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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.



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LOL, my point was that I didn't give a fukk if Craig liked Solder or not, it wasn't the point of my post. Maybe I should've phrased it that way for you ...


I asked Armando to ban you? Huh? When did I do that?

Great you're still here Mando. Ok, got a loaded question for you. We all know you're closer to what's really happening than we are.

How much/little influence will Philbin have on the draft selections and other personnel moves?

I really hope the AFC championship game would feature the Broncos and the Patriots...Because if ANYBODY can beat Brady and the Pats, it's the Mannings...And the other one who beat him twice is eliminated...


Did you hear that Jose Canseco is talking about running for mayor of Toronto? Does he have your vote? Be better than Rob Ford, no?

Any ACORNS Up there in Canada coming out of Collage?, And do they Play football in collage? Aye

Seems Armando wants no part of the "childish squabbles" here. Can you blame him?

As adult men, we should be able to conduct and police ourselves in an according manner. If Armando went on the "banning craze", this would greatly resemble "Ohio Dolphans" circle-jerk that "miserably failed" this season.

Even "the circle-jerk" of posters that were there are no longer posting. Be very careful what you wish for.

It would be amazing if Peyton could eliminate the Patriots...If memory serves me right, Eli beat him twice and Peyton once (in the playoffs)...So that would mean if Brady would of won all those games, he would have 8 rings or something...Crazy stuff...Talk about a case of someone having nightmares...Brady must have Manning nightmares on a regular basis...LOL!!!




What's Collage?

Craig, now I got a freaking headache?? Canseco??? I'm moving to Lundy's Lane full time.

Of the 2 Units, I think the O is the one that needs more help. So, either thru FA or the Draft, we need the following position Players: plenty of Linemen, TEs, WRs, possibly in that order.

To tell you guys the truth, I really dont understand what more can you expect from a:


The bannings would be "justified" if this blog were:

"Pay For Play".

We all know that isnt the case. Right guys?

Anyway, I'm out. Have yourself a fantastic day Craig M...I'm going to go play with my toys now...Peace brother...


As i'm reading this discussion, I think the main issue with most people (but it's not being said), is that J. Long was the overall nbr 1 pick. and this fact scares people that we would let him out of our grips, by letting him walk. It seems this is clouding the judgements of people in this forum. The reality is the money we (potentially) will pay him, doesn't warrant the status he earned coming out of college. And is clearly best used for players who are legit game changers. Whomever they may be. Mario Williams left Houston. No bigger in the end.

Aloco, The "Love Gang", Are they the same as the "TK8" And the "Gang Of Defeat"?

YG, to be fair to Ohio, he said he wouldn't be posting much because he wanted to take care of his newborn.

But my troll said she would slit her wrists if I stopped posting here, so for her I'm here to stay (unless we draft a 1st rd OL this year).





Lundys Lane.....LOL.

I'd hate to lose Matt Moore, but the prospects are good that he's bolting since there are several QB starved teams and not a whole lot in the draft. I can see KC and AZ as attractive places for him to compete for the starting job. Just hope he doesn't go to the Jets or Bills.

48-Go, whatever team he goes to will be one less team we have to worry about getting to the SB.

I think what I said LOL, is I look forward to the day when you are in fact banned. You bring nothing to the blog other than this drivel you've been spouting for the last God knows how long.

It's obvious others feel the same way, as the flow of football talk has slowed to a snail. Goos job....mission accomplished!!

And yes you WILL hang yourself on here....I look forward to that day....

Posted by: Craig M | January 04, 2013 at 02:27 PM

Yet again, you are backpedaling!

What you ACTUALLY said was:

You'll be gone sooner than later. Mark my words.

That was of course, after you accused me of being every other blogger that ridicules you. Because god forbid more than just myself view you as a total dweeb!

Im curious how does posting or not posting here affect taking care of your newborn?? Thats the dumbest thing someone can say.


Interesting blog today Armando!

As far as Long is concerned, don't think he'll be back. We finally have options, and he'll probably go someplace like the Raiders where he'll get the leftover love from his father's generation.

As I've said many times before the Dolphins don't just have a problem with talent. Although that the deficiencies are HUGE! They also have a problem with opening up the playbook on both sides of the ball and putting together creative and dynamic plays. This team had similar results as last year with different names on the coaching staff and in the lineup. They need to cleans Davie of plays the Dolphins have had around for the past five years and come up with something new and different that their opponents don't key on!

FA, trades, draft, training and instruction will help the guys in the trenches and the coaching staff - obviously!

Clue, it wasn't here. It was on Ohio's blog (he used to post here but left to start his own Dolphins blog). So, he was posting the blog topics, and being the overall administrator of the site. And I guess it was taking up too much time from his other duties, so he said he was going to stop. And since he didn't post new topics, people stopped posting there.



With all the cap room this team needs to resign ALL their players.

Posted by: MIADOLFAN207 | January 04, 2013 at 03:11 PM

I like your recievings corps, except, I would replace Hartline with a cheaper better Deandre Hopkins or 1 0f the top 3-4 wr's un this draft. It guards against Greg Jennings injury history and we never have another season of Hartline at #1. If Jennings goes down thats exactly what happens again.

I believe any of the top 3-4 wr's are a better option both financially and talently. I want Jennings a little more than the other fa wr's. But he can also become a injury liability too. So potentially Hartline would again be our #1 wr and that scares me. Swoop/Bailey are basically slot wr's on steroids, that can also be #2's if the great need arises.

Posted by: MIADOLFAN207 | January 04, 2013 at 03:11 PM

I dont want Finley neuther. GB fans would be glad to be rid of him. Injuries and underperforming at times has been the knock on him. I rather go with Eiffert, Ertz, or Fauria in the draft.

Marcus Lattimore*, RB, South Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 218.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.

Projected Round (2013): 5-FA.

12/8/12: Lattimore's season came to a tragic end after suffering a gruesome knee injury against Tennessee. His knee was dislocated and there was ligament damage as well. There is some doubt about him playing in 2013, and South Carolina is saying he could return in 2014. It hasn't been announced whether Lattimore has decided to make his comeback to football in the college ranks or in the NFL.

Lattimore was having a good season prior to the injury. He was gradually regaining his speed and explosiveness. Lattimore averaged 4.6 yards per carry with 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 26 receptions for 173 yards.

If Lattimore is still available 7th rd, I would draft him, regardless of whether he could play right away in 2013 or not. Bring him along slowly and hopefully he's ready to be the powerback by midseason or latter.

Then he could be the steal of the draft. Still he hasnt committed yet.


Let's focus on drafting plyers with 2 healthy knees, please, not two damaged ones. This guy is done.

Hartline is definitely not worth $4m... Reggie Bush is a $4m type of player, and Hartline is definitely not better than Bush. Let him go!!! Don't sign him!! I would prefer to pay $8m to Mike Wallace and draft a WR in the 3rd round.

YG, let me teach you how to spell a word correctly that you ALWAYS spell wrong. This is NOT intended to insult.

RECEIVER ....i before e EXCEPT after a c

Hartline, Bush, and Long must all be signed even if we have to overpay a little. This team really cant afford to lose players and make new holes.


Posted by: Anonymous 2.0 | January 04, 2013 at 04:10 PM

It's receiver, retard!*


The action was pretty good on you're blog today....the content is always better when your input is added since none of us are as privy to the inside info that you have access to...

Lost in all this discussion seems to be how adamant Armando seems to be that we don't need Long.....If I were a betting man....I would put my money on Long NOT being back.....imo (based on Armando's writing)....Long is as good a gone.....just like Armando continued to tell me that Ireland will be here for another season (i'm hard-headed...you guys don't have to be).....Those that support Long may need to find a new LT to swing the praises of.....

Think what you will of Armando's writing style (for those critical of it).....and accuse him of being a fan of whatever team you feel he may root for....you can even call him ANTI-FIN if you like.....

but if there is ONE thing I have learned in my time on this blog its that Armando has a high percentage of being RIGHT when it comes to FINS personnel moves.....with the EXCEPTION of the Jeff Fisher debacle....I can't remember him ever being wrong.....

I think Long is as good as Gone.......


Gotta agree with you...

I think Jake is Long gone.

Ross is way too cheap to pay Long fairly. Armando could be right.


Thats what get out of ...not only when I read the article...but more telling in is the candid blog post by Armando.....

Letting the top pick in the draft walk away is as stupid as drafting him in the 1st place.

YG, let me teach you how to spell a word correctly that you ALWAYS spell wrong. This is NOT intended to insult.

RECEIVER ....i before e EXCEPT after a c
Posted by: Anonymous | January 04, 2013 at 03:55 PM

Thx, learn something new everday.

Also, there isnt a person alive whos has never or will ever not mispell an english word. Its still a football blog not a Rhodes Scholar english major retreat.


Are you serious with your 'Hartline is definitely not worth $4m comment'??

Trust me,if thats all Hartline and his agent are asking for,there's no doubt he stays with us for the foreseeable future and rightfully so

Hartline is worth 5 mill

Bush is worth 6-8 mill

Long is worth 9-10 mill

Posted by: Fire Irescum | January 04, 2013 at 04:40 PM

When you people learn that it isnt entirely unusual that top 5 draft picks dont remain with thier drafting teams thier entire careers?

Most recent Examples:

Mario Williams, Reggie Bush, and:

RONNIE BROWN(3rd overall).

Regardless of where you draft a guy, if youre not getting that value, you dont hang onto him merely for the sake of where you drafted him. Thats a ridiculous approach too.

Posted by: For what its worth | January 04, 2013 at 04:55 PM

I know that Jake Long may consider it a slap in the face. But, I would only offer him $7 million a year guarranteed max.

I would offer 2-$3 million more per season(incentive) if he plays all 16 games and his play actually warranted pro bowl status. Not because his "name is easy to remember" by pro bowl fan voters.

Non Dolphin fans still think Jake Long's a pro bowl LT only because they arent watching fins game. They are voting off of name and past memory.

Also, at the rate it seems Jake Long's body is beginning to break down. In 2-3 seasons, he may not even be ion the league any longer.

Long's career is seeming beginning to mimmick that of "Tony Boselli". We all know how the final chapter of Boselli's career was written. Dont we?

Trust me For what its worth,Hartline is worth slightly more than $5 mill and theres no way Jake Long is worth $9-10 mill

The most we should be offering Hartline is $7 mill and if we resign Long for anything more than $6 million,Ireland needs a bullet in the kneecap

Guys, Not to bash Long but it seemed to me that he was getting beat like a red-headed step child before he left for the season, I thought RyanTenneill was gonna be killed in a few games, Long was unable to stop the "Bull-Rush", s he worth 9 million next year?
I don think so, But thats JMHO.

Long will get multiple offers in excess of 9 mill/yr. He's worth every penny.

Again another slap in the face to Dolphin fans by Ross keeping the Parcells guy Ireland. This owner cares more about the GM than fans coming out to support this team.Another year without me with season tickets.

Fin 77, where ever long goes I hope the QB is a lefty or has Life insurance.Just saying.

I would NOT waste a 12th overall pick on this draft's CB class. I would rather use that pick to get a NFL-ready pass-rusher or TE.

Anyway, nice overall approach to the draft GM Armando; I really like your ambition and many of your ideas. If Ireland would just trust his own local media and fans...

If Ireland would just trust his own local media and fans...

Posted by: Hydrashock | January 04, 2013 at 05:28 PM

...so that we could have Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb at quarterback. Maybe even Brady Quinn!

Yesiree, the fans are visionary geniuses at this stuff. If only the Dolphins would seek their wisdom more often.

Kris from Earlier,


Not Just The Best LT!! We have a Select Few that says O-Line Doesn't Matter!! PERIOD!!! DOUBLE EXCLAMATION!! And All That Other Good Stuff To Emphasize The Point!!

Now, Dashi Didn't Say You Are Part of That Group!! And Salguero Has Definitely said Where he stands!!

Even Dashi, and Craig!! Who are The Only 2 Standing Up For Long since Preseason!! We Don't Say Jake Is "THE MOST IMPORTANT"!! We Say He Is "Important" To The O-Line! And It would Behoove us To Keep Long!! So We Don't Create another Hole On The Team! And A Big Hole On The O-Line!!

The O-Line is Essential For Passing and Running The Ball!! Unlike Some Who Says The O-Line Doesn't Matter!!

Again, We Have a Group Here Who Says O-Line Doesn't Matter!! Not Just Left Tackles!! Not Just The Best LT!!

What is That Famous Line Some of You Like To Say?


If That Doesn't Clarify That Some Think The Position is not important!! Than Dashi doesn't know what to tell you.

Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb or Brady Quinn would have been tons better then RoboHenne!!

We Have Draft Picks, most of the time I think most of you know very little about the nuances of football, but We Have Draft Picks. know his stuff. BTW Craig he's right.

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