I asked yesterday whether Rick Smith lied to Dunta Robinson about using the franchise tag. Dunta certainly said he was deceived. Rick Smith has now addressed his alleged deceit. Sort of:
"The first thing you have to understand is a negotiation is a dynamic, thorough process," Smith said. "We had a conversation very early in the negotiation process where I indicated I didn't want to use the franchise tag on Dunta. I was clear about that because of the negative feelings around the tag.
"My approach was we were going to do everything we can do to get a deal done because we don't want to use it. But things change in a negotiation. That was our initial position for him with respect to value in a contract. And we changed on that. We offered him a deal that exceeded that.
"This whole time, up until yesterday at 4 (EDT), the franchise tag is always in play. And so when they elected to exercise their right in declining our offer to make him one of the highest-paid corners in football, we exercised out (sic) option to tag him. It's part of the deal."
I've read that excerpt at least six (6) times, and I still don't know whether I can definitively say that Rick Smith lied to Dunta. Saying "we'll do everything we can to get a deal done because we don't want to use it" isn't exactly "we're not going to slap you with the franchise tag." In that respect, I guess Smith didn't lie. Then again, reading Smith's account, I can certainly see how Dunta would feel misled. Indeed, Smith admits the team "changed" positions, which can be interpreted as a tacit admission of misrepresentation, I suppose.
Oddly enough, this additional perspective doesn't really provide a definitive answer. I'm now more sympathetic to Dunta, but Smith's account does not make me think that the Texans were somehow out of line in franchising Dunta Robinson. Where do you come down on the issue?