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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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Ryan has a bright future he will lead us to glory

I think dusty is saying that in three years Tannehill will be like Henne.

Armando, in your opinion, do the Dolphins lack playmakers?? LOL!!

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | January 04, 2013 at 11:11 AM
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I'm not Armando (obviously) but for someone who accuses people of having mental disorders and of being morons, what an INANE question YOU ask.
OF COURSE we lack playmakers. With an offense ranked in the bottom 8, no #1 receiver, no 1000 yard back, no game changing field spreading TE?
Defensively, near the bottom in takeaways, CB's who can't hold on to an INT, LB's who can't cover the middle, especially a TE?
Perhaps THINK before you type.
All the name calling around here is getting really tedious.

Well, there is a history of mental illness in my family.

" 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.

Posted by: TGH | January 04, 2013 at 10:32 PM"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So People See I Don't Make This Stih Up!! You Are A Sick über FLAMING Sociopath!!

You Don't Have To Answer My Question Any More!! We All Know The Answer!

You Have Gotten Worse! And Worst!! Then Worse! And Worser! Til You Became The Worstest!! Human Being Ever!!!!

Can't Even Call You Human; Dumber Than A Donkey, And To Much Of A Moron To Make You A Monkey!

Seriously, FOOL!! When Are You Going To Stop!!

Doesn't Matter How Many Names You Use.

Every Day With The Same Routine.

What Is It You Have Nothing Else To Say? But To Talk About "It" In Your Mouth!!

It Is Always "It" and Football. And More It Than Football!!

What Is It? With Your Personal Vendetta With This Blog?

Hopefully, This Will END IT!! And Once And Fore All!!! MAKE YOU STOP!!

Late Night! Early Morning!! Midday!!! Whenever!! JUST STOP!! YOU SICK F"ck!!

Quit It!! ENOUGH!!

Heck, Talk Religion! Talk Politics!! But Talk Something Else Other Than That!! Respect This Blog!!

ONE SUBJECT THAT IS TABOO!! IS WHAT YOU DO!!

You Give South Beach A Bad Name. It is Always Fantasy Fest, In Your World!!

Armando has a "Sick" Stalker!! You!!

Cause We All Know It Is Not About The Dolphins!! It Is Not Even About The Herald!!

Something Much More Personal With You.

unbelivable,everything that was posted in A-mans blog I have said 6 months ago.ON THIS BLOG.It's all gonna be NEW.Ireland and philbin are gonna be great.GO BACK AND FIND WHAT I SAID 6 MONTHS AGO.P.A YEUNGS AND WINGS!!!!

Hey wassup P. a!!

Glad to see ya on.

Out of curiosity, what does your screen name mean?

Cheers bro

What you never had a YUENGLING? How ya doin rob???O.C means O.C M.D right???Think we should make a play for jennings?Bowe? We got cash.???

Free agent's are a dime a dozen...M.J.D could be available in trade.

O.K......anybody....Who is our pick in the draft????And it starts....

Tanne I think is as good as aikmam ,he needs a WR and A RB and a #2 wr would not hurt.CB and FS in draft or the other way around. Don't matter we need to build.

Said it here first

AND I DON'T SAY MUCH CAUSE YOU GUY"S ARE THE BEST!!

So in FA if Wallace and Jennings go elsewhere,for whatever reason.........who do we sign to upgrade our wr? I don't have the knowledge of players 'some' of you guys have about players m, but would like to know if we aren't successfully in recruiting 1 of the 2 best receivers available who would be left and be worthy?

Eric Wright will be available. Sign him.

P. a. Nope...never heard of a Yuengling. I'm doing just ducky. Fins got money n picks...life is good.

O.C. is Orange County in Cali. =)

I personally think that FA WR Wallace would be best pick up due to his age and blazing speed. I'm not sure Pitt lets him go though, they may make a play to keep Wallace.

FA WR Jennings would be next as he knows the system and is a great locker room guy and leader type. Been nicked of late and more miles on his tires. He can uncork some great games still though.

FA Bowe would be next. More potential downside than the other two. He is a baller when his head is on right. Great skill set.

Cheers,

Hi reg,

WR Bowe from KC would be next best FA addition most likely.

As Yup says Eric Wright is a plan D or Plan E in case FA plans go awry.

Cheers,

I think young and wings mean maric-n.

P. a.,

Hard to tell what Ireland and Co are thinking. We will be able to better determine what the draft should bring once they get the FA signings all wrapped up.

I say our Offense is so sorely lacking signing a WR like Keenan Allen from Cal. WR Hunter from Tenn has speed and is 6' 4". He has not played as well versus better comp in college. That can be a red flag but he has a great skill set with nice triangle physical.

If they net a bigtime WR in FA like Wallace or Jennings they may opt to get a WR like Stedman Bailey a little later and go DEF in the first.

Ireland may end up tabbing an OL if the player and pick position have the proper value in first. Drafting OL in the first round may not be in the cards due to pressure from the owner, fans etc to draft TD makers.

Cheers,

Cheers oscar.

ROB IN OC.......


NICE TO SEE YOU COMING AND READ YOUR POSTS,WHICH PRESENT ,REAL FOOTBALL TALK ............... REAL FOOTBALL TALK ..........

Nahhh, you want receivers from College, go Clemson.

OSCAR...

ANY NEW NEWS RE ,THE CELLAR AND OUR TEAM ?

Good article about Ireland on ESPN by this black fella, James Walker.

Rob this is the reason i asked.
if we don't manage to get 1 of the 3 that other teams may also be looking at, will we still be left in a similar position going into next season? Are the players in the draft going to be able to come in and help this team enough to make a BIG ENOUGH difference NOW?????

Funny, good College Players by position come in pairs this Year. Clemson's WRs, Alabama's Gs. TA&M's Ts. Hmm...

So glad the whole suck for Luck backfired on Indy this year. To think that the clowns in Indy thought it would be wise to purposely lose games last year just to land the best QB to come out in forever. They should have followed the DAAAFINS model and traded down to draft a number one punt snapper. Little Jeffy would never waste a first pick on a position as meaningless as QB.

ANOTHER POST SEASON STARTS TODAY AND WE ARE NOT IN A GAME.

ARMANDO I AGREE WE FIRST NEED A LOYAL FAN BASE.

I've BEEN YELLING FOR PLAYMAKERS SINCE BEFORE BRANDON.

THEN ONCE WE GOT HIM I SAID WE NEEDED MORE WRS.

SOME OF YOU WANT HARTLINE BACK. I'm ONE WHO DON't. I DON't WANT BESS BACK OR FASANO.

I WANT BUSH BACK BUT USED IN MORE PASSING PLAYS.

THEY PUT THIGPEN IN THE SLOT A FEW TIMES WHY NOT USE BUSH IN THOSE PLAYS WITH MILLER IN THE BACKFIELD.

T-HILL WAS A BUM THIS YEAR.

I LOVE THE KID BUT FACE IT.

HE HAS TO DO WAY BETTER.

VERNON, MILLER, MARTIN, THIGPEN.

IM NOT MAD AT THIS YEARS DRAFT.

WE NEED 3 WRS AND A TE.

I DON't CARE HOW WE GET THEM.

I DO LIKE ALLEN THAT WR FROM CAL.

HAPPY NEW YEARS TO ALL WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THE BEST.

THIS YEAR DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE YOU DON't KNOW.

EVEN SOMETHING AS SMALL AS SLOWING DOWN IN A TRAFFIC JAM ALLOWING ANOTHER CAR TO MERGE.

MANY BLESSINGS:
JUSTIN CREDIBLE

This tidbit from Miami Herald's Barry Jackson on the Pro Football Focus 2012 player rating:
-Jake Long was 46th and Jonathan Martin 76th among 80 tackles
-Richie Incognito was 24th and John Jerry 49th among 81 guards
-Mike Pouncey was eighth among 36 centers
-Reggie Bush was 47th among 59 running backs
-Anthony Fasano 24th among 62 tight ends
-Brian Hartline was 37th and Davone Bess 38th among 105 receivers
-Ryan Tannehill was rated 13th among 36 quarterbacks

It seems that Tannehill is a welcome surprise and the play of Fasano, Bess and Hartline, not so bad after all. If we are looking for a major fault in the passing game, we might take a look at the play of the tackles and guard, John Jerry. Ditto for the running game. Teams that can't pass protect or run block don't often do well in the NFL. With 2 tackles and a guard rated in the lower 50% of their respective positions, and with a rookie QB to boot, it's not hard to understand the lack of punch by this offense.

But... I hope they don't tear up the team in pursuit of changes. Fix 2 missed field goals and it's 2 more wins and the playoffs this year; win any of those winnable games with Indy, TN and Buffalo and it's a very respectable record.

my only problem with Long is he got most of those injuries playing tough, and playing while injured.

All selfless team first moves. We usually regret when we let out former stars go, its usually our fault they didn't blossom here.

Im not sure what to do with Long. I dont want to see us use a 1st or even a 2nd on a LT. We need cb help and some lb depth bad.

I think were better off finding our stud wr in FA then taking a chance with a 1st round pick

"I'd definitely keep Hartline & sign Fasano & Clemons to reasonable deals. I'm still on the fence on Starks (he disappeared in the 2nd half of the season) but I believe that letting Long, Smith, & Bush walk are the correct decisions. Long is on the decline, Smith thinks he's much better than he is but he's still too inconsistent, & while Bush is a good & exciting player--he's 28 & he's not a workhorse back.

"
This wont beat tom brady.

Bush had over 1300 yards and 8 td's this year and same yards and 7 td's his first phin year. Smith may not be a starter, but we still need a 2nd and 3rd cb.

I dont see us keeping Long. I see us cutting or trading Daniel Thomas.

Armando, in your opinion, do the Dolphins lack playmakers?? LOL!!
Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | January 04, 2013 at 11:11 AM
------------
I'm not Armando (obviously) but for someone who accuses people of having mental disorders and of being morons, what an INANE question YOU ask.
OF COURSE we lack playmakers. With an offense ranked in the bottom 8, no #1 receiver, no 1000 yard back, no game changing field spreading TE?
Defensively, near the bottom in takeaways, CB's who can't hold on to an INT, LB's who can't cover the middle, especially a TE?
Perhaps THINK before you type.
All the name calling around here is getting really tedious.
Posted by: IMAWriter | January 05, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Huuuhhh...Let me see...Maybe I was joking around when I asked my question to Armando?? Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, I was being sarcastic?? Maybe that would be the reason why you read an "LOL" at the end of my question??? Ouupss...I guess you screwed up bro...I never really talked to you anyway so the only thing I can say is why are you getting involved?? Hate to tell you, but next time MIND YOUR FUKKKKING BUSINESS!!!! LOL!

There is a history of mental illness in my family

TOO!!!

I want to comment on Starks. Some people seem to be down on the fact his play dropped off towards the end of the year and are questioning if we should resign him? You have to remeber these players are human and have lives outside of football. His mother was very ill and recently passed away. I don't care who you are, that will take your mind and heart away from tasks at hand. I really think we should resign him. Our d-line is a bright spot but it comes down to how much he wants. If we can get him for the right price i think it's very important.

billcale says:
It seems that Tannehill is a welcome surprise and the play of Fasano, Bess and Hartline, not so bad after all. If we are looking for a major fault in the passing game, we might take a look at the play of the tackles and guard, John Jerry.
=====================================================
You are clueless! Hartline is the only receiver the Dolphins should keep. Moreover neither Fasano or Bess have the ability to get open or create separation against the better teams and DB's in the NFL. I believe Long has not been fit enough to avoid injurys the last two years. The Dolphins need to get him fit with an incentive contract to that end.

Sign everyone. There is plenty of cap space. And there is no excuse not to, other then Ross being cheap. We can ill afford to lose any starters.

WHATS SO GREAT ABOUT HARTLINE?

HE HAS GOOD HANDS BUT WHAT HAS HE DONE?

I THINK HE MADE 5 PEOPLE MISS ALL YEAR.

WE NEED PLAYMAKERS.

HE CATCH THE BALL AND GO DOWN.

HE's LIKE A SLOWER TED GINN WITH BETTER HANDS.

OK MAY TOO HARSH

Billcale....

I don't doubt you're numbers for a second....but I do have to wonder in what football universe did somebody spin and crunch the numbers in such a way that Tannehill would be rated as a top 13 QB.....that doesn't make sense to me....

on its face....and with no research.....I would say that with perhaps one of maybe 2 anomalies...the 12 BEST QBs in the league are in the playoffs....

After that we have BIG BEN....Tony Romo (choke chain and all)...Eli Manning....Drew Brees...Mathew Stafford....Jay Cutler....and even Sam Bradford....

I'm not talking numbers...i'm talking eye ball TEST.....

Also Billcale....and for the rest that think this team is one or two pieces away....by our glorious GM's own words....he has a bunch of 4s...5s...and 6s...@ the WR spot.....and he needs some ones and two's.....Even until the last game of the season we constantly held WR try-outs in Miami....

We are lacking in talent (by Irelands own admission)....and this team needs to acquire much more than 2-3 pieces if they want to compete for a play-off spot next year....and besides....the REAL measuring stick is the PATRIOTS.....and that is who we need to aspire to be each year until we get there.....

The stated goal for each year should not be to squeak in to the play-offs with an extra made FG or two each year...it should be to WIN THE AFC EAST year in and year out....

The we can talk next level.....


Armando great story. I especially like the comments section because it's very informative. For example on the last page we learned the proper way to swallow, "you let it oooze down your throat".

How do you allow this child free reign over your blog? He is only here to be vile and start trouble with every poster who dares call him on his bulls$%t. He changes his name at least 4 times per page. You can't root this person out?

Armando seriously, it's embarrassing that the Herald allows this. Not one other blog on the net puts up with this behaviour and I'm having trouble figuring out why you and the people at the Herald allow it. It's not like you don't have plenty of posters already.

It is what it is, if you don't care fine. But at least do me and the other adults a favor . If you're going to allow this child a voice to post a thousand times a day in the ridiculously immature way he does, please don't write pieces talking about how the Herald blog gets the most hits out of all the papers on the net and don't thank us for it because it's a farce. That distinction belongs to papers that protect the integrity of their content.

Philbin made 2 major mistakes this year and they both came from not knowing the personnel.

1) Jake Long should never have played in preseason. I was shocked to see him getting major minutes throughout preseason.

2) Matt Moore should've at least been the starter until we were out of playoff contention. He's always been a bad practice player that performs in the real games. Philbin didnt/doesnt know that.


It is understandable that Philbin made these mistakes so I do give him a pass.

Promichael Bess only has trouble getting open on 9s when he's playing the wideout position which is not his natural spot. He is one of the top 5 slot receivers in the league. He is ALWAYS open out of the slot. Perhaps you should look in the clueless mirror before calling others out.

Justin,

Your a YELLOW BELLY SAP SUCKER, who would NEVER get lost in my cornfield. Ted Ginn sucks, B.Hartline is a keeper.

Juan!
That was the best post yet.

LMFAO!

Watching Dolphins on NFL network... Good stuff!

Do you actually think Philbin "didn't know" Moore was a lousy practice/decent game performer?

C'mon. That's absolutely ludicrous. It's not as if Joe Philbin dropped from the moon and started camp with no information about the roster and their habits, You can be assured that by the time camp opened he had seen more film, talked to more people, and knew more about the players than you or I could ever HOPE to know.

Tannehill started because Philbin and the staff determined nothing would benefit him more in the future than EXPERIENCE. It's not as if playing him derailed a Super owl run, y'know? It was the correct decision then and remains the correct decision. It had nothing to do with your silly hypothesis.

Meant 'Super Bowl,' obviously. Not sure what a Super OWL might be but it sounds dangerous.

JUAN..

WHY?

YOU COULD HAVE SAID GINN IS BUT WHY?

HES A KEEPER.

THATS YOUR BEST ARGUMENT

IM FROM THE CITY..

KEEP YOUR GREEN ACERS JED

Vazman Philbin doesn't give a poop about playerscwho can't perform in practice but are supposed gamers. You have to beat your competition to play, if you can't it is a sure sign of inconsistency. Moores career spells out inconsistency. We are looking for a franchise qb. That should be the only thing on Dolphans mindsfor now and until we find one. If Tannehill isn't the guy we will know by the end of next season and will be able to move on. Playing a career backup so you can try to eeek out an 8-8 record and back into the playoffs only to lose in the first round is a waste of everyones time.

Phins78 says,

Promichael Bess only has trouble getting open on 9s when he's playing the wideout position which is not his natural spot. He is one of the top 5 slot receivers in the league. He is ALWAYS open out of the slot. Perhaps you should look in the clueless mirror before calling others out.
======================================================
Phins78 had I read your naive post first I would have included yourself as clueless. Bess does not have a good enough skillset as Wess Welker has to get open. That includes when he plays from the slot. The Dolphins would not be seeking at least two receivers in free agency or the draft if Bess was good enough. Oh they are also seeking a TE. I suppose you would debate that need also!

Phins,

Talk a bout being clueless, you are against the trolls but then repost their most offensive words! You fall right into their trap! They get you to post the same junk! What a fool you are.

DOES A QB MAKE HIS WRS OR DOES WRS MAKE THEIR QB?

Vazman that is only my opinion and you are certainly welcome to yours as well. I was just offering a different viewpoint.

Promichael there's really no need for insults is there ? Lets start there. Why do you feel the need to insult those you disagree with? Now Ill answer the football part of the post while I await your response as to why you insult people.

ProM

I wonder how good Bess would look in NE. Theire offense is far more discipline, far more experienced, same leader and coaching staff for years. We have had so much change for so long there is no way to expect even Welker to play like Welder on this team.

JUAN:

I TRIED BUT CAN't LET THE NAME CALLING THING YOU DID GO.

JUST BECAUSE YOU STAND IN A FIELD ALL DAY CHASING AWAY CROW DON'T MAKE IT YOUR FIELD.

NOW WE ARE EVEN LETS PLAY NICE.

WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT HATRLINE?

Phins 78 would be one of the clueless posters with stupid opinions so I'm all for weeding him out.

Phins78 resorts to childish insults when his opinion isnt shared. He is the 2 year old.

Justin,

Cool with YOU, Hartline has been solid this year, no one was even close to him. Just so know,my cornfield is my property.

Happy New Year, There i said it.

Promichael, you're comparing Bess to the #1 slot receiver, arguably the #1 slot receiver in history playing with hall of fame shoe in Tom Brady and playing for hall of fame shoe in coach Belichick?

They're looking for two wide receivers heh? When did you talk to the team about that one? Oh that's right, you didn't, you're just assuming.

Look Bess is well known around the league for being one of the best at his position. The fact you don't know that shows you don't follow the game much. Had he not been injured this year he would have broke 1000 yards.

If you think the team is trying to REPLACE BESS than you are everything you accuse me of being. Don't believe me? Fine. Ask someone else. Also, when Bess is lined up at his natural position next year getting open over the middle and catching everything thrown his way I'll be proven right and you can come back and tell me so.

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