Just this morning, it was reported promptly by FoxSports Alex Marvez that the Dolphins were "close to a deal" with Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline. Many in South Florida were gasping for air and letting it out on the airwaves on WQAM and on Twitter showing a number of reactions…a mixture of relief and disappointment.
In fact, one of the most interesting comments was by a caller on WQAM that mentioned that the Green Bay Packers extended Jordy Nelson a 4 year 14 million dollar deal last year. Nelson has proven more valuable and productive than Hartline has to the Dolphins. (Actually 13 million total deal with 5 million guaranteed).
However, here's this, Hartline and agent Drew Rosenhaus know what the Dolphins have to play with. The Dolphins have over 34 million in cap space. Asking for 6.5 million or a little less to the Dolphins seems reasonable giving the whopping numbers that may be thrown around on the eve of free agency and the huge contract that Dwayne Bowe of Kansas City just signed (5 year 56 million) lays the groundwork for a tiering of wide receivers.
Calvin Johnson makes 18 million a year and Larry Fitzgerald makes around 16 million per year. Both are signed longterm.
Next, if the Dolphins have to pay Hartline to be a receiver in this offensive system, in a market where he probably could seek more from other teams based on his speed and upside, it is quite possible that paying 6 million might be the going rate just to have a conversation with Hartline and his agent.
As of now, no deal has yet to be reached and the waiting could continue up to the start of free-agency.
If 74 catches for over 1,000 yards and a touchdown earns a 6 million dollar deal, then that is the going rate. Whether we like it or not, keeping Hartline because of the continuity he has in this offense is why he is valuable right now to the Dolphins.
As for those other free-agent possibilities, those will be the big names and numbers thrown around in the coming days.
With free agency looming, Dolphins fans worldwide will be burning the bandwidth on Twitter and on the radiowaves.