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Fewer LTs on the market, but solutions still available to Dolphins

The franchise tag deadline has come and gone and two offensive left tackles were designated as practically untouchable by their teams.

Ryan Clady in Denver and Branden Albert in Kansas City are two of the eight players carrying the franchise player tag now.

So both are effectively off the free agent market for teams searching for OT help of any kind and LT help in particular.

That helps Dolphins LT Jake Long.

A market that two weeks ago seemed loaded with potential LTs is thinner now thanks to the franchise designations and the New York Giants wisely locking up LT Will Beatty to a five-year, $38.75 million deal last week.

(Stop for a second and recognize that Beatty, a better player than Long lately, got a deal averaging $7.75 million per year. And Long wants a deal around the $10-11 million per year mark. Hmmm.)

Anyway, that leaves Long, Atlanta's Sam Baker and New Orleans's Jermon Bushrod as the most viable free agent LT prospects -- assuming none re-sign with their current teams before the March 12 start of free agency.

Considering multiple teams, including Arizona, St. Louis and Chicago, might be searching for experienced LTs in free agency, that should help the players that hit the market.

But we are still a long way from believing that free agency will be a boon for Long.

First of all, both Baker and Bushrod had better seasons than Long last year, although it was by a wide margin for Baker and only marginally so for Bushrod. Secondly, the draft is full of solid left tackle prospects.

And then there is this little-recognized fact:

The right tackle market in free agency is loaded with talent. Seriously.

Cincinnati's Andre Smith, New England's Sebastian Vollmer, and Minnesota's Phil Loadholt all enjoyed excellent seasons last year. All will hit free agency barring new deals with their current teams. Smith, I will grant you, comes with a buyer beware tag. Just saying.

The draft also has mutliple viable right tackles that probably aren't suited for LT.

What does that mean?

It means if the Dolphins continue to balk at paying a premium for Long -- a wise move -- they can solve their tackle issues a different way.

They can keep second-year player Jonathan Martin at left tackle and sign one of the above mentioned right tackles as an offensive line upgrade that will come much cheaper than Long. They can draft a left tackle, probably in the first round, and find themselves paying much less for a younger player than what Long is demanding. Or they can move Martin to left tackle and draft a right tackle -- probably in the second or third round -- and let that stand as the cheapest way to address the need.

There is more than one way to skin a gato. (Yeah, I speak Spanish).

And unless I miss my guess, the Dolphins are considering all of those along with the idea of getting Long back.

 

Comments

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Good article, except Jonathan Martin was one of the worst tackles in the NFL last year. Unless, he magically becomes a different player, this likely limits what the Dolphins can do with him.

No diva WR has ever won a SB.....not that I can think of....

Posted by: Kris | March 01, 2013 at 09:36 AM
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You are telling us there were no diva receivers on the Steelers and Dallas and St. Louis and Denver SB winners?

It obviously gives the Dolphins leverage negotiating with Long when they have a lot of other options. Also doesn't help Long that teams who need LT's (Bears, Cardinals, Chargers, Rams) don't have a lot of salary cap. The only team I see driving up the price for Long is the Colts, who have more cap space than the Dolphins.

I expect Martin will be LT next year. I think the only issue with him was that he wasn't strong enough to handle bull rushers but that should be solved in the off season in the weight room.

Fintasy, J Martins problems at OT last stemmed from a lack of strength not physical ability. Considering he didnt make all the rookie camps because he had to stay at Stanford and he will have a full year of professional strength training under his belt. I fully expect to see a different play next year.

Resign Jake!! Or Player Of Equal Value.

Only few problems with tearing Martin apart about his play at 18:21:59 last year. One, he was not terrible but not real good either. Two, he is a ROOKIE that took all snaps all season long at RT then had to switch gears and technique and mind set to 18:23:20 for the last few games, in the NFL. So please, STFU and quit bashing Martin.

Resign Jake!! Or Player Of Equal Value.

Posted by: DaShe | March 04, 2013 at 06:20 PM

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

Won't happen. Some other team is going to pay way up for him.

1. Luke Joekel
2. Eric Fisher
3. Lane Johnson

there may be some depth but this is your OT class for people who can step in this season and be "good" players at LT

doesn't look too loaded to me

...also all three of these guys will probably be gone by our pick

Where's that damned lyingass CraigM? LOL...

Clown!!

What Part of Player Of Equal Value.

DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND!!

Retarded and Illiterate!!

What a F'ing Combination!!

Posted by: dolfandave | March 04, 2013 at 06:37 PM

Obviously Armando is aware of this he said "RIGHT" tackles in the draft. "Your Other Left".

Also he referred to "RT's in the draft because if we have to look to the draft, obviously Jonathan Martin will be penciled in as starting LT coming into camp.

Its highly unlikely Ireland's trading up to get one of the top 3 LT's you mentioned.

How many playoff games did Miami win with Long? Oh yeah ZERO! You don't need an overpaid elite LT to win in the NFL. You need a competent LT and some elite play makers.

What a F'ing Combination!!

Posted by: DaShe | March 04, 2013 at 06:44 PM

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

Take!!!!! A!!! Pill!!!!! And Chill!!!!!

ClowinShe!!!!

Martin did not look ready to be a LT in the NFL last year. He needed tons of help. How much better can he get? We'll have to see.

Maybe, dolfandave, but there are also some great DTs there who are at a Premium also. Lane Johnson might fall to Us

Martin gets bull rushed often and graded out as one of the worst LT's during his 4 game stretch. He graded out better at RT but still bottom half, This kid needs to seriously work on his power if he is to survive his second year.

Still, IMO. JMart is better in the LT position than the R and, whatever he might have there we are commited that way. So, somebody that can play RT will be.

They may have drafted Martin as a security blanket, knowing full well resigning Long was not going to be easy.

Ireland is not as dumb as you think.

Jonathan Martin, 2yr college scouting reports:

Projected Round (2012): Top-25 Pick.
4/6/12: Martin was sick at the Combine, so he didn't work out. Martin had a solid performance at his pro day. The need for tackles could push him higher in the draft than many have him ranked.

Martin had a good overall season. He was a solid blocker in defending Andrew Luck's blind side, proving the signal-caller with quality pass protection all year. There were some games that Martin allowed some pressure, but he was reliable.

In 2011, Martin was a good run blocker, and the Cardinal ran behind him all year with some huge successes on the ground. Stanford totaled 446 yards on the ground against Washington and had many other big days running the ball.


Martin sets the edge well and is a good athlete to hit blocks on the second level. He had some penalty problems earlier in the season, but cleared that up. Martin is a better run-blocking franchise left tackle prospect than many former high first-rounders, but he will need to continue to improve his pass blocking for the NFL.

8/20/11: Jonathan Martin has been an excellent player at Stanford. He dominated the PAC-10 last season as a run blocker and pass protector for Andrew Luck. Martin has the pass-protection tools to be a Pro Bowl tackle. Don't be surprised if he puts up a fight to be the first tackle taken. Martin was an All-Pac-10 first-team selection. He's a top-10 prospect.

Martin still comes into the league with HUGE upside. You see the damned scouting report.

I hope so Oscar. I know Philbin would love his movement skills. Maybe even use him as a TE in three TE sets. I bet Jonathan Cooper is also getting his attention. Guys who can move.

Sorry Yesterday, I was referring to his comment "the draft is full of solid left tackle prospects". Most likely anything less than the three I mentioned will be ready to play at a high level. Thanks for pointing that out.

It would take our 2 2nd rders to get up to the 3rd pick.

2 3rd rders to get to the 6th pick.

1 3rd rder to get to the 9th pick.

I would rather we hold onto our picks but If we end up without a LT after free agency is over, giving up one our 3rders for someone like Lane Johnson may be neccessary.

Eh fk this blog

That was in college. He certainly wasn't anything like that in the pros.

I was going to write that, Lars, but you anticipated me. Good.

Martin, another Ireland bust.

From what we've seen, Ireland got good value for JMartin. Moving on.

On OL, what will Incognito and Jerry's fate be? Hmm...

Clown!!

U Are The Exception!!!

Since You Are Such An Ignoramus!!

This Is The Way You Deserve!! To be Spoken To!!

Oh, and Stop HIDING!!

For how many more seasons are we going to draft high for oline??? At what point do we ever invest in a dynamic playmaker for the future? Assuming we have a better season, we won't be picking so high anytime soon.

I say take advantage of the situation and draft Patterson. Take matters into our own hands rather than postpone any longer our serious deficiency in scoring points.

WTH is going on, Dashi? We are all here exchanging opinions in a civil way and you come up with this stuff.

I think Jerry is a keeper after all. He is a beast. He was a victim of poor coaching. Not anymore.

The only was Ireland can redeem himself is the Dolphins making playoffs this year.
Everyone knows the road to the playoffs is to at least split with the Pats.
This years schedule is very hard. We need to be drafting serious play makers.

7 million and this guy thinks he is worth 11 million? Armando is right, lots of better options out there for the Fins

It is looking more and more, Carl, that we will sign Mike Wallace. There really are NO NFL ready O Differencemakers in this Draft.

Mike Irving ,Jerry Rice , Lynn Swan,Keyshawn Johnson,all Rams Wrs,,Marvin Harrison ,(you could probably find fewer Divas that didn't win SBs

oscar, tell me what difference did Wallace make for the Steelers last year?

Agree, Lars. I saw Jerry even get to the second level on occasions last year.

Good Point, On Jerry and Incognito.

What Will Happen With Them? Specifically Jerry.

We Need A LT!! Jake Or Someone Of Equal VALUE.

But

Getting OG's That Can Move, Is Key For This Offense. Sherman Is A Screen Master!! And The Offense Couldn't Run Any With The 2 Fat boys Inside. L.Miller Is Excellent In The Screen Game. Even Reggie could've Benefited. But When OG's Can't Pull Or Move Fast Enough. The Screen Is Basically Obsolete.

Womack Isn't A Good OG For Screens Or Zone Running.

If We Don't Resign Jake. Dashi Would Like The Fins To Go After A Veteran RG, That Moves. And A Good OT. For The Price It Would Cost To Sign Jake.

Remember, What Dashi Said Earlier. BVA!!

Ireland Doesn't Have To Go After The #1 LT In FA!! As Long As He can Sign 1 Of The Top 5 For Half The Value. To Many Holes To Overspend!!

BVA!!

The Way Ireland Will Do Business.

Then In The Draft. BPA.

There are plenty more OTs available this draft, including Kyle Long, Howie Long's kid who was denied another year of eligibility but showed skills

i like loadholt @ RT and and Jmartin @ left

Something will have to give on Wallace though. Word is he will go to the highest bidder but Ireland says he won't overpay.

One Man cannot Win Championships all on their own, Carl. If he gives Us 3-6 points a Game, I'll be satisfied.

BVA!!!

Then In The Draft...BELCH!!!! BPA!!!

Posted by: DaShe | March 04, 2013 at 07:26 PM

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

Can you switch to English?

oscar, I admire quality, but I don't like to overpay either. Let Wallace's price come down to reality. He is no alpha receiver and shouldn't be paid like one. I don't think anyone will, so just maybe we get him for fair value.

Listen, if that's what you consider the best and there are no other options for you outside of it, then you have to pay the Price if you want it.

Wallace will never be on the cheapo Dolphins. Ireland would sign Duriel Harris at this point if he thought he could get away with it.

We'll probably see Wallace twice yearly on the Pats. Pats are fading and need a deep threat.

Oscar or Should I Call You Lars?

Anytime One Of You Two Want To Get Ignant!!

Dashi Will Refer To You With The !!

Don't Want To Repeat Myself!!

Since We Have Already Been Thru This!!

Dashi Isn't Going To Go On A Rant!!

Or Answer Back!! To Your Childish Tactics!! (Except With Childish Tactics Myself!!)

The Real Posters. That Don't Act like Clowns!! Or HIDE!! Under Different Names!! Will Get A Proper Response. From Dashi.

Don't Expect To Call Me Out Of My Name. And Dashi Take You Serious.

You are A Smart Man? So I Expect You To Be Able To Retain What I Say. (Since, You Told Me Not To Repeat!! That I Was Going To Stop Using "!!") Don't Be A Clown, or Dashi Will Treat You As Such!!

Broder, what has befallen Us!

Well in some cases yes. For Wallace, I don't think so. We agree to disagree.

Washington overpaid for RG3, where did it get them?

Atlanta overpaid for Julio Jones, where did it get them?

Washington overpaid for Haynesworth, where did it get them?

Philly overpaid for Asomugha, where did it get them?

Oakland overpaid for Carson Palmer,where did it get them?


Do you see a pattern here?

@7:32,

Sure When You Switch To A Sign In Name, We All Know You Use.

And That Was English, Bird Brain!!

Abbr.

Donkey!!

Dashi Already Explained!! BVA!!

And BPA!!

Is Normal Nomenclature In This Blog.

You're not Ireland, Carl.

It looks like DaShe is sufferening an odin type crisis

look guys martin only rookie last yr.Yes he had some strggles but has chance to be good.My problem is i Long leaves another 1st round pick wasted plus who says he cant bouneback.This real concern for me.Their is a reason why probowl lts dont hit the market ofen.All i can say is when next yrs draft rolls along I bette not be hearing how the dolphins are in need of a Lt.As for the top 3 tackles,my guess is they will all be gone by pick 12.

Why not forget about Long, Smith and Bush and sifn Levitre,Volmer and Jennings. Resign Hartline & sign Starks to more than the franchise tag he got today , give him a few yr deal that would ease that $8.4 mil cap #... Resign Clemmons to a few yr deal(he seems to be slowly coming along) like Jones has been doing last yr.
1st rd-Rhodes/Trufant
2a-Woods/Hopkins
2b-Ertz (he should slide due to shorter arms)
Draft WHOEVER IS BEST ON THEIR BOARD THE REST OF DRAFT since all major needs are now filled with FA & those draft piks, build up depth. . They're really expecting Vernon to explode so I don't think they go DE early.

Philbin has stated they never got a high priced FA in GB that helped them. Philbin and Ireland have stated the #1 quality in a receiver is good hands, they have to catch the ball.

Wallace dropped more passes than any other receiver in the NFL last year.

It certainly doesn't sound like someone they want, and if they do, then they are contradicting themselves and their word means nothing.

Washington and Atlanta were in the playoffs. So how did they over pay?

Yes, steal my name. I'm only flattered.

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