from a buried thread... http://www.finheaven.com/show...Miami-DolphinsNow, looking at the individual players in our six possible tagged players, we have:
- Reggie Bush - Bush is a player the Dolphins have said they would like to bring back, and he has repeatedly said he wants to return. However, Miami has said that they would re-sign Bush only at their price, and would consider moving on to rookie Lamar Miller next season if Bush is not brought back. A transition tag could make sense, but even that is probably more than the Dolphins want to spend on Bush.
- Anthony Fasano - Fasano is the Dolphins top tight end, and they currently don't have anyone developing who looks like he will be ready to unseat Fasano next year. The Dolphins do have a couple of potentially dynamic players who, if they develop, give Miami weapons at the tight end position (Charles Clay, Michael Egnew), but Fasano is a player the Dolphins will likely look to re-sign. If they cannot work out a deal, making Fasano a non-exclusive rights franchise tag could make sense, given it would mean the Dolphins would have the veteran for one more season, with no commitment beyond $5.9 million.
- Brian Hartline - Hartline is a player the Dolphins will definitely bring back next year, especially as they look to add a true number one receiver to pair with him. The 1,000 yard season will give Hartline some negotiating power with Miami, but it shoudl not be enough that the talks will break down to paying Hartline, a player who will likely be a number two receiver next season, $10 million for the year. Could the Dolphins look to transition tag Hartline at $8.6 million? I guess so, and it's not a horrible deal, but that's still more than I would pay for Hartline at this point.
- Jake Long - Long is the player who will cause the most debate this offseason. The 2008 number one overall pick has been selected to four Pro Bowls in five seasons in the league, and was at one point considered the top offensive lineman in the league. Unfortunately for Long, the year where he did not play at a Pro Bowl level was this season, and he is no longer playing at an elite level. Long is likely going to be looking for a salary above his rookie contract, which paid him $12 million this year. He is the one Dolphins player who would fall into the 120% of his current salary rule for a franchise tag, meaning he would take up $15 million dollars if he was franchise tagged, or one quarter of the Dolphins' cap space. He could be a player worth bringing back, but if he is looking for astronomical numbers this offseason, he's going to have to get them from another franchise.
- Sean Smith - Smith will be back in Miami. The team needs him, even if fans get frustrated by the moments of blown coverage and dropped interceptions from the team's 2009 second round pick. He has the talent to be a shutdown corner, but for some reason lapses into times where you are not sure exactly what he is doing. Smith is currently making less than $1 million a season, so a jump to over $10 million is hard to stomach, but the team will look to do whatever they have to to re-sign Smith.
- Randy Starks - Starks is once again a Pro Bowl alternate, and has played to a level worthy of that distinction. He's currently making $3.725 million, with a transition tag nearly doubling that salary, but if the Dolphins get into a sticky position negotiating with Starks over the next few weeks, a tag could make sense to bring him back for one season, especially given his age of 29 years old. The Dolphins could also let Starks walk, moving Jared Odrickinside next to Paul Soliai, and giving the starting defensive end position opposite Cameron Wake to either a drafted rookie or the quickly developing Olivier Vernon.
Across these six players, the two most likely to get tagged are Smith and Starks. Long has an outside chance to be tagged, or re-signed, but rookie Jonathan Martin performing well at left tackle the last few weeks hurts Long's leverage with the Dolphins. Miami will likely look to not use the tag at all this season, instead trying to re-sign all the potential free agents they want to keep, using longer term contracts to keep salary cap numbers low while they use the money on rookies or free agents.If the Dolphins had to franchise or transition tag one player this offseason, who do you think they would target?