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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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LOL,

Is there a REASON you can't have a rationale conversation with people without calling them names? in your world, is it not OK for people to disagree on points.

Not even going to bother reading your post.....cheers!

Armando kinda stole my thinder @ 1:04....

but the point is the same....and is consistent...

Kris, on your last point, we are connected at the hip. We've been preaching it all along. Ever since you've come onto the blog. The path has been lit in neon lights people, it's just some (including the GM) chose not to see the forest through the trees.

LOL, your indictment of Jonathan Martin suggests he drove home from camp after the season and will lay in bed while residing in a cave the next nine months until the 2013 season begins.

That is not what will happen.

The Dolphins will begin their offseason strength and conditioning program in March and it will run for 12 weeks. At the end of the time, the pudgy, gooey rookie you saw get manhandled last year will have a different body. He'll be stronger both in the upper and lower body and that will help his punch and balance.

He was not part of that program last year.

He will also go to all the offseason camps and go to training camp and get every LT snap. That did not happen last year, either.

What you saw from Martin was a 23-year-old rookie thrust to LT and use the techniques he had to mostly remember from college. He was a C-minus LT the last four games of the season.

I believe with work this offseason, weight-training, conditioning, minicamps, a full training camp, coaching and maturity, Martin can be a B-caliber LT. Now you have me on record.

Craig,

With you it's pointless. You are an arrogant, egotistical, moronic tool, like #1 eloquently said yesterday.

No one can have a convo with you because you're not interested in making points, you're interested in being right all the time!

Go p*ss in your cheerios!

What most of you are failing to realize is that when Defenses don't get to Brady it is due to him getting rid of the ball quickly. He has WR's that are open on every play. This makes his OLine look really good. There have been games that we've played against the Pats that I've seen him hit that last step and throw the ball on 90% of his attempts. No chance to sack a Qb when that happens.

When we get some playmakers in here that get open on a regular basis we will see the sacks drop.

Armando @ 1:06, I don't have a list of potential free agents in front of me that can play tackle but Matty mention Phil Loadholt a little while back. Winston Justice signed last year with KC for a nice contract. It would have to be someone of that type of ilk. We can't have Martin and Garner playing bookends next year.

And I do agree you need solid OTs and good playmakers but the problem is without Long - we don't have solid Ots.

At the end of the time, the pudgy, gooey rookie you saw get manhandled last year will have a different body. He'll be stronger both in the upper and lower body and that will help his punch and balance.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | January 04, 2013 at 01:17 PM

Mark, you GOTTA love that description! Gooey, Pudgy, just about sums it up right?

Have fun LOL....always a pleasure man....interesting that most of us on here can talk rationally even when we disagree. You obviously can not....

'One of these things is not like the others'....

Posted by: Armando Salguero | January 04, 2013 at 01:17 PM

Spare yourself. He wants you on record to make fun of you when you wind up being wrong. What you just posted makes far too much sense for him to grasp.

I applaud your effort to communicate with the mentally handicapped.

Completely agree with you on Garner, Mark.

Mando,

When T.Glenn Retired From INDY. Peytons Neck Got Injured! 3 Times!

NE had M.Light as a LT for The Last Decade!

The Giants Have A Pretty Good LT, But a Great LG!

They Make Movies About LT's!! "The Blind Side"

OK The Last One Was A Joke

But Still are You Trying To Say A LT is Not A Premium Position In Football?

I Understand Your Dismay with Jake. But to say LT's aren't Important! Is not right. I would say it's Egregious but that is to Strong a word.

Ask Joe Theisman If A LT wouldn't have saved His Career.

A Left Tackle Not Lawrence Taylor.

Regarding Mando's blog topic: In season extensions.

There's an old saying, penny wise and pound foolish. And we've seen this over and over. But the root cause I believe is, player evaluation. Or rather the lack of it.

Another comment from Mando: 'Bad management'....couldn't agree more.

I think you have to go with Luck as rookie of the year over RG3 & Wilson. The Colts don't have the O-line or the running game that the Seahawks & Redksins have. I think it MIGHT have been the best rookie season I've ever seen from a QB considering that he was drafted by a 2-14 team.

Sure Marino & Big Ben were NFL ready but they both had better teams. Seven come from behind wins as a rookie??? Luck put this team on his back!!! This kid is something special.

Mark, speaking of the investment into the NE line & how your fellow country man prasies it now.

Why don't you ask him who has spent the past year ridiculing Nate Solder for being crap?

I like people trying to have it both ways when it suits them! Funny ain't it?

Armando,

What is the status of Yeatman and do you see him taking over at RT? With the whole off season you mention that Martin will be heavily involved in.

Also Mando, can you confirm that Martin is a HARD-WORKER? Some here have suggested last few days that Martin's current weakened condition points to some biological fact that he can't grow muscles, or assumes he's not into weight-lifting.

Couldn't it be a possibility he was strong enough for college, and wasn't a "natural" gym rat, which might account for his weakness today? But that he's a hard-worker, and with a real desire to improve, and an offseason workout regimen, he WILL get stronger by next Season. Couldn't this also be true?

DC,

I'll remind you, when Colomobo was the RT for this team last year, you were the first to complain and curse about him for being a turnstile. I get that you want the playmakers but you've also got to have someone who can hold up playing line.

So that tells me that you put SOME value on OL play. I'll remind you that you didn't care to fix the line when Tannehill's getting killed next year.

LOL,

You STILL going on about me? I thought you were done.

Do you want a soapbox or are you finished yet?

Yeatman...Funny...When the Patriots pickup our trash they end up with Rob Ninkovich...We end up with Yeatman...

DC, if martin would've just put his big gulp and nachos down more in college and hit the gym, we wouldn't have this conversation. He was part of an elite program in college and didn't take it seriously. This is a big problem to me re: this man's working habits.

All credit to Mando, DC, #1 and others who are lobbying for more playmakers.

I'm sick and tired every offseason for the HC or GM trying to assemble the best LT,LG,C,RG and RT for our offensive Line and shy away from the most important pieces in todays NFL...PLAYMAKERS who actually score TD's!!

I know we have needs on the Defense but c'mon,lets get some decent Recievers,Tight Ends and try to score more than 18 points a game dammit.

Rant over lol

LOL,

Can you show me where I've EVER said Nate Solder is crap (this ought to be interesting).....

For the record, I've never mentioned Solder but have talked about the tackle in Chicago as not getting the job done. Might want to get your facts straight before you start calling people out.

Armando,

I agree 110% with your J-Mart assessment.

While others here are discussing J-Mart/Long, the real discussion should be how to address the entire right side of the oline. Not to even mention getting ahead of the curve of what could possible be a diminishing Incognito at LG.

IMO, Incognito may not be terrible next year, but I believe he's hit the point in his career where you see olinemen's play begin to go on the decline.

For once I also would like to see our fo get ahead of the curve to address oncoming problems, instead of waiting to address them when they become glaring.

If Incognito's play suddenly falls off of the table in 2013. We currently have "ZERO" answers on this roster to even remotely address it. The right side of the oline is a great offseason issue too. Jerry still isnt really the answer at RG and Garner at RT proved against the Pats he can look like the 2nd coming of "COLUMBO"!

Craig Big Mouthed M,

As long as you continue to act like a smug jackweed, I will continue to call you out on it.

IT's all on you. Based on your personality, It'd be safe for you to assume I will continue to call out the dumb things you say with verascity!

'DC, if martin would've just put his big gulp and nachos down more in college and hit the gym, we wouldn't have this conversation.'


LOL....Mark, funny stuff man.....'big gulp and nachos'....

Ok bud.....have a good one, LOL.

Craig, doesn't like Nate Solder, that's fine. I think he's a good player.

However, that wasn't the point of the post. The post was that - as Dashi also said - OT IS A PREMIER POSITION in the NFL. You need to have god ones. And the Pats do realize that and invest premium drafts picks into that position. They don't try to simply plug in rookie 6th round picks or career backups.

Dashi, Joe Jacoby. Look him up. Still ended Theismann's career. It happens.

Also, please produce the quote from me where I said LT is not important. You cannot. It does not exist.

But to say it is THE most important position (thus at the top of your salary cap) shows a fundamental lack of understanding about today's NFL.

I hate to sound uninformed and just dump on Jeff Ireland, but I cannot help myself! You call the Long situation a big win? I am not sure, if the Dolphins let him walk then it is a good call; otherwise it is (at best)a push. Hartline, especially in that he is represented by Rosenhaus, is a huge hit. At that position, we cannot afford to let Hartline walk (we need 2 "new" WR as it is...), everybody knew that weeks/months ago yet the Dolphins did nothing. Jeff Ireland wouldn't even know how to SPELL leverage much less USE it. The Soliai deal from 2011 was a bloodbath; I am glad we kept him, but we paid full price when we didn't have to! Not only does the GM have to be able to evaluate personnal, but the players need to be evaluated WITH a price tag attached to them. I feel that the Dolphins are NOT VERY GOOD at this exercise, and that filters down to the playing field.

Go back a few months mr. Amnesia Craig M. On MULTIPLE OCCASIONS, you have made fun of Solder & called NE wasting a 1st on him a bad draft pick.

You know & remember, don't play dumb now!

You remember when you were so busy trying to defend Ireland & were comparing his hit & misses to Belli's. Solder fleww off your keyboard more than once to try to prove your assinine points!

I don't need to go back & dig up your idiotic statements, we all know them well!

Craig, I don't put Martin (or Garner) in that Company (as bad as Colombo). But I agree with you guys at least Garner needs to be upgraded. And you asked before where I'd draft a lineman at. It depends what we get in FA. If we get Jennings and a TE or CB/S, then I'd be ok with a 3rd-rd pick. Maybe one of the 2nds (but probably not, would have to be far and away better than any of the other picks available at that time). If FA is quiet, then I would think we'd need the 1st 3 rounds to get quality skill position players.

But I'd be fine with a 1-yr stopgap RT (or RG if Jerry moves over there) in FA. BETTER than Colombo (lets hope Ireland learned his lesson there). Then we can deal with the position next year.

ARMANDO,

From Walter Camp 2013 Mock:

Miami Dolphins: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

It appears as though Jake Long will not be back with the Dolphins next year. Miami will have to pay him more than $15 million if it franchises him, which doesn't seem like a lucrative option because he's coming off a down season.

He may not want to re-sign to a long-term deal either, so if he leaves, the Dolphins will have to find a new left tackle. Why not another Michigan product? Well, Central Michigan, but close enough.

They actually call for us drafting a LT st rd. LOL...

By the way, that should read good- not god.

And as far as OT free agents - Barden Albert, Sam Baker,Sebastien Volmer - these are the types of players I would like to see if Long walks. They won't be much cheaper though ...


Craig, doesn't like Nate Solder, that's fine. I think he's a good player.

However, that wasn't the point of the post. The post was that - as Dashi also said - OT IS A PREMIER POSITION in the NFL. You need to have god ones. And the Pats do realize that and invest premium drafts picks into that position. They don't try to simply plug in rookie 6th round picks or career backups.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | January 04, 2013 at 01:31 PM

Yea, you do need good ones.

Does that mean Miami should continue to pay former great ones who will want more than their worth even if their body of work in recent years tells you he isn't worth it?

you are grasping at straws BIG TIME in an effort to validate the need to retain Long. And I'm on record as saying, i wouldn't invest ANY money in a breaking down player like him.

Not 7 million, not 1 million. Use that money are fill other needs!

Armando,

Again, I 110% agree!

Armando on the LT position:

But to say it is THE most important position (thus at the top of your salary cap) shows a fundamental lack of understanding about today's NFL.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | January 04, 2013 at 01:31 PM

The Patriots can spend high draft picks on linemen for the simple reason that they already have PLENTY of playmakers. I mean, aside from having probably the best QB ever, they have Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, etc...We don't. So they can afford to spend high draft picks on linemen. We can't. We don't have players like that. I'd be happy to just have anyone of them...

Folks, one last time before I go:

Salguero believes best way to construct an offense is two solid tackles. I do not need HOFers. I do not wants those guy at the top of my salary cap.

If your LT makes more than your QB, your QB won't be sacked as often, but you probably suck.

I want HOFers at QB, WR, RB, TE. Those guys score points. Those guys should be at the top of the salary cap, taking up the most space because ...

Those are the guys that win games.

Not OTs.

Armando,

IMO, when a person "fundamentally lacks anything", its the nicest way ever to say:

GOSH, YOURE STUPID! LOL...

YG, if we draft a 1st rd OL, you might hear about a new DC Sniper. I will have officially "lost it!"

But that's why those yahoos said this year. They are going off old information. Jeff Ireland is rehabilitated. He's fully off the Parcells-sauce.

DC,

Just Cause Dansby Might Be On The Team! Next Year! It doesn't mean I will stop rooting For The Dolphins!! Look at all The Ireland Detractors!!

Now, Since Dashi Has Been The Main One!! Waiving The Dansby Sucks Flag!!

And My Boy Philbin has Dropped Hints That The LB's Need To Be Upgraded!! Yes, Saying You Expect something Out Of Kaddu!! And You Need More Impact Plays From The Defense!! Are Hints at The LB!!

Remember Mando asked Coach P about the secondary and Philbin said It wasn't just the secondary!!

Who else Covers On Defense Other than The Secondary?

The Famous DE's You Guys Want?

And NO, DC, Nobody in The Press Has Even Asked What Do You Think Of The LB Position to Philbin!! That Would Open a Pandora's Box! Never mind asking Philbin about Dansby!!

Mando, I'm With DC on The Question Though!! I Know Craig Will Also Like To Know!! So He Can Brag To Dashi about Dansby!

If Not Philbin, Cause I don't Know If He is Still Available For Questions. Maybe Ireland? Or Coyle?

But We Would All Like To Know What The Coaches and Management Think About the Current LB's!! And How They Envision The Position!!

Since we have 3 LB's That Are Made To Play The 3-4!! When We Are Playing More Of a 4-3!! With a lot of Cover 2!! Aka The JJ Defense, The Bengals, The Ravens, a Hybrid of The Tampa Cover 2!!

Do We Really Need Big Slow LB's?

Or Should we Get Smart Fast LB's?

A La D.Brooks, R.Lewis, Z.Thomas.

ARMANDO,


CAN YOU TELL KRIS AND HIS (( LOVE BOYS )) GANG ,IF I SIGN WITH ANY OTHER NAME ????????????

OR ,DO I IMPOSTER ANY ONE ?

LOL,

So now you're just making up lies and that's not very funny. Either that or you're mixing me up with someone else or talking me out of context.

Mark, I've never said I don't like Solder. Again, what I did say was the guy in Chicago isn't getting it done. That's been it up.

But keep up the lies LOL....you're nothing if not entertaining!

Couldn't resist. One more thing:

On top of everything else, Long was the third best LT in the AFC East this year behind Ferguson and Solder.

And he was tied for the second best LT in the AFC East last year, behind Ferguson and tied with Light.

So what are you really getting for $10 million? The seccond or third-best LT in your own division?

Really?

Give me a break.

DASHI,


YOU ALWAYS TRYING TO TAKE CREDIT FOR EVERY THING,INCLUDING ,THE IRELAND ISSUE........

NO
SHAME ......

The D was very solid this year, now imagine that D with a shutdown corner and ballhawk (Byrd) safety. Would be pretty good. Some would say a DE as well. Not sure if they are better off with a DE or OLB for pass rushing purposes.

Still I think this draft is all offense. They may take a T/G early, but probably not. With two seconds I would expect one to be OL unless the issue is already addressed.

On another point, the FA OT. For what they pay Long or cheaper one could be picked up that isn't in the same boat (possibly decline). Think that is the safer move, imo.

Armando, you are preaching to a very very small minority who are living in the late 80's early 90's NFL.

The rest, the majority of us, get what you're saying.

"...Hartline, especially in that he is represented by Rosenhaus, is a huge hit. At that position, we cannot afford to let Hartline walk (we need 2 "new" WR as it is...), everybody knew that weeks/months ago yet the Dolphins did nothing. Jeff Ireland wouldn't even know how to SPELL leverage much less USE it."

ADB,

Lots of NFL players are represented by Rosenhaus so I disagree BUT I do agree that re-signing Hartline is a must & should have been done months ago.

Regardless of whether we sign Jennings or Wallace or draft a WR in the first round--we still need Hartline. Just pay the kid & move on!!! If Hartline goes to another team then that's a MAJOR f#ck up by Ireland & I will call for his head.

ARMANDO,

LONG IS GONE.............


MATT MOORE IS ALSO GONE FOR SURE..

Amazing that a guy who doesn't like very much locks things into his memory from months ago, so that he can try and use it against people months into the future. VERY strange behaviour!

I'd suggest you stop obsessing about me, LOL and get a LIFE!! Next thing I know you'll be spending New Year's Eve, cutting and pasting comments I made 10 hours previously to try and make me look bad.

Oh wait.....

WHDP, there's been plenty of MAJOR f#ck ups as you called it...How many of them do we need before making a change?

WHDP, I agree about Hartline. That is unless (unlike with Marshall) he was replaced.

Armando,

Can you point out the people who are adamant that we should be spending $10 mil a year on Long? I'm not seeing it.

Maturity of a 12 year old at best...

You're just noise guys....nobody really cares.

Here to talk football....you might want to try it!

We have become the Cincinnati Bengals of the South. This regime (Ireland, Ross) will continue to play semantic games in an attempt to make money and hoodwink fans. Fans need to wake up and smell the coffee. It's not going to get any better here anytime soon.

Bou hou hou Armando...Tell me who's using my screen name...Bou hou hou Armando, this guy called me this and that...Bou hou hou Armando, please show me this and that...Bou hou hou Armando, I'm a little mentally challenged but I'm not aware of it...Bou hou hou Armando, can you be a father figure to me? Bou hou hou...LOL!!!

WHDPs,

I'm a Hartline fan but I don't believe you 'have to' resign Hartline. I just don't. I think this offence would look very different with Jennings, a guy like Hopkins and a stud TE from the draft. Again, I like Hartline....not sure I'd call him a 'have to' resign.

In fact, for a team that was 7-9, I'm not sure we have any of those guys. There's guys I'd like to have back but no MUST haves.

Funny how some are arguing for play makers, others for linemen. The fact is we need both. Philbins version of WCO relies on pulling linemen and not just the LG of back in the day. Everybody knows Incog sucks at it. Long used to be good. That leaves Pouncey.

Moving on, we've needed help at TE for years. The powers that be, 'liked our WRs' and this was after Marshalls departure.

Like Mando said, 'bad management'

What an f-ing child you are, Montreal. Honest to God....and you accuse other people of having 'mental issues'.

TRULY a VERY strange guy..... truly!

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