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Texans' Smith responds to Robinson's charge

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Feb 20, 2009.

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    <em>Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky</em> <p>INDIANAPOLIS -- Texans GM Rick Smith offered a detailed defense of the team's use of the franchise tag on cornerback <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=5535" target="_new">Dunta Robinson</a>.</p> <p>Robinson <a href="http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/6269456.html" target="_blank">called the Texans dishonest</a>, because they had told him they would not tag him.</p> <p>Smith's response amounted to what you'd expect: The Texans didn't want to and didn't plan to, but things change.</p> <blockquote> <p>"We had a conversation very early in the negotiation process where I indicated I didn't want to use a franchise tag on Dunta and was clear about that because of the negative feelings around the tag. My approach was that we're going to do everything we can do to get a deal done so that we don't have to use it, we don't want to do it.</p> <p>But things change in a negotiation and we had a value that we had placed on him and there are some deals that got done at the end of the season and even as recently as this week and we felt like he fit in that area. That was our initial position for him with respect to valuing his contract and we changed on that, we offered him a deal that exceeded that, we changed a lot of different positions as the thing went, but the whole time as you know, up until yesterday at 4:00, the franchise tag is always in play.<br /> <br /> So when they elected to exercise their right of declining our offer that was going to make him one of the highest paid corners I football, we exercised or option to tag him. It's just part of the deal. Now he's upset about it, I understand that. But it's a decision that we felt was best for our organization and our club, he's very, very important to our football team, to our defense. We've got a new defensive coordinator, Frank Bush, we want to play aggressively, he can do some things that we want to do, which is why we had the kind of deal on the table that we had, which is why we worked so hard to try to get him signed. It didn't work out, so hopefully we'll continue to work with him to try to get a deal."</p> </blockquote> <p>Those talks won't restart for a while. Smith said he'd let things cool down as the team deals with things that have to be addressed sooner.</p> <p>As for a report that said Robinson learned that he'd been tagged <a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FBN_TEXANS_ROBINSON?SITE=OREUG&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT" target="_blank">from the media</a>, Smith said it was untrue and spelled out how it happened.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Once we made the decision to franchise Dunta, I called him personally. I left him a message and then I texted him, because we're in that age right now. As so I actually exchanged text messages with him, he texted me back. I wanted him to know and hear that directly from me, and I expressed that on a voicemail to him and in a couple of text messages. So I don't know where that report came from, it's just not true."</p> </blockquote> <p>Coach Gary Kubiak said he thought any indications from Robinson that he would not practicipate in the Texans offseason program came out of frustration.</p> <p>"All I can say is I am counting on him very much for our football team, counting on him being there," Kubiak said. 'He and I will sit&nbsp;down and talk about that, but I sure am expecting him to be a leader on our football team."</p>

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