The Dolphins are in a tricky situation with Hartline. On one hand you'd love to keep the guy. He's a proven commodity and he's entering his prime. He's a solid #2 or #3 guy depending on your opinion of him.
But is he really worth signing for $5M+ a season??? Like the article says, had we signed him early in the season we likely could have had him for a similar deal to the one we gave Bess a couple of years ago (about $3M a season). Now that he's a 1,000 yard receiver, what are the odds we can lock him down for less than $5M a season???
My opinion of Hartline is this. I'd love to keep him around. I want us to re-sign him. But not if it costs us over $5M a season. If Hartline is willing to do a 4 year $12-$16M deal, then I say sign him. But if he wants something like five years and $30M, I say let him walk.
Hartline is replaceable. The Dolphins could very easily sign someone like Greg Jennings in free agency to take his place. Then draft one or two receivers. With all of the picks we have in the first three rounds I don't see a reason why we couldn't draft at least one or two receivers.
It would have been nice to have Hartline at 2-3 mill/yr like they could have had him if they had done the extension he wanted. Ireland has made his share of mistakes, and this is another one.
That being said, I agree with Dphins4me in regards to letting Hartline walk if he wants 5-6 mill/per year. At that point, I would not only look to go after Jennings with the Hartline money, I would look to go after Wallace as well. Jennings, Wallace, Bess and perhaps Matthews or Binn, or draft a rookie. That is all of a sudden a very good WR corps.