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Dolphins deal for Jake Long looking good

So maybe the Dolphins got something of a bargain on Jake Long after all.

Even though Long is the highest-paid player on the Dolphins, even though he is the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL, he isn't the highest-paid rookie coming out of this year's class.

That would be Matt Ryan today.

Ryan, via his agent Tom Condon, has agreed today to a six-year deal worth $72 million. The deal includes $34.75 million in guaranteed money. So let's do the math.

Long, drafted first overall, signed a five-year deal worth $57.75 million. He is getting an average of $11.55 million per year on his deal. Ryan, drafted third overall, is getting $12 million per year on his deal.

Granted Ryan is tied up for one more year and he is, after all, a quarterback so he is supposed to make more money. But I would remind you tying up a rookie for one extra year is a good thing -- for salary cap purposes -- only if he turns out to be a good player.

So on this one the Dolphins done good.

[This is, by the way, the third post of the day on this blog. Visit the other two posts on the owner's opting out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, of course, the seemingly second by second updates on Jason Taylor. I hear he just got his car waxed. Details now available.]

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I wonder how many times the first pick didn't get the most money?!?
And, Atlanta overpaid, IMO.

Never cared one way or another about the Falcons, but I hope they didn't just make a really costly mistake. We'll see.

Yea, I don't see how they justified giving Ryan, the #3 pick this year, more than Russell, the #1 pick last year. The Long deal is good for both parties, the Falcons appear to have done a bad deal to get the guy in camp on time. That's how it looks to me, but who knows.. But all we really care about is how they play, the numbers only matter when the guy sucks.

Armando, thanks for the multiple posts today. Good job. Always enjoy your excellent blog. But what's with the new registration, buddy.

It's like getting frisked by the internet...

lol damn all that hard work and fighting w/ the new leadership and JT gets second.. sucks

Armando, I've got to vehemently disagree that the Dolphins did better than the Falcons. If we really believe that Jake Long will be a fixture at left tackle and a perennial Pro Bowler (which we should believe for a number one pick), then the most important factor is not the size of the signing bonus but rather the length of the contract. We paid him $58M for five years; I'd much rather have paid him $72M for six years. Here is why: Fast forward five years. Do you think we will be able to resign him for $14M for the first year of his next contract? No way! At that point Pro Bowl lineman will be earning more than $20M per year, which means that we will be paying much more than $72 million for the first six years of service we get from Jake Long (if we can even afford to resign him).

You wouldn't have been happy if he had signed for one year for the bargain price of one million dollars, right? Well, this is the same idea stretched out a bit longer. Those second contracts are huge and must be put off as long as possible. Don't the Dolphins understand inflation?

Jake Long's deal is actually 6 years in length. Jake *CAN* void the final year of his contract so long as two conditions are met. One is that he must be on the roster 5 days after the team is done playing the 2012 season (which would be his 5th year). The other is that he must play at least 35 percent of offensive snaps in 2008, and at least 45% of the snaps in 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2012.

Is the 6th year relatively easy to void? Absolutely. However, that's not the point.

The point is the total contract figures MOST LIKELY include that 6th year's salary. Why? Because it is voidable at Long's discretion. It isn't the same as an option year, which must be exercised by the player before it can be considered part of the original contract. So this $57.75 million figure we have from the press probably includes a 6th year salary that will never be paid. And, if the salaries escalate at a common pace, that salary is probably about $6 million.

When you look at it that way, Miami is probably paying Jake Long around $10.4 million per year for 5 years.

Matt Ryan is being paid $12.0 million per year for 6 years.

Is Jake Long's guaranteed money per year (assuming he voids the final year) higher than Ryan's? Yes. By about 3.3 percent. But, that disparity is very LOW for the difference between the #1 overall pick and the #3 overall pick. Not to mention, it is entirely likely that Miami beefed up the guaranteed portion of the contract in order to entice Long into signing the deal in the first place.

Why do I say that? Because if my assumptions are correct about the 6th year's salary probably being worth about $6 million, then Jake Long is actually getting paid about 3 percent LESS per year than Jamarcus Russell got one year ago. That's pretty incredible, since those numbers are generally supposed to rise 5 to 10 percent every year.

So basically Matt Ryan got paid like the #1 overall pick, more than Jamarcus Russell last year. Personally I think Ryan is a good QB prospect, but how much better is he than Flacco, Henne or Brohm? The Falcons better hope he's significantly better and that he's a true franchise QB or they will be setback for years.

Parrothead: I'm not surprised that Jake got paid less per year than Russell got last year. There is a general understanding that franchise QBs get paid a premium. Similarly, given that Ryan is a QB, I don't think that the fact that Jake's guaranteed portion is "only" 3.3% higher than Ryan's is that surprising either.

I wasn't aware that we actually signed him to a six-year deal, but, as you say, this will easily be voidable by him (unless he stinks it up). You are suggesting, then, that we are only paying him $52 million for the first five years? Where did you get that figure? I have never seen it. It sounds like you estimated based on projected salary increases. Are the actual per year amounts not delineated?

I have not seen the actual salaries listed year by year, but yes I'm assuming that the salary structure is increasing, as is extremely common in most contracts. I assume $6 million for that 6th year and believe me, that is a pretty conservative estimate.

Since it is a 6 year deal, I have to assume that the $57.75 million figure includes the 6th year salary. He has not voided the final year yet by any means, and if I understand the exact language correctly, if injury or ineptitude forces him to miss more than 65% of the team's offensive snaps in 2008, the 6th year won't be able to be voided at all.

Quarterbacks tend to get a premium, but not the kind we're talking about here. The best comparison is to look at 2006 when Mario Williams went #1 overall and Vince Young went #3 overall. That's a very good comparison. Mario got $54 million over 6 years, but with $8 million available in incentives. Vince got $58 million total, which includes incentives.

Either way, the increase in Vince's base pay relative to Mario could easily be offset by Mario's incentives to where Mario still gets more than Vince. And even if it isn't, Vince only got 7.4 percent more than Mario...where it appears to me that Ryan will be getting at least 16 percent more than Long, provided my assumptions are correct.

I guess we'll have to see how much that sixth year salary is to know for sure... But, once you knock off that sixth year and then add in whatever we will have to pay him in the first year of his new contract, there is no way that Ryan will be earning 16% more than Jake for their first six years here. My guess is that Jake will earn much more than Ryan if he opts out of the sixth year of his contract.

I don't understand you're logic. There's nothing to add back into Jake Long's contract. His total contract is for 6 years, $57.75 million. If he voids the 6th year, and that year carries a $6 million salary, then his total deal will have ended up 5 years, $51.75 million, or about $10.35 million per year.

Matt Ryan's contract is 6 years, $72 million, or about $12.0 million per year.

I don't have any clue what you're talking about with adding back first year pay, etc. I don't think you're following what I'm saying.

First of all, I have not read anywhere that it is six years, so could you get a source for that? But, assuming you are right, here is what I mean. Suppose he voids his sixth year and negotiates a new contract. Let's use your numbers and say we pay him $52M for the first five years. Under his new (second) contract, lets assume that with the prorated signing bonus and annual salary that he earns $16M in that first year (which would be his sixth year with us) of his second contract. This is probably a reasonable number, based on inflation. Then we would be paying him 52+16 = $68 million for his first six years with us.

Yes, this is less than $72M but not 16% less. Moreover, I still think we are paying him $58M for five years, not six years, which would put him at $74M for the first six years here.

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