Video Link - http://www.miamidolphins.com/media/v...b-0b7f6e6c03ef
Adam Beasley @AdamHBeasley
Ben Volin @BenVolinPBP - The Palm Beach PostIreland on having nine picks: We brought every single person in the building. Have eyes on every single player at the Combine.
Philsophy with 12th pick: Obviously, the first goal is best player available. Depends on what you do in free agency.
Ireland on if this is a do or die offseason: I think it's a very, very important time period for this offseason. By design.
In terms of our free agents, we're going to address every single free agents. Not going to discuss particulars.
Franchise tag: It's a resource. Have to evaluate how negotiations are going into particular players. A lot of different opinions.
Ireland: There's certainly a likelihood that we'll use [tag], but not decided on a player yet.
Why none of Fins FAs are signed yet: The date that I have in my head is March 9. Have them signed by that time period.
Ireland: Thorough evaluations on own FAs. This is the time period that we get something done.
Ireland on Tannehill: I still think there's a bunch of upside left in Ryan's potential. Like what I've seen so far. He can get a lot better.
Ireland on gap between Pats and rest of AFCE: There's a gap. We've got to close that gap and we plan to do our best job getting that done.
Ireland on Hard Knocks: It was a good experience. Extremely professional people. I enjoyed it. It was a good exposure for our franchise.
How the franchise approaches big ticket free agents: Always looking for value. You hope production matches the value.
Ireland: "You have to make sure what you're paying for is what you getting." Said there's not a lot of value on the top end of FAs.
Ireland on draft: "I think there are some difference-makers." Mentions offensive, defensive line, safety. Good depth.
Ireland: "This is a very critical period for us. I want all eyes on all players."
Ireland says he doesn't know a lot about the aptitude test.
Ireland on salary cap rollover: "We've got good cap space, so I like it. It's been a positive for us."
Ireland: "We know the guys we want back and we know the guys we will potentially go after. It's a strong plan to do a little bit of both."
"Character and makeup, certainly like guys that are highly competitive, passionate about FB. That's always going to be part of my process."
Says decision to jettison Vontae and Marshall: "Weren't just character" issues.
Miami Dolphins @MiamiDolphinsJeff Ireland on the franchise tag: "It's a resource, certainly. ... There's certainly a likelihood we could use it." Doesn't name a player.
Ireland said there hasnt been urgency to sign his own free agents, but hopes to get some signed by March 9, when FAs can talk to other teams.
Ireland said he knows which players he wants back and which he will pursue in free agency. Unfortunately, no names.
Ireland talked more off podium, said franchise tag is still an option for Sean Smith and a few other players.
Ireland said he "certainly would" see a role for Reggie Bush next year, possibly more as a receiver.
The #Dolphins brought 55 coaches, scouts and front office execs to Combine. "We brought every single person in the building," Ireland said.
Jeff Ireland speaking to media at Combine. Will post full video at http://Dolphins.com pic.twitter.com/icK8gujKVf
VIDEO | Jeff Ireland press conference at Combine: http://www.miamidolphins.com/media/videos/2013-Combine-Jeff-Ireland-Press-Conference/0967dc5b-1ef4-4d52-b19b-0b7f6e6c03ef …
Jeff Ireland: Use of franchise tag 'a likelihood'
by - Armando Salguero
NFL Combine Buzz: Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland ‘certainly’ sees a role for Reggie Bush, could use franchise tag on Sean Smith or Randy StarksThere's been much talk of the Dolphins potentially using their franchise tag designation on one of their own unrestricted free agents. Well, this morning Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said that potential is quite real.
"There's certainly a likelihood we could use it," Ireland said in talking about the issue at the NFL Combine.
The Dolphins have several candidates to use it on -- Randy Starks and Jake Long among them. Several media outlets have reported Sean Smith would be tagged. I've reported he will not be tagged. Ireland addressed tagging several players as possibilities in only general terms and gave no indication which specific player he would tag if necessary.
(Understand, it makes sense for Ireland to threaten every player with the tag to induce them to sign a multi-year deal, which is more cap friendly for the Dolphins. He has no intetion on using the tag on certain players but if they are convinced it is a possibility, they might be willing to do a deal that gets them more guaranteed money but also gives the team a lower cap number. Ireland would be dumb to tip his hand and eliminate anyone from the possibility.)
Ireland was asked about the apparent slow pace of negotiations between the Dolphins and their own players. Well, Ireland says he's not been in a hurry to get deals done because he has a deadline in his head for doing that and that time is not yet.
"The date that I have in my head is March 9," Ireland said.
March 9 is the first day free agents can begin talking to teams other than the ones they played for last season. Until then, there is supposed to be no "tampering" or communication between teams and the potential free agents from other teams.
Anyway, Ireland says the Dolphins have formulated a plan for re-sign certain players and chasing others starting March 12 when free agency kicks off.
"We know the guys we want back and we know the guys we will potentially go after," he said. "It's a strong plan to do a little bit of both."
The Dolphins want Jake Long back. As I've reported previously, they have made at least two contract offers. Ireland confirmed the club wants Long back after his presser.
The Dolphins are clearly moving toward Lamar Miller as their lead back next year. But Ireland suggested Reggie Bush could return (sources say only for the "right" price) and play more of a role in the passing game.
The idea is to help the Dolphins get better because they've posted records of 7-9, 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9 the past three seasons while the New England Patriots have been to two Super Bowls and the playoffs each year. The idea is to close that gap.
"There's a gap," Ireland said. "We've got to close that gap and we plan to do our best job getting that done."
The draft will follow free agency and that is perhaps more important to Miami -- a team with five picks in the first three rounds and nine picks overall.
Ireland quipped that the team brought every person in the organization to Indianapolis to get "eyes on every single player at the Combine." That's upwards of 50 Dolphins people in Indianapolis.
"I think there are some difference-makers," Ireland said of the draft talent before adding he likes several offensive and defensive linemen and thinks there are good safeties available as well.
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolph...#storylink=cpy
by Ben Volin
INDIANAPOLIS – Key takeaway points from Jeff Ireland’s press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday:
* The Dolphins plan to use RB Lamar Miller a lot more in 2013 – sources say Reggie Bush’s indecisive running and dancing in the backfield frustrated coaches last year – and the Dolphins haven’t had much contact with Bush’s agent about bringing him back next season. But don’t rule out a return for Bush yet. Bush still did lead the team with eight touchdowns in 2012, has elite quickness and is a good leader in the locker room, and Ireland said he “certainly would” envision Bush having a role with the Dolphins in 2013. “You’d love to have his skill set on the football team,” Ireland said. “Reggie has a unique set of skill sets. He’s been a receiver, a primary running back. I definitely see a role for that type of skill set. … We’ll just have to see how things go.”
* It appears that bringing back DT Randy Starks is one of Ireland’s top priorities. Starks had 4.5 sacks, an interception and batted down four passes in 2013, and Ireland said that maintaining continuity on the defensive line is imperative.
“It’s very important to have Randy back if we can get it done,” Ireland said. “The fact of the matter is we have a very good defensive line, and keeping that intact is a focus of mine. It’s a strength, and to build a strength is a focus of mine. I don’t want to let that strength become just average, I like where it’s at, and keeping it as a mainstay is important to me.”
* Ireland said the Dolphins have “several” players who are options to be franchise tagged, and said “we have a pretty good idea where we’re going with it,” though he didn’t name names. The best bets are CB Sean Smith (franchise number of about $10.66 million), LT Jake Long ($15.36 million) and Starks ($8.31 million). Ireland has until March 4 to use the franchise tag, giving him 10 more days to negotiate with his players.
“I have not ruled out Sean as being an option there, but we’ve got several more days left before we have to make that decision,” Ireland said. “We have a pretty good idea where we’re going with it, but things could change daily, hourly.”
If Smith got the tag, it would be for the same reason for keeping Starks – continuity. Smith’s $10.667 million salary would be high, but it would also allow the Dolphins to keep their stout defense mostly intact.
“Sean has started almost every single game he’s been in since (2009), so having that continuity back with Sean is important, but we’ll have to see how that thing goes,” Ireland said.
* As for Long, Ireland said the team wants him back, but called the negotiation “tricky.” Long said earlier this week that he wants to return to Miami, “but it’s essentially on them,” implying that he’s not willing to take a discount in Miami.
Long’s play seemingly declined in 2012, and he has a litany of injuries to his shoulder, knee, biceps and triceps that have slowed him down in recent years. He could demand a contract north of $10 million per season, and his franchise tag number ($15.36 million) represents more than 12.5 percent of the projected salary cap ($121.5 million). “We’ve made our desire to have him back on this football team known, but that’s a tricky one,” Ireland said. “Some of the details I don’t want to get into, but it’s just a complicated negotiation.” “I’d love to have him back. He’s been a pillar for our football team since the day he stepped on campus.”
* Ireland said he doesn’t feel pressure to hit it big in free agency this offseason. Many fans want Ireland to sign WRs Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings, but Ireland said he would only sign a player if it helps the football team, not to create buzz or help sell tickets.
“I don’t really feel the pressure that it has to be a ‘name’ guy,” he said. “If he has a big name, great. If he helps our football team, that’s our first and foremost primary reason why we signed the player.”
Ireland didn’t sound like someone who wants to break the bank for a free agent, either. Wallace could command anywhere from $10-12 million per year for three or four years on the open market.
“You’re always looking for value,” he said. “Everybody wants a bargain. And in free agency, if you’re going to play in free agency, there’s not a ton of bargains out there, especially if you’re playing at the top of the market. You just have to feel confident that what you’re paying for is what you’re getting. That’s always been a philosophy of mine, that the value of the production and the value of the ability, they match, and that you’re not overpaying for a lesser talented player.”
* Ireland said that just because the team hasn’t re-signed any of its 12 unrestricted free agents yet doesn’t mean they won’t bring most of them back. He expects negotiations to pick up significantly in the next couple of weeks, with his goal to get guys under contract before March 9, when they are allowed to legally speak with the other 31 NFL teams. Free agents can speak with other teams between March 9-11, and free agency officially begins at 4 pm on March 12. “I don’t think we had to get them done the first of January,” Ireland said. “The date in my head is March 9, to get those guys done before that period. … You can’t just make knee jerk reactions on getting certain guys signed. This is the time period where we’re starting to talk to them and trying to get things done.”
Read more here: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/theda...-randy-starks/