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Failing on in-season extensions sometimes a win, sometimes a loss

The Dolphins are on the clock between now and mid March when free agency kicks off because they have between 15-17 players that are unrestricted free agents that they can sign before the free agency market opens.

And I'm told the club hopes to get some deals done before the deadline, which is wise.

Of course, the club tried to get some deals done during the season and didn't exactly succeed there. As you read here last week, the only in-season contract the Dolphins signed in 2012 was locking up special teams and backup Jason Trusnik to a two-year extension.

I was told by one club official that in-season extensions are overrated. I was told the club is convinced players do not become more expensive.

Well sometimes that is true. And sometimes that is false.

Before the 2010 season, Paul Soliai asked his agent if he (the agent) thought he could get Soliai a $2 million-a-year contract. The agent, David Canter, said he'd try. Canter and the Dolphins danced around all season on a contract extension even as Soliai worked himself into the starting unit and then started playing well.

Miami's contract offers were consistently behind the curve of how their player was performing. And that hurt the team in the wallet because after the season the Dolphins ended up putting the franchise tag on Soliai to keep him from going into free agency. That cost Miami a $12 million cap hit.

And before the 2011 season Soliai ended up signing a deal that pays him $6 million per season. So, yes, a $2 million-a-year deal would have saved the team a ton of money and cap space over a three-season span -- $6 million over which Soliai would have initially been happy to get, compared to the $24 million he's actually costing. 

This season the results of Miami doing only one extension are mixed.

The club offered in-season extensions to Matt Moore, to Jake Long and to Brian Hartline. All were what agents would consider "low-ball" offers.

On Matt Moore, the team tried to lock him into a backup quarterback deal. Although no numbers were exchanged because the Dolphins were coy about that, the Moore camp decided it would be better off waiting until after the season because Moore is hoping to compete for a starting job somewhere.

So no deal resulted in this: Moore will hit free agency with the hope someone gives him a chance to compete for a starting job. The Dolphins could not offer that.

But Moore might have been convinced to sign a Miami extension if he'd gotten assuranes (incentives) that if he somehow took over the starting job -- through injury or other circumstance -- he'd be paid like a starting QB.

Didn't happen. So no deal.

I call the failure to do an extension here a push. It neither helped nor hurt the team.

The team also offered Long an extension well before he broke down (again) and finished the season on injured reserve. The offer, I'm told, was a handsome deal for most left tackles but for Long, who has been used to being the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL, it looked like a step backward.

He didn't take it.

Well, Long didn't play all that well in 2012 when he was healthy. The guy is diminished, no doubt about it. He used to do conditioning drills to start the season with linebackers. He can't do that anymore. He doesn't move like that anymore.

And, of course, Long eventually ended up on injured reserve for the second consecutive year.

So now the Dolphins have a better body of evidence of what their player is, rather than what he was. Early in the year, the team could convince itself that Long was irreplaceable and valuable and that his recent injury history was happenstance.

But Long added another injury to that history, making it seem more like a trend, and when he went out, the Dolphins replaced him with relatively no problem. Rookie Jonathan Martin did not play at a Pro Bowl level taking over at left tackle. But neither did the offensive line fall apart without Long.

(By the way, Long wasn't playing at a Pro Bowl level before he got hurt).

And going forward, the club has a solid idea that Martin can get much better through offseason weight-training and conditioning, experience, and a full training camp at LT. So Long, who still wants to be paid like an elite left tackle is a luxury.

I call the failure to do an in-season extension with Long a blessing. He's not as good as he believes he is anymore. He's not worth the kind of contract he was holding out for, given that I don't see him getting better and more healthy as the injuries stack up. This one was a win that offers the team wiggle room to either retain Long at its price (unlikely) or let him walk to a team that needs a left tackle and is willing to pay handsomely for Long's reputation (more likely).

The team offered Hartline an extension early in the season. The receiver, through his agent Drew Rosenhaus, has been trying to get an extension since 2011. The Dolphins rebuffed those overtures and I understand why: Hartline was a complementary player and could seemingly be replaced cheaply in the draft.

But this year, given a greater opportunity, Hartline posted a breakout year. He was probably the most consistent and best weapon for the Miami offense. (Yes, Reggie Bush started well and finished strong but he was absent the middle part of the season).

Last year when Hartline wanted an extension, he could have cost the Dolphins between $2 million a year. Earlier this year, he could have been signed for $3 million a year.

The price is much higher than that now.

Hartline performed despite missing all of the offseason camps and training camp. He had a breakout year with a new offense and rookie quarterback. He's 26 years old and entering his prime. He's likely going to get better but certainly isn't going to decline.

The Dolphins cannot replace him easily in the draft anymore. Frankly, no rookie receiver is going to walk in and be able to play all three WR positions, show good hands, go for 1,000 yards and have a 14.6 yard per catch average. Just doesn't happen unless the rookie's a freak.

In this case, the failure to do an extension with Hartline will cost the team more money and cap space assuming Miami opts to re-sign him.

So three players. Three in-season contract extension offers. The Dolphins won big on not signing Long, lost big on not signing Hartline and pushed on Moore.

 

Comments

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Look at any successful team that have left tackles supposedly not at the stature of Jake Long. Their tackles look good because the QB knows how to escape the pressure and get the ball away early, and the offense is successful on early downs. So you can survive in the NFL with a Martin playing LT for the Phins IMO if Tannehill continues to develop and mature and we get more playmakers on offense.

Kris wants AJ?

Is that the same Kris that wanted Donovan McNab and Herm Jive Edwards?

It is very probable that Hartline is faster than he appears.

I'm speaking for Kris here (he'll correct me, I'm sure). Kris, wants anyone other than Jeff Ireland. I GET the frustration, I REALLy do. I just don't put the last 20+ years of frustration at Jeff Ireland's door. It's ridiculous! (not directed at you Kris). EVERY teams fans out there have issues with either their GM or coach or both but when you cut through it all, Jeff Irelands track record over the last two years isn't ANY worse than anyone elses. It's not. On top of that we have a TREMENDOUS opportunity here to strengthen this team this offseason, and I'm hoping that Philbin and Sherman are going to add to that process.

I GUARANTEE you that Philbin is excited about the prospects of what lie ahead, rather than doom and gloom about the last 20 years.

Armando, let's assume Long walks, and Martin is the LT. Are they thinking of keeping Jerry at RG, or would he go over to RT? And would they draft another lineman? HOPEFULLY not early? Do you get the sense Ireland understands the first 3-4 draft picks need to be pass-rusher, WR, TE, CB, S (no particular order)?

"I didn't think the line played well against the Niners either. How many sacks did they give up that day? Four? Five? I don't remember that game well enough but I think we may have ran the ball OK. You'll correct me if it was good."

Craig,

Actually Tannehill was sacked twice in that game for 17 yards. Aldon Smith lit up Martin on one play & I don't recall the other one.

Bush had 14 carries for 65 yards, Thomas/Miller had 5 carries for 4 yards, & Tannehill had 3 carries for 25 yards.

BTW--That was ON THE ROAD against the best defense in the NFL.

Also, I agree with Mando, the Soliai decision (not to pay him the 2mil) was HORRIBLE! EVERYONE KNEW we needed him for run-stopping, and he WAS improving. That was a big mistake.

Armando, speaking of Bush, any chance Miami re-signs him? Great work ethic, great leadership...Wants to play in Miami...I mean, I know Miller has potential but Thomas sucks...Major bust that we traded up for on top of it...Any chance he stays?

Kris, have to disagree on Smith. He drafted some talent, but lately hasn't been that great. That team also lost a lot of good players to FA over the years. Sproles walking KILLED that team. Also, he didn't draft Rivers :P (technically)

Craig, Long is probably walking. Martin did fine at LT. Long himself got bull rushed over a few times this year, so how is the younger/cheaper/not injured guy a step back? Long won't take a very big pay cut, why would he? Why would anyone?

DC Dolfan,

It wasnt that big of a mistake. THe fins are 40 million under the cap.

Great Post, Mando.

We Can Agree to Disagree. The Only Player On That List Worth Resigning is Jake. M&M isn't worth it. Hartline Is OK, but he will never be Good Or Great. Average at Best.

Reggie Bush Is No Better In A Dolphin Uniform! Than Karim Abdul Jabbar! The RB!! They Both Only had 1-1000yd season. If Dashi is Not Mistaken!!

Oh, and Check Your Boy. He has been Posting Under Dashi's Name the Last 3 Days! DROPPING IGNORANCE!!

Just Cause Dashi Isn't Posting! Doesn't Mean Dashi isn't reading The Comments!!

Long will be a detriot lion next year.

Christ Armando, saying the o line got better by posting those numbers against Buffalo and Jax?? Those were two homes games against the 30 and 31 run defenses in the NFL.

The first game against Buffalo was a Thursday nighter on the road where visiting teams underperformed all year across the NFL.

I wouldn't hang my hat on that.

The two times they played against competent defenses without Long - they were decimated - completely destroyed.

So 'rebuilding' means lets get rid of 27 year old players. So why then are we adding guys that are 26, 27, 28 years old in FA. Not getting your logic.

Craig,

No. REBUILDING means getting rid of players that are declining in production & making too much money. 27 is NOT old by NFL standards but in Jake's case his body is breaking down which is why he was on IR & missed a quarter of the season.

Hartline is 26 but unlike Long--his production improved this season. He also played through injuries which Sherman pointed out & that's why he's a player you can actually REBUILD with.

Continuity, I have learned, is important. Look at it from this point of view, NOBODY can be worse for this Team than Sparano was. I'm full of Hope.

Ireland seems to go into a draft with shopping list. He wants certain positions and will leave with what he came in after. So he isn't targeting specific players in the draft just positions and he maybe jumps at someone if he sees major value there (Lamar Miller?). He should know WHO he is after on draft day, not just what position and in what round. That's my problem with Ireland's draft methodology as I see it as a fan. My concern is he isn't getting enough information to make informed decisions on players like I believe he should and that could be bad or insufficient scouting, and/or incorrect talent assessments by Ireland himself.

Slam, it's ALWAYS a mistake when you overpay, especially for a guy who doesn't score or sack the QB or intercept passes, etc. Soliai is a run-stopper, very important, but ultimately not the most important piece. So saving 18 mil might have allowed us to get some more weapons THIS year. Those weapons might be given us 1-2 more wins, and we'd be in the Playoffs right now (which I won't re-hash lest someone asks Craig if that would have been a good thing).

"But I still think he can be a useful guy on this team (maybe at RT) AT THE RIGHT PRICE."

Craig,

Why would you make Long a RT when he's never been considered a great run blocker??? His 'calling card' for his first three seasons was his ability to pass protect. That was hardly the case this year.

WHDP, 11:46AM, exactly. Right on...

CommonSense,

I agree if the price is too high for Long we have to let him walk. But I don't think any of us know the answer to that right now. Long was paid $57.5 mil on his rookie contract over 5 years. He's not hurting for money. So I wouldn't think his sole motivating factor would be money.

If Detroit or Chicago or Arizona wants to pay him as a top 3 LT and that's where he wants to go, then good luck to him but again we don't know any of that right now.

Dashi is FOSuchi. Later.

The one thing we can count on is Ireland screwing things up. lol

CommonSense....

I get that not everybody would love the idea of AJ Smith comming here...and it's true he has had a rough strech these last couple of years....but that could also be tied to drafting for a new HC who apperantly had no idea what he needed or wanted....as the Chargers decciled just about every year under Norv Turner....

The FLIP-SIDE of hat maybe that there are some real GEMS in SD that coudn't perform under Norv Turner's stewardship....and may have break-out season's in the near future...time will tell...

The list is hard to dispute...and there are a LOT of PRO-BOWLERS...and @ least one HOFer on that list....

Since Ross is insistent on Ireland getting his one last shot....then perhaps Smith sits out this year....and then throws his hat into the fray next year....the down-side of that is that means Philbin will most likely be gone as well....and we don't need that in Miami....

Darkoak, So you are in the war room? Straight opinion man.

Again WHDPs,

He's only overpaid if he's asking for too much money. We don't know what that figure is right now.

And again with the 'body breaking down' stuff. Injuries don't mean a guys body is breaking down. If he was 34 years old and never able to get healthy again, I would agree with you but I don't believe that's the case here. Many LTs in the league have injuries, including Ryan Cady, and I'd hardly say 'his body is breaking down'.

Isn't it really about you don't want money spent at the LT position, reagrdless of whether it's $6-8 mil a year and want that money spent on playmakers ONLY?

Haha, to say Martin got lit up by Aldon Smith is an understatement .... hahaa, DJ Jazzy Jeff out the front door is more like it. he was OWNED!

Well DC, if its always a mistake when you overpay, any WR or CB signed in free agency will be a mistake. you always overpay in Free agency. And SOlia is a BIG reason Miami is a great run defense. See all those 4th down stops miami gets...hes the reason. THat counts as a turnover too.

Craig M is sick. He has Chronic Wrongness.

Armando, let's assume Long walks, and Martin is the LT. Are they thinking of keeping Jerry at RG, or would he go over to RT? And would they draft another lineman? HOPEFULLY not early? Do you get the sense Ireland understands the first 3-4 draft picks need to be pass-rusher, WR, TE, CB, S (no particular order)?

DC,

We have draft eleven picks. Yes we need to address all of the positions you mentioned either through the draft or FA but I don't understand why you would mind if we take an O-lineman early. Every team that has balance on offense is predicated on the strength of their O-line. Watch NE or the Broncos or the Redskins or the Seahawks or the Niners.

Then there are the exceptions like the Colts or the Packers who don't have great O-lines. This is why they struggle to run the ball & force their QB to win every single game for them. You can squeak into the playoffs with some luck but you can't win a SB that way.

Dont expect to replace Jake Long with anyone near as good. LT will be a hole to be filled if he's gone. Martin gets eaten alive at LT. Its also a wasted #1 draft pick.

Long will get paid top dollar Craig M, but hopefully not by us. It's too much money to put in the line and we will need to pay Pouncey big money once his rookie deal is done. Finding OL in the draft sounds smarter, as we need the money this offseason for offensive weapons and other free agent help.

Kris, I'll concede that if Ireland messes this situation up (which he put us in and is pretty good) then he deserves to go. I think he has been a pretty good GM actually, just takes a lot of the blame for stuff that was before him. Dolphins fans are angry, thats fine but imo it is missplaced. Not saying he walks on water, but could be much worse (Jets, Jags, etc, etc).

Maybe Smith as a scout? Obviously the guy can spot talent. Not sure he is a great GM though (he can get guys in, but rarely keeps them). He brought in Norv too, so thats his own fault.

Kris,

You and I go back and forth on this stuff a lot. I don't get why you are saying that Smith's lack of success the last few years might have been a result of Turner's coaching and yet you don't make the same point when talking about Ireland


'and his time here witbut that could also be tied to drafting for a new HC who apperantly had no idea what he needed or wanted....as the Chargers decciled just about every year under Norv Turner....'

Doesn't that last part really describe Sparano to a T? What am I missing here, Kris? Is it because you don't like Ireland as a PERSON?....cause if it is, I gotta tell you, AJ Smith isn't the nicest of guys either.

Mark, I'd hardly call giving up two sacks while averaging 4.3 rushing yards vs. SF (you know, the NFL's No. 1 defense) getting completely destroyed.

You can spin all you want about Thursday nite game or whatever. I saw Long jacked up twice in that Thursday nite game against Buffalo and they were the NO. 32 run defense in the NFL when they kicked off that night.

I didn't see the Dolphins plow the Titans the week before, either. And that game was on a Sunday. At home. Against the then-No. 32 defense in the NFL.

Bottom line: If you watched this season and think Jake Long is still a cornerstone piece of the ballclub that cannot be replaced by Martin, and must be re-signed for $8-$10 million per year, then I'm glad you are not the Dolphins GM.

He's only overpaid if he's asking for too much money. We don't know what that figure is right now.

And again with the 'body breaking down' stuff. Injuries don't mean a guys body is breaking down. If he was 34 years old and never able to get healthy again, I would agree with you but I don't believe that's the case here. Many LTs in the league have injuries, including Ryan Cady, and I'd hardly say 'his body is breaking down'.

Isn't it really about you don't want money spent at the LT position, reagrdless of whether it's $6-8 mil a year and want that money spent on playmakers ONLY?

Craig,

No. That's not it at all. I have no problems paying a LT top money if he's worth it.

Regardless of whether Jake was willing to take a major pay cut--I still don't want Long back b/c I don't think he's a good LT anymore. He's also not a good fit in Philbin's zone blocking scheme b/c he's not the athletic freak he used to be.

Long used to play with a nasty streak & a toughness where if he got beat (which was pretty rare) he would dominate those guys the rest of the game. I did not see that guy playing LT this season.

I am now in accord with letting Long walk if they cannot retain him for current market value(his stats this year)It is time to begin to reverse the salary profile of the team that has an offensive lineman making more than the players that make the plays to score points or cause and get turnovers.This was started by Bill Parcells and it only worked in his era which was the 80s.In the free agency era and with the pass friendly rules of the NFL in 2012-2013, its not building the team acoording to the state of the art.The team needs to pay more for the players that directly make the plays that score points and win the game.I dont know which positions are considered the most valuable to a team now other than the obvious QB,but I got to think WRs and TEs is going to be a position that is more of a necessity and thus the salary for each will increase going forward.

CommonSense....

I agree...he doesn'tkeep the talent that he initially aquired....

That could be due to his (reported) abrasive personality...and guys can't wait to split....or it could be due to the owner not wanting to pay what is necessary to keep these guys....

@ the end of the day....NO TEAM would be able to afford HALF the names on that list after they're rookie contract...no capologist would be able to work around that problem....so that has to factor in as well....

For now...we ride with Ireland...I just hope Ross is already working on a back-up plan thru other channels...would love to hear that Philbin and Ross were flying around the country to meet with other potential GMs.....

Kris,

Further to CommonSenses point, what is it about Smith that causes him to get into standoffs with many of his players come contract time. He did it with LT, he did it with Merriman, I believe Rivers was late signing his rookie contract (pre-seaon had already started I believe and he missed his chance to beat Brees out for the job) and he did it with VJax. So while I believe a big part of the job is the drafting of talent and you've done a good job showing he's good at that IMO, what good is it, if you alienate the guys and don't actually have them on the field when it counts? I believe tha Chargers should have been better than they were and while lots will blame the coaching, I believe some of that has to fall on Smith too.

I agree with Armando the Bills loss was the night I saw a Dolphins without Jake Long in my mind. He got blown up by Shawn Merriman pulling on a running play, completely taken out on that play.

WHDP, very easy answer. THIS team should NOT draft a lineman early because that's what we've done 4-of-the-last-5 years, and what has that gotten us? Long, Odrick, Pouncey, Martin. While the team was SCREWING AROUND trying to get the oline right (which has, count 'em, THREE EARLY-ROUND DRAFT PICKS), teams like the Falcons were stacking SKILL POSITION players, and lo and behold, they're the #1 team in the NFC, made the Playoffs 4-out-of-5 years, and we're stuck in mediocrity.

Every team you mentioned having "balance" has skill position players. WRs, RBs, TEs. Redskins had ignored their oline so long (before drafting Trent Williams) fans were up in arms (I know, I hear it every day). Instead, they were drafting Fred Davis and a bunch of WRs (only Hankerson is sorta panning out) because Shanahan is smart enough to know, if you don't have skill position players, then you DON'T NEED AN OLINE.

LEARN dude. A Miami fan who wants to draft an olineman early is either retarded or insane (doing the same thing expecting a different result). Which are you?

Mark,

I have to agree with Armando about the game in Buffalo. I saw it live with my own two eyes. The Bills defence was in the Miami backfield all night and it was pitiful! Long was a part of that but NONE of the guys played well.

WHDPs, thanks for the clarification on Long. So what would your plan be then for the OL. I still have questions on Martin. Sounds like you don't. What would you do at RT?

hartline should get a deal similar to jordy nelson in GB. 5m/year


Two sacks by the Niners, Craig.

Abd Reggie was healthy all year except for a couple of weeks after the first Jets game.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | January 04, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Armando,

Thanks for posting the facts...


I don't understand why the press is so high on Martin. He was decent value in the 2nd round but a diminished Long is still WAY better than Martin - and as other readers havepointed out that still leaves us with another hole at RT. I like Martin, but he needs a lot of work - he just doesn't have the strength to deal with the bull rush yet - OR the technique to deal with the speed rush for that matter. He'll be good once he does but that may be 1-2 years from now.

I'm also not sure that Long is done. He's been playing hurt for the last two years. MCL sprains and triceps tears will definitely hurt your play, but they aren't usually chronic issues and don't mean that he's breaking down physically. Jake is still young - I would tag him for a year, let him heal over the offseason, and see how he plays next year. I'd hate to see him walk and regain his Pro Bowl form elsewhere.

"Mark, I'd hardly call giving up two sacks while averaging 4.3 rushing yards vs. SF (you know, the NFL's No. 1 defense) getting completely destroyed.

You can spin all you want about Thursday nite game or whatever. I saw Long jacked up twice in that Thursday nite game against Buffalo and they were the NO. 32 run defense in the NFL when they kicked off that night.

I didn't see the Dolphins plow the Titans the week before, either. And that game was on a Sunday. At home. Against the then-No. 32 defense in the NFL.

Bottom line: If you watched this season and think Jake Long is still a cornerstone piece of the ballclub that cannot be replaced by Martin, and must be re-signed for $8-$10 million per year, then I'm glad you are not the Dolphins GM."

Mando,

Against the Bills, against the Colts, against the Raiders, against the Texans, against the Titans, against the Cardinals, etc....

Where were the 'good games' from Long where Tannehill wasn't getting killed??? There's NO WAY that Phiblin a former O-line coach who knows that protecting Tannehill is the future of this team is going to risk his HC career on a player that is coming off his worst season as a pro.

You guys can spin this any way you want--if Long isn't gone from Miami then this organization hasn't learned a damn thing. I pray that Ireland learned his lesson from signing Jake Grove, Smiley, & Vernon Carey.

I agree with KingShula that OL can be schemed and coached and you pay top dollar for what you can't scheme and coach, like a receiver that can beat double coverage, or a Defensive end that can beat a double team, or a three down back.

First of all Mando, SF was not the #1 defense in the league if you are talking yards. that was Pittsburgh. San Francisco was #3 and that is still very good no doubt. It's not only the number of sacks, it's the pressures, it's the hurries, it's having to keep another guy into block because your left tackle could get bull rushed by Tedd Ginn (don't say I'm exaggerating too much because he did get bull rushed by a CB against NE). They did get beat up front against SF easily whether you want to quote the two sacks or not - that is just part of the story.

I'm not syaing Jake should get assigned a cap hit of $12M per annum -I'm saying the opposite actually. But there is no way you can convince me ... money aside that the talent is better talent wise with Jake not in there. If he wants to get paid $10M+ (which I only think guys of the Fitzgerald Peterson ilk should get - you know true irreplaceables ) then that's a different matter. but letting him walk does create a sizeable hole in the roster that shoudl be corrected with a sizeable investment either by a high draft pick or expensive free agent. So we will have to dedicate to the OL with or without Jake. The line as it stands is a joke without him.


Long aside, regarding Moore I cannot see paying him top dollar to back up. The reality is that if you are playing a back qb you are already in trouble. Why not just elevate Devlin if you think he is worth it? Otherwise, what is the use of keeping a perenial 3rd qb? How much can you really love the guy if he is always third, never plays or gets the necessary reps to improve?

I didnt mean in Parcells era he paid O-Linemaen the best on his teams I meant he valued them the most when building a team.It dosent matter how well ONE offensive lineman blocks in the pass game you are only as good as your weakest link.The offensive line should all be good and not have one player making a lot more than the rest of his line mates.The line has to work together as a unit and they should be paid accordingly.The NFL is not a rushing league like it was in the Parcells era it is a Passing league.I wont be surprised if a passing team wins this years super bowl after all which teams in the playoffs are considered running teams or defensive teams?

Kris,

I Know You Hate Ireland as Much As I Hate Dansby!!

But AJ Smith and Pioli! And Any Other GM that Got Cut Recently! Got Major Flaws! They Have Either Lost it as a Talent Evaluator! Or Suck at Hiring Coaches!! Sometimes Both!

A Good Coach Helps A GM Out!! So If Your GM is Good! He Will Not Just Find The Right Players! He Will Find The Right Coach!

Now, Dashi Knows You Know Your Fin History!

Sporano was never Ireland's Choice! Ireland Originally wanted Rex! But Parcells Wanted a Puppet!

=================================================================

Mando, you are probably out. But If You Can answer 1 Question for me.

Is Philbin The Most Honest(Integrity) Coach The Fins Have had Since Shula?

JJ was Honest With The Players, don't know if he was the same with the media!

Wannstedt, wasn't!

Saban was/is as Honest as Satan!

CC, was a Sissy! and A Religious Heretic!

Spo, was about as bad as Saban!! Except He Never said anything of substance! He Would Just Spew Useless Statistics! And Never Trusted Him! With The Shades All The Time!

Philbin, has Shown He has Integrity From Day 1! I know some are Suspect of Any Dolphin Coach! But Philbin has shown he is a Man of His Word!!

And Thanks for Pointing Out Philbin Doesn't Play With Player Injuries!

DANSBY WASN'T REALLY HURT!!

Else, Why When Dansby Went On His Radio rant about the team!! The Next Game his arm was Magically Healed!!

Philbin Probably Told Dansby Closed Door! If You Are Really Injured I will put yo On IR!! Dansby Probably Dropped Down and did 10 Pushups!! Showing The Coach He Was OK!!

Dansby has NO INTEGRITY!! And It Shows On The Field!! He Doesn't Help out the rest of "HIS" Defense!!

DC,

So you don't want a tackle taken early. But what do you consider early? Would you be OK with our second third round pick as an example?

It's OK to say Long isn't worth it guys and that's fine but you see need an OL to play in this league. Bears struggle with it this year, as did the Cards, as did the Jets, as did the Lions. You've still got be able to give your QB time in the pocket to do the things you're paying him to do. So to me there are still questions at LT and to just stick ANYBODY at RT isn't the answer. There's got to be a better plan than that.

Armando,

You gotta remember most here are not only dolfans, they are also dolfan player "ROMANTICS". Some here refuse to recognize when player skulls decline. They fall in love "with player names", not "thier current level of play".

Im about having a winning team and in accomplishing that "primary goal" I dont give a damn who has to walk. If Ireland can not accomplish assembling a team that can do this in 2013, Ireland needs to be handed his "ghetto pass" too.

Mark 12:17pm,

Very well said. I don't think any of us are saying 'pay top dollar' to keep Long but I also don't agree with guys like WHDPs that Long is DONE.

It would be just TYPICAL of this team to FINALLY get some playmakers on the time and not be able to allow the QB to find the time to make the plays. That's the risk this team will be playing going back to playing Russian roulette with the OL. I believe that's where we are headed.

The fact that this entire blog has been spent discussing Long and Martin is exactly why this team is mediocre. 2 guys who don't touch the ball. Miami gave up 34 sacks, 14th in the league. THE LINE ISN'T THE PROBLEM FOLKS. We had a 1,000 yd WR with ONE TD! During Week 17, we were playing a rag tag no-name WR-core. The WR unit overall had fewer TDs than some CORNERBACKS/LINEBACKERS!

Let's talk about what REALLY matters. Let's talk about WRs/TEs/pass-rushers/CBs. Let's MATTER AGAIN!

Unless you jokers want the best line in the league on a team that consistently is sub .500.

Mark I think Long leaving can have it's negative impact mitigated seeing as we have Martin and the coaching staff can work with him this off-season. Losing a talent like Long is difficult but seeing his Pro Bowl pedigree, draft position, and past contract his agent will be going for the gold this time and Jake will want to get paid. No way he stays for less money than the market will pay him unless he does not want to leave Miami or he thinks we're close to contending for a title and that's more important to him than money.

IMO I think the league sees Jake the way you do, that he can fill a hole in a definite way on the O-line. Hopefully we can use that to get max value for him in a trade after we tag him.


No. REBUILDING means getting rid of players that are declining in production & making too much money. 27 is NOT old by NFL standards but in Jake's case his body is breaking down which is why he was on IR & missed a quarter of the season.

Hartline is 26 but unlike Long--his production improved this season. He also played through injuries which Sherman pointed out & that's why he's a player you can actually REBUILD with.

Posted by: We Have Draft Picks | January 04, 2013 at 11:46 AM

WHDP,

Great post....

This is the type of move successful teams seem to make quite often. They know when the time is right to let a player walk....

Even a player like Jake Long.


Bottom line: If you watched this season and think Jake Long is still a cornerstone piece of the ballclub that cannot be replaced by Martin, and must be re-signed for $8-$10 million per year, then I'm glad you are not the Dolphins GM.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | January 04, 2013 at 12:02 PM

BOOM! LMAO Must be something about Canada for both of them to be so hung up on Long being so vital & Martin not being capable..

When Reality & the facts clearly tell you otherwise!

Mark, when I look at a defense -- better yet, when NFL people look at a defense -- the ultimate factor to judge is points allowed. Not yards allowed.

Games are won and lost on points score/allowed not yards gained/allowed.

And at the time the the Dolphins played SF, they were giving up the fewest points of anyone in the NFL. They were the No. 1 defense in the NFL because they were giving up the fewest points. Ultimately, they finished No. 2 to Seattle.

Check my next comment re: talent being better without Jake in there.

"WHDP, very easy answer. THIS team should NOT draft a lineman early because that's what we've done 4-of-the-last-5 years, and what has that gotten us? Long, Odrick, Pouncey, Martin. While the team was SCREWING AROUND trying to get the oline right (which has, count 'em, THREE EARLY-ROUND DRAFT PICKS), teams like the Falcons were stacking SKILL POSITION players, and lo and behold, they're the #1 team in the NFC, made the Playoffs 4-out-of-5 years, and we're stuck in mediocrity.

Every team you mentioned having "balance" has skill position players. WRs, RBs, TEs. Redskins had ignored their oline so long (before drafting Trent Williams) fans were up in arms (I know, I hear it every day). Instead, they were drafting Fred Davis and a bunch of WRs (only Hankerson is sorta panning out) because Shanahan is smart enough to know, if you don't have skill position players, then you DON'T NEED AN OLINE.

LEARN dude. A Miami fan who wants to draft an olineman early is either retarded or insane (doing the same thing expecting a different result). Which are you?"

DC,

I think you're missing something. The draft picks of Long, Odrick, Pouncey, & Martin were not the problem. The REAL problem were the picks like Merling, Henne, Pat White, Turner, Gates, & trading up for D. Thomas.

Long was the right pick at the right time. It's not the GM or personnel department's fault if a guy who wasn't injury prone starts to break down. It happens & there's not an NFL scout in the world who didn't think that Jake Long was an ELITE prospect. You want to live in the past & cry that we should have taken Matt Ryan then go right ahead. Matt Ryan would have been a bust here in Miami with the team & the coaching staff we had. Henning & Sparano were jokes!!!

It sucks that Long's body has betrayed him b/c he was on his way to being one of the greats but now it's time to move on & rebuild.

I think Long is still young and has more possibility of retaining the form he once had as the highest paid O-lineman in the league,so having stated that, he should take some risk himself and sign a contract that will pay him incentively if he does reaquire his prvious form.I dont think they should pay him up front but with incentives.I know he and his agent will probably want to get paid upfront so I think it is likely that he is gone.

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