In the 2009 NFL draft the Miami Dolphins drafted Vontae Davis in the first round, and then Sean Smith in the second round. These two were going to be the cornerback duo for the team going forward. As we enter 2013 we see that Davis is already an ex-Phin, and word out of Florida is that Smith may soon be an ex-Phin as well.
Smith becomes a free-agent on March 9 (only Miami can negotiate with him until then). There was a time where it was rumored that Miami would use their franchise tag on Smith as a fall-back in case they were unable come to an agreement with him on an extension. Using the tag on Smith would cost $10 million in 2013 so he surely played himself out of that. Currently we are hearing that his poor 2012 season seems to have lowered what the Dolphins would pay for him dramatically.
This season was the first time where Smith took on the opposing teams top wide receiver as that was usually Davis’ task. I felt like Smith started the season very well, but I also felt like the last several weeks had a sure regression from him. Overall quarterbacks had a 85.1 rating when throwing against him which was 51st in the NFL, and barely better than teammate Nolan Carroll. Only four defenders allowed more touchdowns against them than Smith who allowed six, and he was flagged this season as often as his entire career combined (yikes).
Despite the poor finish to his season we do know that Smith is in for a massive raise as he made $615,000 this season, and the average cornerback makes $1.1 million. He is rumored to be seeking a deal similar to the one that Jason McCourty inked with the Tennessee Titans which is six years, $40 million, with $20 million guaranteed. Word is that Miami is looking to re-up with Smith for about half of that.
It looks like we will at least see Smith test the free-agent market where guys like Quentin Jammer, Adam Jones, Derek Cox, Leodis McKelvin, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be his competition. Robert McClain is restricted, but he too is a free-agent, as are guys coming back from injury like Brent Grimes and Tracy Porter.
I feel like Smith is legit in man-to-man press coverage as he can use his 6’3″ frame to be effective, but he seems to struggle to make plays when Miami goes to zone. In 63 games (56 of those were starts) Smith has amassed a measly five career interceptions, and just one of those came at home in front of the ‘Phins phaithful. There was a time where I thought Smith would re-up with the Dolphins, but the last two months have changed that and I would not be surprised if Miami and Smith are unable to come together on terms.
Thank you for checking out my work! Pass it on…
All of my NFL Playoffs articles, and all of my Miami Dolphins articles are RIGHT HERE