Yes, there is tampering at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. What else does one expect when you gather agents of looming NFL free agent players and team personnel department people in one town for several days?
And that is assuredly at the root of a report out of csnphilly.com stating that the Eagles "would like to address their shaky secondary by considering Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s free-agent strategy."
So, if the report is accurate, Smith will have at least one suitor unless he re-signs with the Dolphins when free agency begins March 12.
The key issue in the report is price. The report states the Eagles will be "leery of engaging in a bidding war that inflates the price tag."
Well, that puts them in the same position as the Dolphins.
The Dolphins have always been eager to keep Smith. That is not the issue. He's a solid player. But price is the issue.
As I've reported since December, Smith wants $8-$10 million per season and he wants considerable guaranteed money. The Dolphins and I dare say many teams, but primarily the Dolphins because they know Smith best, are wary of paying Smith major guaranteed money because they aren't 100 percent certain how he'll react to that boon.
Will he continue to push to improve?
Will he continue to be inconsistent?
Or will he get comfortable or complacent and feel a sense of entitlement.
I assume Smith would dispel that concern. But it doesn't mean it would go away. Remember that after starting all the games his rookie season, Smith showed serious signs of entitlement his second season (2010) and was actually benched for parts of that season in favor of Jason Allen.
It wasn't until that benching snapped him out of that feeling that he'd arrived did he return to his previous work ethic and level of play. Then he regained his job.
So the issue here is not what teams will be interested in Sean Smith. I assume many will, including the Dolphins.
The issue is which will be willing to pay him major guaranteed money without fear he'll stay hungry.