Originally posted on Phins Phocus  |  Last updated 2/18/13
With an abundance of cap space also comes many questions that must be answered and with free agency looming those questions are becoming much clearer. One of the main uncertainties that surround the Miami Dolphins is whether or not they will use the franchise tag and if so, on who? The name that continues to enter the discussion is cornerback Sean Smith. Smith who will be entering his fifth NFL season in 2013 signed a four year contract with the Dolphins that will expire in just under one month's time. Entering the past campaign it seemed that re-signing Smith would be a priority given the lack of depth at the position however as the season progressed this was no longer the case. In the four years he's spent in Miami, it has become evident that Smith does not have the ability to make game changing plays on a consistent basis. His career totals of five interceptions and one recovered fumble are proof of this. While Smith is usually successful in tracking the football, it often falls to the ground harmlessly instead of turning over possession. Another weakness in Smith's game are his struggles in coverage against smaller and quicker wide recievers. This past season, no cornerback surrendered more first downs and touchdowns than Sean Smith.  The only way I can invision Smith returning to Miami is if he takes a hometown discount which is extremely unlikely. Smith's camp is reportedly looking for a contract in the range of Jason McCourty (5 years, $44 million) and Brandon Carr (5 years, $50.1 million). In 2012, Smith recorded two interceptions and 59 tackles compared to McCourty's four interceptions and 92 tackles and Carr's three interceptions and 53 tackles. It's a steep price to pay for a player who struggled against higher quality opponents. This year the franchise tag for a cornerback pays roughly $10.7 million which would make Smith one of the highest paid players at his position. For a team such as the Dolphins with several needs to address, this would not be a wise way to spend their allotted cap space. While letting Smith walk leaves the team with very little depth in the secondary, Smith's play over the past few seasons has not warranted the salary that comes with the franchise tag.  The Dolphins would be better suited in signing a cheaper alternative to replace Smith on the free agent market. A name that stands out is Jacksonville's Derrick Cox who is a better fit in Miami's coverage scheme and is expected to be cheaper to sign than other available cornerbacks. As opposed to the more physical Smith, Cox is more agile and uses speed to his advantage resulting in fewer pass interference penalties taken and fewer touchdowns allowed. Cox would benefit from the Dolphins stout defensive line, something that did he could not rely on with his current team. Without Smith in the fold, cornerback becomes a much higher priority for the Dolphins in the draft. Expect names such as Jonathan Banks and Xavier Rhodes to climb up the team's draft boards as potential first round picks.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

Report: Pacers gauging trade market for Paul George

Washington eyeing Romo as potential Cousins replacement?

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker