The third day of the NFL Free Agency period may not have had the same frenzied feel of the first two days, but the moves were were no less intriguing. One deal in particular stands out from the rest, and not just because of how well the pieces fit.
Sean Smith, former cornerback for the Miami Dolphins, was listed among the top corners to hit the free agent market. He had made it clear to the Dolphins that he was looking for a large payday, but Miami was unwilling to part with a large sum on a player that had failed to live up to his potential on a consistent level. The Kansas City Chiefs had no such reservations.
Kansas City signed Smith to a three-year deal worth $18 million, with $11 million guaranteed. The two parties fit each other very well, and considering the receiving corps of AFC West rival Denver Broncos, the move makes perfect sense.
The interest between the two parties does not come as much of a surprise. It was not all that long ago that Smith’s former teammate Vonte Davis announced via twitter that Smith and the Chiefs were hammering out a deal already. The problem is, Davis tweeted the news about Smith talking with Kansas City at the end of February, and Smith was not allowed to talk to anyone but the Dolphins before March 9th. If he was in talks with the Chiefs prior to that date, then the two parties are guilty of tampering with a free agent.
The original tweet was erased from Davis’ timeline, but he was retweeted by Dolphins reporter Omar Kelly. Smith was quick to jump into damage control mode.
— Sean Smith (@SeanSMITH24) February 27, 2013
Davis immediately realized his mistake and rushed in to try to save the day.
My Twitter was Hack I did not see Sean Smith last night!!
— Vontae Davis (@VontaeDavis23) February 27, 2013
Smith later said that Davis was just trying to help and had panicked, but if Davis did not get “hack” then he must have been speaking on what he knew, which means the Chiefs were tampering.
Davis and Smith were drafted in the same year by the Dolphins and played on the secondary together up until this past season when the Dolphins traded Davis to the Indianapolis Colts. The two are obviously still close and it would make sense that Smith would share this type of news with his friend. Add that to the fact that Kansas City is where he did indeed end up, and it looks pretty obvious that Smith was tampered with.
Now it is up to the Commissioner’s office to look into this case and see what actually transpired. This is an obvious breach of the free agency guidelines and after the ‘Bounty” debacle, Roger Goodell needs to show he still has the league under control. If this goes without consequence it will be yet another black mark on Goodell’s recently tainted legacy.