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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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Opppps 2 mikes. Don't think so mike.

Kris,

Mando never said The Fins Aren't Interested In Jake!!

Mando Said " If He Was GM" He Wouldn't Want Long Back!!

Mando has Repeatedly Said! Jake Is A Priority, But at The Right Price!! SAME AS S.SMITH!!

Agreed On That Mando Has 1 Of The Most Intelligent Opinions In Sfla. Pertaining To The Fins!! And Football In General!

But Mando has said his Team is The Redskins! And Some Of Us(Dashi & Others) Think Mando is A Closet Jets Fan!! Mando Can Be A Little Overly Critical Of The Dolphins!! And Boastful When The Fins Lose!!

This is not rocket science. Everybody knows that you need a good OL to protect your QB. However, there are exceptions. If you have a mobile, very accurate QB that can throw on the run(Rodgers, RG3) you do not need a superior O line. Also, if you have receivers that break quickly and get separation, you do not need that great of an OLine either. As I said, it's just common sense.

Now, if your OLine is not that great or big, you still can run the ball by using zone blocking and creating "flash holes" where a good 1 cut RB, like Terrell Davis was, can run thru them. Again, not rocket science.

Oscar, I guess its sooooo easy, I guess you'll be Rookie Coach of the year in 2013 huh?

Hartline played as well as he possibly could...but to lose him to free agency wouldn't be such a big deal especially if the price he's asking for is too high... against physical defenses the production fell off drastically.

Agreed, Oscar.

But to Say Rodgers Has No O-Line!! AND THAT O-LINE IS NOT IMPORTANT!! As Some Here Have Said!! Is Straight Ignorant!!

And RG3 has a Good O-line. I know your Point is On Mobility!

But You Don't Want To Give T-Hill, David Carr Syndrome, because We Have No O-line!

Ask The Eagles and The Cardinals!! They have Fast Wr's That Get Open!! And The Qb Still gets killed!!

Football is a True Team Game!! You Need all 11 Guys On The Same Page!! Then You Need The Other side Of The Ball To Be The Same!!

In Basketball Teams Only Use 5 Players! So Each Players Importance Is Even Greater!! And 1 Guy Can Make The Team!!

In Baseball, The Pitcher Controls The Game!! Followed by The Catcher(One of the reasons Redmond will be a better Coach than Guillen)!! Add to it that the other 8 Players on The Field!! Only React To The Ball! When it is hit in their Direction! And out Of 27 Outs! You Only get 3-5 at bats!!

Forty, Read some of Armandos posts, Here's one agree with 100%

There were a handful of throws this year Hartline is behind the defense and the ball either goes over his head or is underthrown. Those are supposed to be TDs.

There were at least four other times he's running wide open behind the defense again, only green turf in front of him, and the ball goes somewhere else.

So quote the 1 TD all you want, but an elite QB gets 5-6 TDs out of that guy ... and all of them of the bomb variety.

I'm not saying he's a No. 1 WR. But he does make plays.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | January 04, 2013 at 11:14 AM

It can be easily seen now, that the WCO is based mostly on Timing and not brute Force. Players in it need to have a good sense of Timing.

man i hope the dolphins draft manti te'o :)

OSCAR, TELL US THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW THE FORWAARD PASS, WHEN WAS IT 1923?
HOW OLD WERE YOU THEN?
WHEN DID THE STAT WEARING HELMUTS?

(buffet of knowledge)

I mean, if you can get them big AND with good sense of Timing, better still.

DASHI ONE OF THE GREAT POSTERRS.
DASHI,DONT POST SUCH LONG POST,MANY HERE ARE UNEDUCATED AND SKIPP LONG POSTS CAUSE THEY HAVE NO CONCENTRATION.

(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Mentae Tayo, as I believe is pronounced, has a great sense of Timing. Only thing, he's on D.

A loco,

Dashi's has been summarizing His Post!! LATELY!! Dashi Use To Write Soliloquies and Manifesto's!!

My Pre "!!" Days. Or My IYM Days!!

I Don't Know!! Was Thinking of Dropping that Gimmick. But Dashi loves To Anger The Grammar God!! SORT OF LIKE YOU POSTING IN ALL CAPITALS!!

Oscar is Timing another Word For Smart?

And Also, Earlier you Said Dashi was FOS!!

Dashi Just has 1 Thing To Say!! 1 Post a Day Is Not Considered Posting!! Now Today, Dashi was Posting.

GD, HAGWknd.

D O.

(Aloco was That Short Enough?)

I know this isnt popular but I wouldnt mind Ala OG Chance Warmack in the 1st

Armando,
My personal opinion is that Long has become a very rich dude and is out of shape. Injuries can be caused due to a lack of fitness and or training to stay or get stronger. Moreover Matt Moore is going to be a hot commodity so the Dolphins are going to have to pay him perhaps what a starter would get to keep him. He's a guy who can take over if the franchise QB that every team should have is lost for the season.

Long ain't goin NOWHERE!

And that is that!

He'll play for a reasonable price since we did him a favor and made him rich by picking him #1.

Jake Long will place his next gm's job in jeapardy. Right after he's signed for 12-$15 million a year and injuries retire him within the next 2-3yrs.

Ever heard of contract clauses? Rewards for top play? Easy outs for injury or sub par performance?

LT's as good as a Long at half his game are a rare commodity.

bk, OH GOD, you don't draft a guard with the 12 pick in the draft. They need play makers, not O-Line help at that position.

As luck would have it, it is not the best draft for our needs. After last years stellar cast, this year will pale in comparison.

I'd just as soon trade some picks for next year if the value is not there for them this year.

Matt Moore could start someplace else like Arizona or KC.
For backup QB check all of the #1 QBs that Fins wished they had picked that are out of work.

Quinn (who most Fins wanted at #9?), Vince Young (who was too high of a pick back then), Leinart,, etc.

TanneBust wouldnt start for his college team this year!! lol

I've said it before.
ROSS needs to get EXECUTIVE HEADHUNTER mentality talent recruiters to assist both Ireland and Philbin (and their staffs).
BUT he should NOT Ireland have the final word on who gets picked in FA and draft. It should be a consensus vote.
2013 needs to go down as the best recruiting year in recent history.

Anyone who thinks this team will improve is kidding themselves for the 5th year in a row.


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.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | January 04, 2013 at 04:48 PM

LOL!!! Don't worry Yesterday, I spelled bou instead of boo today and the Queen of England corrected me right away...Basically called him every name in the book, calling him a whiner with all the "Armando, check this for me and that and Armando bla bla bla..." And the best thing he could tell me was my spelling was wrong...LOL!!! Anyway, I'm done with that idiot...

Yesterday, are you watching the Cotton Bowl??

I believe most agree that 2013 will be Ireland's last if the 2013 crop of FA and draft picks is a bust.
OR if the Fins don't make the playoffs again.

Man that Manziel kid looks awesome...

Both QB's in this game are better then Tanny. Manziel WOW!

Noplayoffsagain , we said the same thing the last 3 years..

Texas A&M improved dramatically when Tannehill and Sherman left. LOL

A&M should of been in the BCS National Championship Game instead of Alabama...They defeated them on their turf...That was IMPRESSIVE...That's when I was a Manziel believer...That was his REAL TEST...And he DELIVERED...

Texas A&M improved dramatically when Tannehill and Sherman left. LOL

Posted by: dusty bottoms | January 04, 2013 at 09:28 PM

That speaks volumes. Great QB's teams get worse when they leave. How was Tannehill a 1st rd pick?

Hey,

If I write TanneBust in all my posts can I get someone mad enough to fight?

I dont know Zelao. HenneBust didnt get anyone fighting.

That is because we all knew Henne was a bust two years before the FO realized it!

Folks! I got it! Seriously. I MEAN SERIOUSLY!

Dashi is the pee lady and the reverands and all these silly fabricated bloggers posting totally off topic!


IT IS OBVIOUS NOW!

Dashi Fu Ling! Yayeah! It's HIM!

wrong zelao, many of us in here tried telling others here than henne was awful. but many here kept backing the garbage that henne was for years

And Tannehill is WORSE then Henne. Surely Zelao can see that also. He got shut out. Cant move the ball. Its not rocket science.

I don't know who supported Henne afterthat one great Jets game. And it was the wildcat, Ronnie that pulled out the win on the final play.

I'd blow Tanne better than his wife if it would make him play better.

HENNE'S RATING....89


TANNEHILL'S RATING...... 71.......

ARMANDO'S RATING AS A WRITER........ 21


YG'S RATING AS A WRITER,................... 83

DASHI'S RATING AS A WRITER................ 54

Peytons rookie rating....52.

BRADY'S RATING.....454545

Dashi's rating as a writer..............0

He is worse than a ghetto boy speaking ebonics. Ants have a better vocabulary than that monkey squirt.

Yesterdays Poem

I love Ireland
I love him Not
I love Ireland
I love him Not
I love Ireland
I love him Not
I love Ireland
I love him Not

Hey I knew Henne was terrible after year 1 and I know Tannehill is terrible after year 1.

Let's hope we can swap lame TanneSuck for Sanchez or the great Teboner.

The trick to swallowing is to not try to take it all in one gulp like a shot of tequila. Let it ooze down slow.

I see. Blog of psycho's and imitators. Have fun. Don't forget to get a life at some point.

zelao u know nothing. henne didnt start a game year one. thill way ahead of him. henne was plain awful. thill has potential, only started a handful of games in college. henne played all 4 years

so dusty.....you're saying Tannehill will stink for another 3 years?

You should know ya momo

Momo mono momo

Tannehill is our quarterback like it or not you stupid person

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