Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland has been busy sending 55 team employees to the NFL Combine, talking about 2013 NFL Draft prospects, discussing franchise tag options, and talking about how the Dolphins need to close the gap on the New England Patriots. Ireland also talked about Reggie Bush‘s future with the team, as Bush’s free agency is one of the many hot topics in Miami as other big-names such as CB Sean Smith, LT Jake Long, and DT Randy Starks are set to hit the free agent waters.
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Ireland told the Palm Beach Post that Reggie Bush could definitely have a role with the Dolphins in the 2013 season if he is brought back. There have been rumors that the Dolphins are high enough on Lamar Miller that they are willing to let Bush go, but it seems like the talk of Bush going has come too quickly. Miller has plenty of potential, but there isn’t much quality behind him if Bush goes and Bush was their only true offensive playmaker over the last couple of seasons. The Dolphins could use the money saved by not re-signing Bush to add playmaking WR Greg Jennings (giving Ryan Tannehill a true No. 1 wideout for which there is mutual interest), but several Dolphins fans have commented on this site that they would like to see the team adhere to Bush’s wishes and keep the RB.
Here is what Ireland said, “You’d love to have his skill set on the football team. has a unique set of skill sets. He’s been a receiver, a primary running back. I definitely see a role for that type of skill set. … We’ll just have to see how things go.”
In the same piece, the Palm Beach Post also reported that veteran star defensive tackle Randy Starks is a priority for the Miami Dolphins. I think the Dolphins will end up franchising Starks, because Jeff Ireland stated that it is likely that the Dolphins will use the tag this offseason. Armando Salguerro reported that Sean Smith would not be tagged, and it makes no sense to tag Jake Long (not the player he used to be due to injuries) since it would cost the Dolphins over $15 million.
Starks, on the other hand, would cost $8.3 million under the tag and is the best player of the three. Smith has potential, but he is too inconsistent and is not a true No. 1 corner. Only true No. 1 corners deserve franchise tags. Ireland did tell the Palm Beach Post that Smith could still get the tag, but he didn’t sound as convinced.
Meanwhile, here is what Ireland had to say about Starks, “It’s very important to have Randy back if we can get it done. The fact of the matter is we have a very good defensive line, and keeping that intact is a focus of mine. It’s a strength, and to build a strength is a focus of mine. I don’t want to let that strength become just average, I like where it’s at, and keeping it as a mainstay is important to me.”
It seems to me that Starks is, rightfully, the priority for the Dolphins and the guy in line for the tag.
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