Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hartline near top of Dolphins' free agent decisions


The Miami Dolphins have a number of decisions to make on their own free agents this offseason, but few are as important as wide receiver Brian Hartline.

The team understood that and tried to give Hartline a modest extension midseason, according to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero. But the four-year veteran knows he's earned more than Miami's first offer. (photo: photo-gator, Flickr)

“It was something I would have thought about last year,” Hartline told Salguero. “Midway through this year, where my situation was at, it just didn’t match up."

Hartline emerged this season as a reliable target for a team that has very few, after setting career-marks with 74 receptions for 1,083 yards. This gives him and agent Drew Rosenhaus plenty of leverage to hold out for a better deal.

“I’m thinking, ‘How am I expected to respond to this?’ ” Hartline said about the first offer. “But we decided to look on the bright side. I looked at it from the Dolphins’ viewpoint, which was they want to start talking, which is always good.”

The Dolphins aren't in any position to let quality wide receivers walk away. The team had a void at the position all season and cycled through free agent pick ups that included names like Jabar Gaffney, Legedu Naanee and Anthony Armstrong.

While there's little doubt that Miami should make the effort to bring back it's leading receiver, it's yet to be seen what direction the Dolphins' notoriously frugal general manager Jeff Ireland will go.

Hartline is certainly hoping to he can sign to stay in South Beach.

“I have a sense of pride in the body of work that I’ve done here. I still want the Dolphins to want me to stay here," Hartline said.

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