The 2012 Miami Dolphins planned on having Vontae Davis and Sean Smith as starting cornerbacks with newly signed Richard Marshall as their nickel corner, but Davis is gone and the rumors out of Florida suggest that Smith will surely be gone as well (free-agent) plus Marshall could be on the chopping block due to his large salary coupled with his injury issues (and somewhat poor play when he was healthy).
The word is that Smith is looking for double-digit millions per season for five seasons (Brandon Carr contract) and while the Dolphins do have a ton of available salary cap cash to spend this off-season they are not going to go to double-digit millions (or likely even close to that) for a player who seemingly declined as last season went on. Injuries to the secondary forced defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle to play a ton of zone and that is not Smith’s strength which surely led to his production declining, but even if that is a legit excuse for Smith’s play in 2012 I still do not think that general manager Jeff Ireland is going to be interested in anything north of $6 million per season for Smith (I actually wonder if Ireland would even go to $6 mil for Smith, but time will tell).
Reports are also indicating that in addition to losing Smith Miami may be looking to release Marshall as he struggled this season even before his season ending injury so he may be making too much money ($10 million combined over the next two seasons) to justify keeping him.
Nolan Carroll, Jimmy Wilson and Dimitri Patterson would be left as the cornerbacks so clearly Ireland will need to spend money on this position, and we may see him draft this position as well.