Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland told reporters on Thursday that they’ll likely be using their franchise tag in the next few weeks
“There’s certainly a likelihood we could use it,” Ireland said, via the Miami Herald.
Ireland suggested that they have already decided on who they’ll be applying the designation to. Sean Smith has been rumored to be the likeliest candidate, but Armando Salguero stands by his report that Smith will not be tagged.
Given that reports have indicated that the Dolphins aren’t willing to overpay Long, Starks could be the favorite for the franchise tag. Losing him would have a dramatic impact on their defensive line, whereas they could replace Long with last year’s second-round pick Jonathan Martin. Tagging Long would cost them a staggering $15.365 million, which clearly not the best use of their cap space.