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Miami Dolphins News: Sean Smith, Brian Hartline

After the Miami Dolphins unsurprisingly decided to use the franchise tag on valuable and consistent defensive tackle Randy Starks, the focus turns to the other high-profile free agents in cornerback Sean Smith, wide receiver Brian Hartline, tackle Jake Long, and running back Reggie Bush.

Smith is going to go after as much money as he can, and the young CB will probably be overpaid by a team in need of a CB and oozing at his potential. I view Smith as a talented but frustratingly inconsistent CB who has plenty of talent in man coverage but does get burned a bit too often and is a non-factor in run defense. So yes, that means he is a poor man’s Aqib Talib and is more of a Plan C for the New England Patriots with Talib likely being Plan A.

In any case, Smith does have undeniable talent even if it can be exaggerated. According to a source close to the Palm Beach Post, there is a “zero percent” chance of Sean Smith returning to the Miami Dolphins in 2013 and beyond. While that statement is certainly exaggerated, it underscores the fact that we almost certainly won’t be seeing Smith on the Dolphins.

Alex Marvez of FOX Sports is reporting that the Dolphins and ideal No. 2 wide receiver Brian Hartline are close to signing a deal that would pay Hartline $6 million to $6.5 million annually in a multi-year pact. It was reported earlier that Hartline was looking for $6 million per year over the course of three season, but that GM Jeff Ireland, who does not like negotiating over the prices he sets, thought that was too much. It now looks like the Dolphins are going to sign Hartline and give him what he wants.

It was reported yesterday by the Miami Herald that the Dolphins and Brian Hartline had mutual interest, as Hartline stated his desire to stay in Miami. Now, it sounds like that talk is turning into reality. Despite what will be a large commitment, the Dolphins are still expected to pursue Greg Jennings or another upper-echelon No. 1 wide receiver in free agency to pair with Hartline. The Dolphins want to give Ryan Tannehill as many weapons as possible, and that’s the best order of business for this team.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Brian Hartline Miami Dolphins NFL Free Agency Sean Smith

  • Graham Markarian

    Nicely done sir, well written article.

    However, you would do well to take note that the fins are targeting Mike Wallace as opposed to Jennings as the new head coach is not to huge a fan of Jennings.

    • Joe Soriano

      I thought Philbin and Jennings had something good going on, but I guess that’s all old news. And yeah, I was wrong on that. Been reading now that Wallace is the highest on the Dolphins radar and that the ‘Fins are even the “team to beat”.

      Thanks for the comment and noting the inaccuracy there.

      • Graham Markarian

        No problem, I didn’t mean to be that guy but it’s great to see a journalist responding to their commentary.

        Whats you’re take on the Fin’s targets for the draft?

        • Joe Soriano

          Hey man, it would be a coward’s move not to respond to a comment. And I am no journalist, just a fan who likes to spits his take about football. As for the Fin’s draft targets, I would try to trade down and get a solid CB and WR out of the first-round pick. This draft has more depth than top-end talent. If Long does leave (which he most likely will, and it might be for the better with that contract), the Dolphins should take Fisher if he’s still there. In the second round, I would get a playmaking wideout like DeAndre Hopkins. At corner, there could be some nice value in the second, but guys like Banks and Rhodes are probably reaches at 12. What do you think, Graham?