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Sean Smith, Dolphins reportedly 'far apart' on contract

In Around the League's "Offseason Forecast" series,'s resident Miami Dolphins fan Henry Hodgson pegged Sean Smith as a critical priority for the team's front office.

The fifth-year cornerback is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. If the Dolphins can't agree to a long-term deal with Smith, he might be slapped with the franchise tag, because negotiations for a new contract aren't going smoothly.

Offseason Forecast: Miami Dolphins

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With the offseason under way, Around The League examines what's next for all 32 teams. Henry Hodgson tackles the 'Fins. **More ...**

Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post reports the sides are "far apart," with Smith asking for a contract close to the six-year, $43 million pact the Tennessee Titans handed Jason McCourty last summer, according to a source. The Dolphins aren't about to furnish that type of cash to Smith, the source said.

Under new coach Joe Philbin, the Dolphins have taken a patient approach to building their program. Still, they're pegged as a team that might make a splash in free agency by chasing after one of the three big receivers in play -- Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe or Mike Wallace.

That would please the fan base, but keeping Smith -- one of the better players in a weak secondary -- is arguably more important for a team that finished 27th in the NFL against the pass last season.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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