« Where (if anywhere) the Miami franchise tag belongs | Main | Chase for Wallace begins in Indianapolis »

Jake Long: Return up to the Dolphins

Jake Long's wife Jackie has been tweeting about the couple's desire to find out where they're going to be living in the coming years because they want to find out where the offensive tackle is going to be playing.

Yes, they want to stay in South Florida and Long wants to play for the Dolphins.

But they also want to get paid.

And so Long believes it is up to the Dolphins to come through. At least that's what he's saying in a phone interview with the NFL Network's Linday Rhodes.

"I'd be open to continue my career there, but it's essentially on them, see what they want to do and what direction they want to head in and go from there," Long said in the interview that will air on Total Access Tuesday evening. "That's the business side of it so we'll see what they want to do."

Obviously, the idea of Long returning to the Dolphins isn't totally on the Dolphins. The club wants Long to return. Long wants to return.

But Long wants to be paid a salary akin to the highest left tackle in football or close to it -- a status he's enjoyed most of his career. The Dolphins are not there right now. They see a player who's been injured each of the last two years and who is no longer as athletic as he was before. They are somewhat concerned he has started to break down and want to protect themselves.

The club has made Long multiple offers but no deal. I'm not getting the idea Long's side is really budging all that much, sensing it has leverage.

And so, barring a meeting of minds the next few weeks, it really is on the free agent market to determine Long's worth. The Dolphins don't love that, but will live with it. Long, meanwhile, is fine with that approach despite his recent performance and injury history.

"I'm not concerned," he said. "The last couple of years I've had some injuries I've had to work through, it hasn't been the ideal situation, but I've been working hard this offseason to get healthy and get strong. And this is the best my body has felt in a long time and I'm just excited to get a deal done and focus on football and get back to work for 2013."

For the record, Long said the same thing last year during training camp. And then he finished the year on injured reserve for the second consecutive year.

Comments