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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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I'm lusting for a big fat juicy one

Don't worry, when it comes to big money, big contracts, this will be Long's final season with the Phins under these 2 idiots. Whether he's healthy or not. Just one more hole for Jeffy to plug.

We Have Draft Picks,

I'm not scout nor own a crystal ball, but I do reasearch "expert" opinion a fair bit and every mock draft I see has Tannehill going anywhere from 4-12. So given all the factors involved in the draft regarding value, positional need, etc, it seems Tannehill would be the best draft pick possible at 8.

Now, in some mocks where I see Tannehill going at 4, then I've seen Miami going with the best talent available at 8. Ingram, Coples, etc, then going with Weeden in round 2. That would seem like a resonable backup plan to me too since Weeden has first round talent by all accounts but is being docked a few points for the shorter expected career.

However, if he can play until age 36 at a fairly high leve, then he's well worth a 2nd round pick. Especially considering we spent the 2nd overall pick on Ronnie Brown and his career was only about 7 years also.

Jake Long? Here's the hold up. The draft,

Mainly Riley Rieff! Many see the Dolphins drafting Reiff to fill the void on the right side. Dont forgot Reiff's the 2nd rated LT and projected impact one at that. Plus can be had at a fraction of what Long was signed under the old cba.

I expect the Dolphins are contemplating this. Reiff can be locked up much cheaper for 5 years. While they explore trade options for Long before the contract expires.

Still its ifs, ifs, and more ifs. However, if Miami drafts Reiff. I believe its at least 50/50 Jake Long goes or Jake Long stays. Reilly Reiff could be your new twist and new LT, not RT in Miami.

Not to change the subject but...

The NFL was already becoming a much softer game with some of the recent rule changes. In light of the Saints Bountygate do people here feel like I do that the NFL will be totally paranoid of hard hits now and refs flags will be flying everywhere and suspensions will be handed out like tickets in a hooker convention?

Tebow sucks!

Ireland Will Trade Long For A Stick Of Double Mint Gum And Tell The 3 Remaining Dolphin Fans That He Has A Plan....Resign Ireland...Resign You Bumbling Fool.........

Long got us 6-10 and 7-9. He doesnt make a difference.

Weedon, not Tannehill would be a better fit for the west coast offense. You need a highly accurate qb playing the wco. Google both Weedon and Tannehill's game by game stats, then see for yourselves who would be better to draft "FOR US".

Brandon Weedon

http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/235677/brandon-weeden

HOME = DOUCHE

YG,

I like Weeden too but just to play devil's advocate, any chance Weeden's game by game stats are better than Tannehill's is because he is further along developmentally and more mature at this stage than Tannehill.

When picking a franchise QB, you also have to project the potential upside. Who will be better in 3-4 years and beyond and not just next year.

Maybe Tannehill has a higher ceiling? I can't answer for sure because I'm not a professional football mind, but that would be the case in drafting Tannehill at 8. It is also why Jake Locker went in the top 10 last year even though he was a mess at Washington and his stats were much poorer than any of the subsequent QBs. You have to go beyond the numbers ...

I'm equally as happy with Tannehill at 8 as I would be with Weeden in round 2.

Just saying this though, if you pass on Tannehill at 8, and both of them are gone by round 2, I will pick up my pitchfork and come hunting for Ireland's head too.

To not draft a qb last year was gross mismangement of the football team and we are seeing the repurcussions already with the dour mood around the franchise. TO do it again, would be the grossest case of mismanagement and negligence and should result in the immediate termination of said GM.

Mark,

I'm no scout either, but I like the second scenario you mentioned, involving Weedon.

just another sign that a tackle will be drafted in the 1st round, and play RT if Long is fine or replace Long if not.

*Weeden

YG - I like both Tannehill and Weeden along with Cousins. I don't think you can get a complete picture of a QB coming out of college by stats tho. Any of these 3 wherever Miami wants to pick them will work for me.

Dan Marino had some of the worst stats for a college QB that I ever saw. His SR yr. he had 17 TD's and 22 ints. His completion % was 59.2 and he threw for only 2251 yards.

Tebow sucks!

We were going after Peyton Manning who was going give 3-4yrs at most. So why not Weedon. Even at 29, thats 6-7yrs. More than enough time to vie for and find his replacement.

Plus Weedon's far more prepared to make a sooner impact than Tannehill. Google Tannehill's stats. He looks more like the 2nd coming of Henne than anything else right now.

Also Weeden had Blackmon and Tannehill had Fuller who spent most of his SR yr with minor injuries.

How is it that Miami was one of the lower spending teams last year, but are somewhat hurting for cap space? I just do not get that aspect...??


I believe its at least 50/50 Jake Long goes or Jake Long stays.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | March 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Armando, not your fault. But this is just another "feel-good" story from the Dolphins...when will we get some good news, already!

Dolphin fans have been dutifully walking through the desert for decades. The are still hanging in there as some of the most passionate fans in the land. When will we catch sight of the Promise Lands? "Oh, Great Football Gods", the fans cry, "at least, give us a drink of water so we can continue our burdensome trek".

When I made Tim Tebow I was stoned and put female ligaments in his arm. That's why he throws like a girly.

Indiana, it's because they have a lot of earlier signing bonuses and larger salaries that are being deferred to this year that could easily be fixed by extending the players you want to keep or cutting the ones you don't need per se.

In short, the Dolphins are just in wait and see mode as opposed to being aggressive and pro active.

I'm in wait and see mode until after the draft before I pass judgement.

Texas,

Correct. But the accuracy aspect of it gives a little better picture when you consider the offensive system you're running. Weedon's accuracy is far more consistent. A highly consistenly accurate qb is absolutely crucial in the wco.

One thing That almost always crosses over and pretty much projects the same when a college qb comes to the nfl. That's how consistently accurate a qb is. Tannehill's college accuracy reads like a heart attack chart.

Tannehill may one day be a good qb. But his college production shows its unlikely to be in the wco. Tannehill just doesnt look to be the right fit in the wco.

YG,

Didn't you just tell me yesterday that 'no way in Hell' Dansby will be traded with his contract. How today, a day later, you're saying that it's '50/50 Long will be traded'. What gives man? How does one 'flip/flop' ones opinion so quickly?

When I made Tim Tebow I was stoned and put female ligaments in his arm. That's why he throws like a girly.

Mark,

I like Weeden as well (as you know). I caught Charlie Casserly talking about him yesterday on NFL Network and he thinks he's a 4th round pick. Now that's just one man's opinion and I'm sure he's knocking him down because of age but I have to think because teams are desperate to add QBs that he'll go higher than the 4th round.

CraigM,

I've learned long ago it fruitless explaining anything to you. Because of your poor comprehension and analytical skills. It only places you in even more of a mental bind. Thanks for stopping by! LOL

University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow became the first underclassman in NCAA history to obtain the coveted Heisman Trophy.
Posted by: In God We Trust | March 22, 2012 at 01:06 PM

Not that it matters much, but, this isn't true...

Craig,

YG has a little weasel brain. I was stoned when I made him too.


Google Tannehill's stats. He looks more like the 2nd coming of Henne than anything else right now.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | March 22, 2012 at 01:00 PM

Henne re-wrote Michigan record books. Won titles and Bowl Games. He never got his Coaches fired.

Tannehill? He plain sucks. He did none of the things Henne did in College.

Nice comparison there Einstein. NOT-LOL.

Weedon's the real deal people!

What the HELL kind of lyrics are "Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care?"

Who is Jimmy? And if you DON'T care about him "cracking corn" then why on Earth are you SINGING about it??

Absolutely ridiculous.

Mando, can’t find any more thrash to sink the Fins with so you are now going after Long?

Pathetic!

HuH?,

If Henne's better than Tannehill as you suggest. My deepest appologies to you sir! LOL

Great explanation, YG. If you don't want to explain it to me, maybe you can explain it to everyone else. Makes no sense. I'll leave, so you can explain it without my comments...

Cheers!


State Senator Josiah Klemp at 01:14 PM,

You have to remember, songs like "Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care?" came along before you guys illegalized drugs. Remember? LOL

Ummm Tannehill ran a version of the WCO in college. He had an awful cast as far as WR's. Fuller is ok but he was injured most of his SR yr.

Weeden did not have the benefit of playing in a pro system in college so he'll have more to learn in that regard than Cousins and Tannehill.

I don't think you can judge accuracy of a QB from college to NFL by statistics at all. That is why I included Dan Marino's stats from his sr year. He was an awful college QB if you look at his stats.

Now with all that said, I just hope we land 1 of these 3 QB's. I don't care where.
Tannehill
Weeden
Cousins

"Jimmy crack corn and I dont care" sounds as if our generation wasnt the first to experience a crack cocaine epidemic.

I guess our generation can be considered "second hand smokers". Crackheads rule the world, ask CraigM. LOL

And homey the human nutsack, its been 80 plus degrees in Toronto all week, what's the point?

How, HOW, is it that the Dolphins are in the bottom five of all teams cash outlays for player compensation, BUT nearly at the limit of the salary cap? Is this poor personnel/drafting related or what?

The Dolphins have cut talent this offseason so far. They have so many needs at so many key positions that the draft probably will not address all of these needs. Everyone here knows this is year FIVE of a rebuild.

Long is a huge injury risk as this post by Amando notes. I'll repeat what a few others have said -- considering trading Long if possible. In no way shape or form should a long-term deal be done before the end of the current season.

The issue with Long shows what a mistake it was not to sign Winston, whose contract looks quite reasonable compared to the numbers mentioned for Long.

The Dolphins are losing money, losing games, losing fans, losing media attention, and losing quality players because of the QB position.

Not offering more for RGIII may be the Dolphins' biggest mistake since not taking Matt Ryan, Aaron Rogers, or Drew Brees

The price to draft one of the top QB's next year isn't going to be cheaper, especially if the Dolphins finish 8-8 or so. The Dolphins may as well trade some of the talent they have to stockpile picks for next year and to 'Barf for Barkley'.

Getting 'value' QB has cost the Dolphins serious money for the past decade in lost revenues and lost opportunity.

Craig, I can understand casserlys view but I think its dated. As we saw last year, the qb cupboard was ran entirely bare by the midpoint of the second round. And I don't think there was anyone with weedens upside selected after the tenth pick.

If Weeden is picked later than the mid point of the second round, I will be very shocked.

Texas,

Marino's accaracy was around 65%. Marino's gift wasnt how deadly consistently accurate he was. It was the lightning quick release and he threw one of the best deepballs in nfl history.

There were qb's more accurate than Marino during his day. But none came close to throwing a better deep ball. Plus he was a nightmare to sack because of his lightning release.

I think you should wake and appologize to Marino for mentioning Dan's name in the same breath, or to try and make a case for Tannehill.

@Toronto Mark - good clarification on that, thanks

Heck, if we're drafting Tannehill, we may as well kept Henne to learn the wco. We may have come out slightly better! LOL

John Elway was better at everything Marino did, including accuracy and arm strength. Plus he won superbowls unlike Marino, so what made Marino better than Elway now?

Home please get off Tebows T-Bags already.

The only point you manage to get across is that you'd gladly take it in the face from him.

It couldn't be more obvious. If Tebow got on his knees, you'd be right there on your elbows.

Sick pig, Blow AWAY!


home, what happened to your statement early that manning will be a fin ?

Posted by: cocacjoe | March 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

------------------------------------------------------
Stop and desist using my screen name. If you think altering the spelling will get by Mando, you're wrong....I have emailed him.

Home couldn't have been more wrong about Manning.

Now he's doing it again with T-Bags.

This Home guy never gets anything right. Even his aliases are wrong-LOL.

Clue,

Get one!

Like Marino, Elway never had a real run game until his last 3-4 season. So like Marino until that point never won a sb.

However, unlike Marino, Elway always had a much better defense. Thus still able to appear in those sb's that he lost. But just as it did Dan, the lack of running game resulted in losses those sb's.

Marino was clearly the better qb, Elway clearly always had a overall better supporting cast. Hope you got a clue now sir.

Again the good folks of So Fla miss the point. At least the Falcons have a chance to advance in the playoffs... I truly weep for the future of this franchise and this city. The dumb index is WAY off the charts here.

Posted by: RG3 | March 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Ding Ding Ding!

If I was Ireland. I would propose the following trade to the Colts for the first pick in the Draft to secure Andrew Luck. According to most experts, he is the best QB PROSPECT TO COME OUT OF THE NCAA IN THE LAST 10 YEARS and considered the most pro-ready of the bunch. I like RG3, but he is more likely to be injury prone due to his style of play. I would trade 2012 1st, Matt Moore, 2012 3rd, 2013 and 2014 1st round picks. AND YES he is well worth it for a chance a franchise QB for the next 10-13 years.

CraigM,
I've learned long ago it fruitless explaining anything to you. Because of your poor comprehension and analytical skills. It only places you in even more of a mental bind. Thanks for stopping by! LOL

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone | March 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM

Pennington and Tebow both made it to the playoffs.

So what?

Ding, ding, DING BAT.

Ryan had completely better teams too.

So what you're REALLY saying is you want a barely average QB. A Henne type.....right?

Yeah and you call people stupid-LOL?

Ireland will try to low ball him just like he does with everyone else. Most likely will get the TAG. FIRELAND NOW

Could Ross.ireland have found a worse coaching staff? LOL

This is exactly why signing Eric Winston was a MUST move. The fact of the matter is we do not know if Long would even stay healthy (that's on Ireland too, no GM allows a lame duck coach to ran to the ground his best player in one leg in a 0-7 start that ended in season ending surgury (DUH!!!), he should have gone to the IR at that point.

One can play arm chair GM all day, the truth is we don't know how this year would play out but signing Winston would have been a nice insurance to fall back to keeping the line decent and drafting an OL this year or next, and to add much needed protection to whoever is throwing the ball.

TigerSam,

Not to worry, we find out soon enough if Long's resigned or extended before season's end. The drafting or not drafting Reilly Reiff should be the tell-tell.

WOW! Blog has become sad because of this home bozo!

PS, don't worry about Long. Ireland will find a way to trade him for a tackling dummy & a dozen sweaty gym socks!

Now that's value!

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