The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday, which means the next few days will feature rumors and speculation as the hype of the deadline picks up. Of course, the NFL trade deadline typically comes and goes without any major moves happening, but that does not stop the speculation before the deadline. Today, we start that speculation with just a random thought.
For some background, yesterday NFL.com's Gil Brandt posted an article with some trades he thinks could make sense. The last one on the list was Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith being sent to the New England Patriots. Brandt explained the idea, writing:
"Three years ago, Bill Belichick successfully landed some needed cornerback help when he plucked Aqib Talib from the Bucs. This season, Smith could be Belichick's Talib. The seventh-year pro fits the Patriots' mold as a tall (6-foot-3) corner with long arms, and he could really help their secondary. I could see him moving for a sixth-rounder."
That made me think (again, not hearing anything on this at all - just considering the possibility based on Brandt's suggestion of Smith to New England), would it make sense for Miami to consider jumping in on the (speculated) Smith trade talks and see if they could land their former second round pick? It would mean the team would likely have to spend a second draft pick on Smith, but there is no denying that Smith is playing at a much higher level than the 2012 version of Smith that left Miami. Smith has a 2015 salary cap number of $7 million, but only $4.25 million of that is base salary, which is what a team would pick up, and assuming the deal would work out to about half the season, Smith would count for about $2 million against the cap for the remainder of the year. It is also the last year on his current contract, so Miami could rent him for the rest of the year, and then decide whether or not to re-sign him.
Miami currently has a little over $11 million in salary cap space this season, according to the NFL Players Association.
Smith has not been playing up to the same level he did last year, but he also missed the first three games this season, so he could just be rounding into tru game shape now. Miami should see Brice McCain return this week, but he has not been setting the world on fire starting opposite Brent Grimes. Jamar Taylor has played decently this year, but the Texans demonstrated last week that he can also be targeted. After Taylor, the depth chart falls off to rookies and developmental players, which could be a major concern if the Dolphins sustain any injuries the rest of the year.
According to Pro Football Focus' grading system, Smith is the 47th best cornerback in the league right now, while Taylor is 93rd and McCain is 95th.
Miami is also typically undersized at the corner position, despite Grimes' freakish ability to out jump nearly everyone. Adding a 6-foot-3 Smith could solve part of that.
The Dolphins might not want to bring back Smith, but it could be an interesting deal to be considered. If the cost is a sixth-round pick, and the Dolphins would then have Smith for facing off against teams like the New England Patriots (for the second meeting), the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Jets, the New York Giants, and the Indianapolis Colts, it could be a move worth making.
Joel Thorman from SB Nation's Arrowhead Pride, when asked if a sixth round pick would be enough to get Smith, replied, "I would lean to probably not, because the Chiefs still think they're in this. So I doubt they trade anyone." If Sean Smith is on the market, however, it should at least be a phone call Miami makes.