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Facts, opinion on Long's 'complicated' negotiation

The Dolphins and Jake Long have been talking about a new contract on and off for nearly five months now. And while the talks started out as a straight contract extension and morphed into a lull in talks, the sides now are seriously considering what a break from one another really means and whether that is truly what everyone wants.

For the Dolphins, keeping and losing Long is an impactful decision on various levels.

If the team keeps Long, it feels it must happen at a salary that addresses what Long is today rather than what he was as a rookie when he came to the team as the first overall draft pick of 2008. What he is today is a hard working, solid, experienced player, who also has been diminished by injuries and is no longer elite but is still a good player to have.

"I think Jake can still play in this league for sure," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said Tuesday.

Ireland said this in response to a question whether Long is elite anymore. If Ireland thinks Long is elite, then the Dolphins are in trouble because the general manager isn't properly grading his own left tackle. (And if you can't grade your own players, how in the world can you evaluate players that you're scouting?)

My sense, however, is Ireland doesn't believe Long is elite. Thankfully. And that is what is making the negotiations difficult.

If Long was elite, the Dolphins would simply shrug shoulders and offer to pay him like he is elite. That would make Long one of the highest-paid left tackles in the business and probably the highest paid as he has been the past five seasons.

But Long is no longer the best LT in the business. He isn't the best LT in his conference. He's isn't the best LT in his division. He's like ... third in his division.

And what that means is if the Dolphins want to pay value for Long they cannot continue to pay the $11.2 million per season Long made in 2012, for example. Nope, that's way overpaying. That's highway robbery, actually, when one considers the top tackles are making around $8 million per season on average.

The Dolphins also have to understand that Long seems headed in the wrong direction devlopmentally. He's going to be 28 in May and should be right in the prime of his career, but instead he played worse last season than the season before. And again, he tore a triceps muscle (significant injury that often haunts) and finished the season on injured reserve. It was the second consecutive season he finished the season on injured reserve with an arm injury. And those injuries are numbered among the multiple injuries he's battled in recent years that have seemingly played a role in his decline.

So the team has to guard against paying a steep price for a player that is declining and showing signs of falling apart.

Balance that against the idea that Long, when healthy, is still solid. He's doesn't suck. He's good. He's not as great as he once was, but he's still good. And letting good players walk is painful, particularly when the team has so many other holes it needs to address.

Letting Long walk creates another hole. Maybe the hole isn't at left tackle where Jonathan Martin proved during the final month of the season he can play. But it definitely creates a void at right tackle, which is the position Martin manned before he moved to the left side.

So those are all issues the Dolphins are weighing.

Long's issues?

He'd love to stay in Miami. He'd love to be an all-timer who spends his entire career with one team. He and his wife love it in South Florida. But ...

He wants to get paid. His agent wants to get paid. Someone out there in free agency is likely to pay him.

And then there's ego.

Long, a stoic team guy publicly, apparently has a sizeable ego.

"He's one of those guys that likes the idea of being the best at what he does and one way he proves to everyone that he is is by being the highest paid at what he does," one Dolphins source told me recently. "Yeah, there's a considerable amount of professional ego there."

And that's where we encounter a problem because the truth of the matter is Long needs to take a pay cut to be a value to the Dolphins. He needs to take a pay cut to come into line with the current market for left tackles. But his ego might hinder him from accepting that cut in Miami. His ego might demand he go out on the market and test how much love he gets because, he's convinced, lots of teams want the best left tackle in football on their roster.

And even if those teams aren't going to pay tons more than the Dolphins, sometimes getting that warm embrace from a new team feels better than getting a warm embrace from the current team that also had misgivings about you in contract talks.

Oh yes, the Dolphins have their misgivings about Long. They made that clear, I'm told by a source, in that an offer they made to Long during the season was considered by the Long camp as something of a low-ball attempt to re-sign him.

So this ongoing negotiation is delictate. It's so delicate, Ireland doesn't even want to admit Long isn't elite anymore -- perhaps for fear that will offend or tip the balance of the talks in some way.

"Well I’m not going to tell you whether I think he is elite because I’m still in a contract negotiation," Ireland said. "We certainly take, and I’ve had a good conversation with Jake when he exited the building, in fact I’ve talked to him a lot because he has been in the training room, but Jake has a decision to make and we have a decision to make.

"It’s a very, very difficult decision and it’s a very complicated negotiation, so we’ll have to see how things go."

OK, so those are the facts. That's the anatomy of the delicate negotiation for your information. Store that.

Now ... you want my opinion? If not, you're done. Go to the comments section and discuss playmakers like we all like to do ad infinatum.

If you want my opinion read on:

***************************************

Jake Long needs to grow up. And the Dolphins need to grow a pair. That's the only way this is going to resolve itself for the good of the team. And that's all I care about -- the good of the team.

Long needs to check into reality. He's made nearly $60 million from the Dolphins the past five seasons and he hasn't exactly delivered $60 million worth of production. Oh, he was well worth it his first two or even three years. But the last two?

Overpaid.

So he needs to understand he is not worth $10 or $11 million a year. That simply is not the market. He's not even worth $8 million a year, frankly. He needs to understand that the team signing him to a four-year deal is risking a ton of money because he's lately shown few signs he might last to the end of that contract.

Tony Boselli -- the player I closely link with Long based on ability and career arc -- started breaking down in his fourth year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. By his seventh season he was effectly done. He played from 1995, when was the NFL's elite left tackle, to 2001. In 2002 the Jacksonville Jaguars, eager to get him off their books, offered him up in the expansion draft to Houston. Boselli retired instead.

I'm not sure Long will be playing four years from now -- not with his recent rate of injuries and decline.

Long has to understand the Dolphins must worry about that. So if he truly wants to stay in Miami and isn't, in fact, about the money, he needs to sign a realistic contract that addresses the concerns he raises.

Otherwise, walk my brother. But don't for one second consider yourself a team guy. You're a lot about money.

The Dolphins?

Yes, they have multiple holes. Yes, letting Long walk creates another hole. But signing a player that is headed toward a bad finish, knowing that he's headed toward that bad finish, is personnel department malpractice.

It's like signing Justin Smiley, who has suffered multiple shoulder injuries, to a big contract and then being surprised when he suffers more shoulder injuries and can't reach the end of his contract. It's like signing Jake Grove, who spent approximately one-third of his Oakland days on the sidelines injured, to a big free agent contract and then being surprised when Grove is injured in Miami and cannot play to the end of his contract.

The Dolphins made those predictable mistakes that were pointed out before those players played one down for Miami. So it wasn't second-guessing. And the Dolphins got bit in the behind by those signings exactly as predicted.

And now they're going to make exactly the same mistake? And worse, they're going to make it with a player they know intimately? And they're going to make it at a higher level because Long would be much more expensive than either Smiley or Grove?

Are they nuts?

Look, sometimes teams have to let good players walk. The Steelers are likely about to let Mike Wallace walk (hey, receivers talk!). The Indianapolis Colts let Pierre Garcon and Peyton Manning walk last year. The Arizona Cardinals let Karlos Dansby walk. The Texans did just fine after allowing Mario Williams to walk.

You know what? It's not the end of the world.

The Dolphins cannot afford -- or they should realize they cannot afford -- to continue paying offensive linemen as if they are game-changers. They are not. They do not score TDs. They do not win games. The Dolphins were mediocre with Long. They were mediocre after Long was injured. The team did not collapse.

Miami's record without Long as the starting LT? 

4-2. 

Yes, the team should try to re-sign Long. But it should be a deal that won't hamstring Miami's ability to add playmakers. It should be a deal that doesn't extend beyond four years for reasons stated above. It should be a deal that takes into account that the NFL's best LTs are making far less rather than more than what Long made last year.

And if they explain it that way to Long, hopefully he relents. And if he doesn't, you lost a player that was mostly thinking about money after making truckloads in his rookie deal. You lost a player that can be replaced.

Move on.

Comments

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GET SENSE, you turd head Sparano has more money then any of us combined. So technically he'll be laughing at us s h i t face

Yes, just like Columbo and Sparano (except in salary). Jake will go there and get paid 11 mil a year. The fans will believe they have their answer at LT. Then he will prove he is at best middle of the pack while he sstains another injury. At that time Sparano will tell the fan base how lucky they are to have him because ; "He's a good guy and one of the hardest workers I've ever been around".

Tony will never get it. He should be the foreman at a offloading dock in a bay somewhere. That way he can sell the good guy hard worker thing a little easier to his bosses.

Marcia in Toronto,

Dont you have a BF to blow?

DC, I'm not married to the jake Long idea but I do know we will need to invest heavily at the OT spot ... all I'm saying.

If these negotiations with Long stand up, it's also an indication that Ireland wants to leave our present OL the way it is now and prefers to concentrate in adding serious O playmakers to help RT.

No, I only do women, and stop making ghey advances YG. watched the movie Hit & Run (it was godawful) but YG they introduced an app in the movie that would work for you. It's called Prowler and talks to your GPS to tell you when other sakklikkers like you are in the area. You should get it .... but get a smartphone first ... or even a cellphone .... in fact ditch that almond green rotary phone you have in your trailer altogether.

oline def important part of team. but long needs to go

Oscar

I believe the ball of these negotiations have to be in miamis favor right now. Jake Long cant honestly believe that theres a team even that desperate for a LT of his status given his injury situations over the last three years and his sudden decline will throw out elite $$$ his way thinking that he'll be paid as even a top 10 LT in the league next year.

If anything his recent play has decreased his value overall and no playoff team will chance paying him what he and his agent THINKS he's worth considering they may not have him healthy heading into the playoffs.

I really think that miami needs to play hardball with his extension contract and add plenty of incentives in order to keep him 100% conditioned throughout the offseason and into trainig camp and the 2013 season. Its a tough decision but I would have to believe that Jake has sense enough to know that he is not playing at the same level he did when first drafted and that alone should make him humble about recieving lots of money at his position.

Guy

Take it easy my vomit filled mouthy friend, believe it or not coaches arent staked on their incomes as opposed to having coaching success much as you like to believe. Be careful you dont slip and fall on your own S H I T when reading this. LOL

If the team does read this blog, you've got to think Jake has even way less leverage than he thinks he has. Sounds like even if Miami loses the negotiation battle for his services - most people would actually side with ireland. I think he's still the right guy at the right price but not many people agree ...

Who knows, Sense? There must be Teams that are desperate at the position that might throw a bunch of $ Jakes way. That might make it exremely difficult for us to sign him if Ireland really believes he's still worth it. Franchise him? Not with his downslide, would be crazy to do so.

long needs to admit defeat and switch to guard

Complicated negotiation is an understatement.

raiders are dumb enough to do it, hell they just hired sparano

I dont think anybody is worth a franchise tag in our free Agents personally. I mean would some be a loss for the team heading into next year, probably. But are they irreplacable given the fact that miami is now had four straight losing seasons with the same group over and over again??? Not so Sure if their wants and needs exceed what is best for this team in the future to come.

Guy uses the same terminology as YG. Hmm...

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. MLB KARLOS DANSBY IS OVERPAID AS A MIDDLE LINEBACKER. DE CAM WAKE SHOULD BE THE HIGHEST PAID DEFENSIVE PLAYER ON THE TEAM.


THE ((LOVE BOYS )) GANG;;;;;


CRAIG M
KRIS
DOLPHIN 78
YG4E/FLIPPER BREED/YG/LOL/NOW THE NEW ALIESE GUY.....
THESE POSTER HAVE NO DIGNITY OR SHAME.

So why in fact do you post at all buddy?

No one likes you or your falsehood opinions and yet you respond every time

Sounds like somebody cant get enough attention in their personal lives so a sports blog makes it more meaningful to you


Isnt that cute! lmao

I would offer Long maybe a 7 mil a year deal for 5 years. He'd still be paid like a top 10-20 O tackle. I'd have maybe a million dollar incentive for every time he made all pro and maybe a smaller one for the pro bowl. Be sure to only guarantee the first year or two in case of injuries.

He will probably get better offers than this. Then it comes down to is it worth moving, leaving Miami, and leaving a state with no income tax? I think this would give us a chance to sign him at a fair price to all. However, if Mando is right and Long just wants to cash in big then he can walk as far as I'm concerned.

It's irreplaceable, Sense, irreplaceable.

I am not YG you flaming punks, jeez whats so hard to understand. Jeez I tell you there are some retards in this room

Armando,

Anyone with an objective eye knows Long isn't elite & never will be again. This is your 4th or 5th article on the issue & it's getting redundant.

He hasn't been elite the last 2 years, even before all the injuries began piling up.

I haven't read the other comments here yet but, I fully expect the canadanians to get on you about Martin.

They will once again forget he was a long term LT at Stanford & a good one. They'll also forget he trained all offseason to be a RT. They will also ignore the fact that he missed the offseason training program.

Anyone who watched Martin knew he was soft in upperbody strength and had a tendancy to get bull rushed. Common sense will dictate that is a direct result of not getting stonger which we're sure he will in the offseason. Considering he was

A. A Rookie
B. Worked all offseason to be a RT
C. Thrust into the LT job with almost no time to prepare.

It was OBVIOUS he acquitted himself quite well. Some of the Long fanboys will never come to accept this fact. Long is done as an elite, highly paid LT. This isn't brain surgery.

yes, yes...typing fast, no time for spellchecking

I love you Mando. I hope Long never finds you in a dark alley!

AND NOW WE GET LOL,ANOTHER ALIAS FOR THE BROWN SHORT HAIRED DONKY YG4E..
TO BE
OR
NOT TO BE.

One of the best moves I've seen Ireland do was the franchising of Paul Soliai. There was great upside there and it has been proven. Unfortunately, not Jake Long's case now.

Fanboy is close enough


GUY@YG4E FOR-EVER%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

I never said you were YG, Guy, only that you use the same insults and gutter language as he does.

Andy, cool the ego on the Boselli thing. I started saying that in 2010.

LOL, can't you post without a personal attack??

Now let me ask you, how could he be both a lifelong LT and yet play LT without any time to prepare?

He's weak sauce - he may in time be a good lt but I'd be much more happy having him as our RT going into this offseason. if he proves he's the best LT sometime during next year, great. I mean, you can always switch up your tackles during the year - heck Baltimore did it during the playoffs.

Now there, civilized discussion ... isn't that easier??

Aloco, stfu moron. I'm not yg whatsoever.

What is all you sissys obsession about aliases & fake names? Is your life that insignificant that you actually have time to care about that sh*t?

Grow up. Say what you gotta say & move on. Christ, what a bunch of sissy ninny's!

Spell checking? You have to be kidding.

I'm saying it ... YG=Guy=A. Giant Turd

FYI which includes occassional sexual favors im sure

Guy, who gets the right side of the doghouse if one of you happens to be on your best behavior?

It's not complicated at all. Given that the bazillions of dollars already paid to Long under his rookie contract could be considered theft based on the results on the field (Long has scored no TDs and the team doesn't make the playoffs), like Forrest Gump cutting grass, Long should agree to play for free the next 4 years.

Spell checking? You have to be kidding.

Posted by: oscar canosa | January 23, 2013 at 05:02 PM

Holy S H I T oscar, seriously??? Dont tell me your the blogs grammer teacher?

Marcia, Your such a low class scum.

Why you need to type so fast? Take your time and do it right(Yeah, I know, you're at the Office).

Mark, where did I attack you? I should have mailed you a dictionary for christmas.

Rather, I simply pointed out what you and your fellow countrymen always do.

which is make excuses to try to support your argument for retaining Long. Which by the majority opinion is a BAD idea.

I'm Ireland's biggest detractor here but, if he drafted Martin with the intent of replacing long in the long term I would call him a genius!

The writing has been on the wall for a couple of years with Long. He's falled & incredibly fast.

Unless he can be had for 4-5 mil range. Even then, I'd play him at RT. His days as a LT are over.

It is grammar, Sense. English is NOT written as it is pronounced. If I can help...

Well, maybe it's just me then... when you write "those Canadians" or something to that effect it seems seems negative. Anyways ...

Yeah, I've never said he shoudl be exclusively a LT either. I just know that you need TWO good tackles. MAYBE, we have one that can play now. I always said Long or a reasonable facsimile which would be an OT with a good track record of play in the NFL (baker, volmer, albert, etc) or a guy taken in the first two rounds. I'd rather keep the pick so sign Long if the numbers fit or go get another good vet. heck, I'd even take McKinnie because he's shown he's good for one more year at the least.

Oscar

its a blog filled with many mispelled words and non creative nonsense. I'm not proofreading some real report thats going up the chain of business in educational studies of ENGLISH 101 development. Besides, I think you understood what I was saying either way.

BTW Mark, Martin is a natural LT. He played it in College. You're right, he has played that position for a long time.

However, he spent every day after being drated & the 1st 3 months of the season training to be a RT, change his footwork, etc...

By my mathy & yes, I'm good at it...he spent about 7 straight months working on no longer being a LT.

Maybe, not everyone can be as perfect as you that he can abandon everything he's worked on for the last half year & more of his life to go back to what he was.

Sorry, we're not all as perfect as you apparently.

Give the kid a break. Christ!

LOL, and since you got me NOTHING for Christmas, I would've taken the dictionary ... thanks.

LOL, I liked the IDEA of an OT in the 2nd round last year .. I just hated the strength factor the guy brings ... I would've gone withe Cordy Glenn in the same scenario ... and that was thinking Glenn would've been only a good RT but he played a fair LT last year which made the choice between the two even more puzzling.

There is a lot of assumption here. Ive seen it before. Someone says something to mean this. someone else says this to mean this...

No one knows jack is my opinion. The truth always comes out later. Its early.

Aside from that, let him walk. Let the market say how much he is worth.

WORSE POSTERS ON BLOG...
YG/YG4E/DYING BREED/LOL/GUY.............LOVE BOY GANG
GREG....................................LOVE BOY GANG
PHIN 78.................................LOVE BOY GANG
KRIS....................................LOVE BOY GANG

GREAT POSTERS
DC DOLPHIN..............................GANG OF DEFEAT
MARK IN CANADA..........................GANG OF DEFEAT
ODINEYE.................................GANG OF DEFEAT
CUBEN MENACE............................GANG OF DEFEAT

OK POSTERS

DASHI.........................GANG OF MARINATED ACORNS
DARRLY DUNPHRY................GANG OF MARINATED ACORNS

POSTERS THAT HAVE BEEN BANNED
ODINSEYE........................GANG OF DEFEAT
CUBEN MENACE....................GANG OF DEFEAT
FINFN4EVER.......................GANG OF THE LOST
HOME............................GANG OF TINFOIL HATS.

TO BE
OR
NOT TO BE.

Misspelled Oscar...Misspelled LOL

LOL,,, THAT WAS FAKE ALOco .........

armando,that IS............

LONG IS WORTH ,4-5 MILLION A UYEAR,NO MORE...

I use the Dictionary when not sure about spelling or when I want to place a word in the right context. Oftentimes. Spellcheck is for lazy People and Cockneys.

LOL AT FAKE ALOco ,,,,,@ 5;20 pm

ps..i never write a post that LONG.....

Aloco, You forget me, What "Gang" to I fall in?

Sign Long to 12 Million YR

Sign Smith to 14 Million YR

Sign Starks to 9 Million YR

Sign Bush to 6 Million YR

Sign Fasano to 8 Million YR

Sign Hatline to 7 Million YR


END RESULT : MORE LOSING SEASONS AND BEING IN DEBT AND OVER THE SALERY CAP FOR THE NEXT 10 YRS,

MAKE IT HAPPEN!

MAGOO, YOUR IN THE GANG OF GREAT MONIKERS.
ALSO KNOWN AS THE BROWN DONKEY BREGADE.

LIFE IS SHORT.

You see, ALoco got my message. I post under my real name so any name calling is slandering and might have some real World consequences. Now, I call YG scum, which he is, and he doesn't give a rat's asss about it, except in his selfsteem, if he's anywhere near normal.

MAGEE.... YOU FALL IN THE GANG OF THE (( HONORABLE ))...

ARMANDO FALL IN THE GANG OF (( IRELAND ,KISS AZZZZZZ ))....

Why do any of you give a crap who makes what? Pay whoever whatever and field a winning team.

Mark, do you get the point I made?

Martin worked for more than half a year on no longer being a LT. Factor in he was a rookie, had a few days to prep for playing LT again & didn't particpate in the weightroom program.

He played good enough to give hope he can man the LT spot. He certainly gave the objectve individual enough to see he has ability. he just needs to bulk up and train to be a LT all offseason.

I'm not saying he's a lock to be good. I'm saying, cut the kid a break and look at the facts. The facts are Long is done & Martin is acending.

Martin showed, in limited action, with no real NFL LT training, that he deserves a chance. Don't forget that he was a rookie coming into the NFL. That alone is a learning curve & then switching to LT after being a RT all year. That's not an easy adjustment and he did fairly well. Well enough to earn a shot.

Many of you should consider posting under your real names. Total, if not now, you will be forced to do it later.

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