Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith (24) gestures on the field against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Dolphins won 30-9. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
With the off-season now underway, the Miami Dolphins have tons of questions that are still in need of answers. Some of the biggest questions already lie within the organization. Players such as Jake Long, Randy Starks, Sean Smith, and Reggie Bush are set to hit the open market. Over the course of the past few years, these four players have been some of the key players as the Dolphins continue their fight to get a spot in the postseason. Below I am going to tell you why I think the Dolphins should or shouldn’t resign these five players. We will start off with Jake Long.
Ever since being drafted by the Dolphins, Jake Long has been the face of the franchise. The Dolphins chose long over quarterbacks such as Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. Despite that, Long has arguably been the best left tackle in the league since beginning his NFL career. Because of the fact that he was drafted over Flacco and Ryan, it will certainly be a hard decision on what to do with Long. I think that the Jake Long era should come to an end in Miami. Even though he has been one of the best tackles in the league, he has been battling multiple injuries over the course of the past two seasons. Due to his health issues over the past couple of years, Long easily had his worst season in a Dolphins uniform last season. With his contract now expired, Long is going to want top left tackle money. I don’t think that it would be a wise move for the Dolphins to give top money to a left tackle that has been battling injury after injury over the past couple of years. Last year was Long’s chance to prove that he will be worth another big contract and he was unable to show that he was worth the big bucks. The Dolphins hold the 12th pick in this year’s draft and I do believe that they will have to draft yet another tackle in order to protect Ryan Tannehill.
YES, YES, YES, YES! Re-sign Randy Starks. There isn’t really much that I have to say to this one. Starks has developed into one of the best defensive lineman in the league. If Starks isn’t in a Dolphins uniform next year, this defense will certainly have a massive hole in it. While there are some good free agent defensive tackles and good defensive tackles entering the draft, I still don’t believe that they will be able to come and have the immediate impact that Starks has had over the past few years.
I want to say no to this one; however, if the Dolphins can get Smith for the correct price, then I say go for it. A recent rumor came out saying that Smith is looking for a salary similar to Jason McCourty’s (43 million, 20 million guaranteed) or a contract close to Brandon Carr’s (50 million). If that’s all the he is willing to take, then he can walk and he can try and find a team that will give him that money. Smith was ranked as the 76th best cornerback in the league last year. There is no possible way he will get that money anywhere, unless a team is willing to completely overpay for an average talent. If they can get him to chop is price in half, then I say go for it. He’s a big physical cornerback which is always a plus; however, he seems to let the big play happen when the opposing team needs it the most. Dropped interceptions, missed tackle, poor coverage, and a blown chance at a great career is what I will remember Smith by. I don’t see Smith being in a Phins uniform next season.
Dec. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (right) celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver Brian Hartline (left) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
When the Dolphins basically took Reggie Bush from the Saints, they were hoping that they’d get an explosive player that can help the offense in both the running game and the passing game. In his first season as a Dolphin, fans fell in love with Bush’s ability to bounce off tackles and make incredible moves in the open field, making defender after defender miss. Unfortunately in his second year as a Phin, Bush was unable to keep that spark that he first had. After suffering an injury against the Jets, Bush never seemed to have that explosive ability that he once had. Over the past couple of years, the Dolphins have drafted both Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller in the second and third rounds. Because they have already invested high draft picks at the running back positions over the past two years, I believe that the Phins are ready to move on from Reggie Bush. I love Reggie in a Dolphins uniform; unfortunately, I think the Dolphins have had enough.
Another player who is set to hit the open market is Brian Hartline. Last season Hartline had a career year, catching for over a thousand yards. The team still lacks a true playmaker at the wide out position. They could sign a free agent and keep Hartline, draft a rookie and keep Hartline, or sign a free agent and draft a rookie and then let Brian walk. I wouldn’t mind the third one. If they can get Wallace and then draft someone such as Justin Hunter or DeAndre Hopkins, then I’d be happy. It will be interesting to see what the Dolphins will do with Hartline.
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