect crime". You only need to have someone who is smart enough to knmow where to look. LOL...

I want to know how much input Philbin & his coaches have on Ireland?

Can Sherman say to Ireland: Look, Jake is a gamer but his production is down and we're looking for a younger, faster pulling tackle to fit our new scheme. Give me this and you'll see the running game flourish.

Or does Jeff sit in his belltower blocking our the rest of the world?

Mando...can you do some REAL journalism and find out the dynamic between Philbin, Sherman & Ireland?

"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"




I didn't even think of that Joeckel/Tannehill scenario. Its pretty unlikely, but it would be pretty damn crazy if that happened.

"No one knows what's truly going on but day by day the chips will start to fall and the big picture will come into focus . When it's said and done the new Dolphins will emerge better than ever"


I sure as hell hope you're right.

This from WNP Clueless,

From Barry Jackson;

"I don't really feel the pressure" (This is the key) I would hope my guy isnt feeling pressuired into any situation involving my personnel. Itys more likely he'll make a mistake if "he feels pressured."

"that it has to be a name guy."( He knows it has to be a name guy) But still he know he cant allow himself to "be pressured" setting up the "big choke".

If that player we think is going to help our team move forward and if he has a big name, great.(No brainer, he knows that guy will help this team move forward)Isnt that the off season goal? Only a name player helps accomplish this, but it doesnt mean one must "feel pressured" and set himself up to "choke".

This is exactly what I'm talking about. He reveals nothing!!!(Very predictable that "you" would come to this clueless conclussion).

Without telling us the whens and whats, which even himself wont know until the appointed dates, he clarified what the primary goal is to do. LOL......

Posted by: NHFINSFAN | February 21, 2013 at 04:45 PM

Armando's done this weeks, months, and even upto a year ago. He long ago reported that dynamic. That dynamic is:

1. Ireland has final say on all personnel moves.

2. Philbin has final say so on all on the field and player moves.

Basically, Ireland can bring in whomever he wants and Philbin can cut them if he wants. Philbin does not have to keep them.

incoming personnel moves(Ireland)

WNP Clueless,

Even Ireland knows he cant go into this fa and the biggest ame he comes away with is Dany Amendola fool. LOL...

Posted by: NHFINSFAN | February 21, 2013 at 04:45 PM

I also believe Philbin was the choice of hire because GB is league famous for "developing their own" with player development.

I feel this is an area Ireland himself felt Sparano HUGELY dissappointed. To see evidence of this look no further than how many players are gone during Spo's 4 season here.

Hell, Rob Ninkovitch is now close to pro bowl calibre pass rusher with the Pats. He would look good on the other side of Cam Wake right now.

Ninkovitch had 8 sacks last year, Spo' f u c king cut him for nothing! LOL...

so we havent won more than 7 games in the past 4 seasons and some of you guys want to re-sign a bunch of these guys that we ve been losing in those years? i dont get it. the guys that are FA on our team need to go. I would tag starks because he has been a beast. I would think about re-signing reggie because he can score tds. the other guys i let walk. i dont want to be paying b. hartline 5-6 million a year to score 1 freakin td. jake cant stay on the field. hes on the decline. byebye. clemons blows. sean smith blows. we need speed and we need guys who can make plays. plain and simple. the guys that have been playing on our team the past 4 yrs are just not good enough. we need better players. we cant keep putting the same guys on the field and expecting to be better than mediocre.

Ireland was expecting difficult negotiation with Long's side and said Today he won't overpay for anybody, no matter who it is, YG. He will offer Long what he thinks his value is. Jake won't sign, he will be franchised. As sure as Taxes are to be paid.

Randy Starks negotiation is easier, only if because of the amount of $ involved.

It seems as if Ireland is trying to keep ALL of our FAs.

From what Ireland said it seems that we will be aggressive in FA. It sounds like Smith will get the tag, Stark's will get resigned and Moore is gone. Everyone seems to be on Wallace but there are some good defensive players in FA this yr also. I hope Ireland explores that option.


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