Someone is about to get a big pay increase. According to Jeff Ireland, the Dolphins will use the franchise tag this year on an unnamed player. If you have been following the volley between the Palm Beach Post‘s Ben Volin and the Miami Herald‘s Armando Salguero, you may wonder if Sean Smith is or isn’t the soon to be tagged. According to Volin, the Dolphins would use the tag on Smith. Salguero, in what could be his only professional guarantee says the Dolphins will not.
Whether it is or is not Sean Smith remains to be seen but it could be Jake Long who would then cost 15 mill on this years cap, or DT Randy Starks who would jump to around 10-12. Of course the Dolphins could opt to use the tag on WR Brian Hartline but Hartline isn’t viewed as being worth the money he wants standing at 5-6 million a year. The Franchise Tag will pay him more.
Reggie Bush isn’t an option because frankly the Dolphins already know that he wants to return. Meaning they can make a realistic attempt without overpaying.
The tag will likely to go to either Smith or Starks and frankly, the depth on the Dolphins defensive line would make you wonder why the Dolphins would opt to pay Starks upwards of 12 million for a season. That leaves Smith as the most logical choice. Depending of course on which one of the local beaters you believe more.
UPDATE: Jeff Ireland appeared on PFTLive today with Mike Florio. Florio asked him about the franchise tag and Ireland only said that they had that option. He did not go into any more detail.