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So where is the Jake Long contract extension?

Jake Long is in the final year of a contract that seemed oh-so-expensive in 2008 when he signed as the first overall draft pick but has been well worth the money to date. Long is scheduled to make $11.2 million in his contract year and cost upwards of $12.8 million against the cap.

The base salary is basically the cost of doing business. The cap charge seems like a case of business that could be done better.

The fact is the Dolphins need to extend Long's deal. He has been a good player. He is a foundation stone for the franchise. And an extension could easily lower that cap charge and give the team more space to maneuver as it wishes in the coming days of the 2012 league year.

Yet, off Long went on his honeymoon recently and the Dolphins didn't have a new contract ready for him as a wedding gift.

Why?

Ah, the why is a puzzle.

The club's official stance is that Long without doubt is not going anywhere, that he is outstanding and that he absolutely will not be allowed to hit free agency at the end of 2012 so that he can possibly go elsewhere.

Good call, Dolphins folks!

So why the delay when an extension could be beneficial for both sides? Well the possibilities are the puzzle.

Maybe both sides have a wink-wink agreement that something will get done and it will. Great, but time is money and the longer this is on the back burner, the weaker the Dolphins seem from a cap standpoint.

Maybe both sides have talked and they simply haven't come to an agreement. This is probably the most likely scenario. The truth is gauging Long's value won't be easy. Cleveland re-signed Joe Thomas to an 8-year contract worth a reported $92 million that included a whopping $44 million in guaranteed money. That's an $11.5 million annual average. And the trouble for the Dolphins is Long will expect to exceed this deal by a significant amount.

Worth it? Obviously yes at first blush. But look deeper. Long is worth is if he's healthy. Long is worth it if the club last season judged his play to be as good as ever -- unlikely considering his rash of injuries. Long, in short, is worth it if the Dolphins believe him to be Jonathan Ogden or Walter Jones -- both of whom played for years at exceedingly high levels and without injuries.

But what if Long is Tony Boselli? Boselli was perhaps the best left tackle in the game early in his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Big, strong, mobile, he was Long before Long. But then he injured a knee. Then he injured an ankle. Then he hurt his shoulder. And then he hurt the shoulder again. And again.

And by his seventh NFL season, Boselli was broken. Folks were surprised when Boselli was placed on the expansion list and allowed to go to Houston. But when he arrived in Houston, injured and unable to contribute, everyone understood.

So is Long on the road to being Boselli? In the past two years he's had a building litany of injuries -- first a knee, then an ankle and shoulder and last year a back and a torn right biceps that forced him to finish the season on injured reserve.

Are the Dolphins worried the trend might continue? Even privately there is confidence Long will recover and continue to be a pillar of the offensive line. But I would imagine the club would nonetheless like to protect itself financially against the continuation of the recent trend.

Perhaps the club prefers to see how Long returns and is handling training camp and the early part of the season before committing to a new contract.

That would be smart. Of course, in the meantime, that significant cap hit glows in neon as needing to be addressed. It is a catch-22. Pay Long and gamble he'll be fine? Or delay a new contract and suffer the tightened cap space?

There is, of course, another scenario that might explain the lack of a new contract for Long. It is obvious this is a big-ticket item. It will cost a lot of dollars. What if owner Stephen Ross, smarting from tanking ticket sales, simply isn't in position to dole out $40-$50 million in guaranteed money right now, much of which would no doubt come in the form of a hefty signing bonus?

What if the Dolphins -- among the bottom five spenders in cash outlay a year ago -- are simply trying to hold down costs again?

These are all questions the Dolphins don't have to answer. But it would clear things up if they did.

Comments

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Yeah, but I mean, timing Favre, a HOFer?

That can only mean that Philbin is meticulous, detail-oriented.

Oscar you are naive. All teams have done that for years. Meticulous preparation and scheming has been around for decades, back to the Sid Gilman days who Walsh was greatly influenced by in his own words.

Yes, but there are some more meticulous than others. I remember Shula used to beat Sid Gillman regularly.

Some are smarter than others. Sparano was meticulous but a dumbo.

Agree, Kirk.

No one knows at this time if Philbin will be a great strategist, like Shula, or a dumbo, like many others.

We have said it many times, the Truth admits no arguments. When they lay the Truth on you, you are defenseless.

What worked in Green Bay, will not work here

Too bad Philbin has no clue how to do anything but run some type of WC offense w completely dif players

Dolphins had the opportunity of a life time getting the Best Red Zone QB in the NFL Tim Tebow, the same QB that set an NFL record scoring 15 points against them a few months ago w less than 3 min left

Tebow did this taking over a 1-4 losing team w a defense playing poorly and only one decent WR and an average RB

Ireland, Philbin who has 0 HC or OC play calling experience whatsoever is not the answer, neither is fired 6-6 college coach Sherman who has a history of watching his team collapse with double digit leads

Garrard is our highest paid QB and is not even remotely close to the answer

We have no players , never mind playmakers, our coaches either have no NFL experience or no winning experience

Philbin watched the GB HC make ALL the calls on game day
Philbin did nothing but act like a fan

The Dolphins franchise is in the saddest state of affairs in history of the organization

and other than a handful of jaded homers or delusional fans with no sense of reality the entire world laughing at this pathetic Miami Dolphin franchise knows, ...


The Dolphins Suck

PERIOD

At the same time, if Philbin has never called any offensive plays, then we don't know if he's any good or not doing it,, don't it?

We are reading all these commentaries from posters who are resistant to have a Miami Dolphins winning team, and we are analyzing these responses to see whether they are conscious or unconscious. Pretty interestig, actually.

The only option when you are confronted by the Truth is to accept It. If not so, then the path will be to roll around and around, like a mad dog, forever.

we are big fans of your game. we think your a great person and player. we would love for you to join our family in the dawg pound. we look at our players as family and are proud of them fighting for us and we fight for them. we think with an offense of line of you,joe thomas,alex mack and maybe another og or two would go down in history of the best line in history. the offense of line is the most important part of a football team. it would be the funnest and greatest line to watch ever. we have great rb's in trent richardson,hardestey,jackson,e​ct. and two good qb's in weeden and mccoy and cribbs running wild everywhere as well,with a top ten defence in the league. please it would be more then an honor and fun to see you in brown and orange and going down in history of the greatest o-lines ever to play with multi-superbowl wins! playing infront of the dawg pound being a place like home and there is no where like this to be or play or be a fan or player ,its fun and so great and cool for not only the players but us fans browns town,browns nation,with the biggest backers in the world and where else do you see sellouts scince our team returned in 1999 to the present and proud of our family out there giving all they have and we all giving it all we have right back,we love our players,team,and our browns! we bleed brown and orange we would be more then honored,lucky,and happy to welcome you as a part of our family,one of us ,a dawg like us at home in our house and hopefully your house the dawg pound in browns town nation!!!!!!! please join our cleveland(ohio,and around the world) browns! you ,thomas,mack,hopefully stienbach comes back healthy and maybe we could trade for you and c/og mike pouncey! playing hardnose,smash them in the mouth,driving them in the dirt,mulling them and bulling them and blowing up high way size holes for richardson and cribbs to drive threw what ever ramp they want right off into the endzone and giving our qb's a coffee break before they hit wide open wr's in stride for six,also keeping the clock moving,dominatting the line of scrimmage,controlling the ball, the score,game and keeping a top ten defence rested on the sideline....we would be building a dynasty for years!!!!!!!!! please welcome and come home to your dawg pound top dawg and hopefully your new house at the pound ...man!!!!! we big fans and you would look awesome in brown and orange!!!!!!

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