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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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jpao,

Those are Rookie Contracts.

Dear Jeff Ireland,

Pay the big money to DT's, DE's, QB's, WR's and CB's. All other players should be considered second or third tier players. You paid Solai and now Starks big money. You got Bess signed to a solid contract. You got your starting QB in the draft and are paying him reasonably until he really proves himself. That is all great!!

Now do you really pay Hartline big money knowing he is no better than a #2 WR? NO!

Do you really pay your scrub CB's big money konwing they couldn't cover, tackle or make INT's all year?
NO!

Get focused....get big time playmakers on this team and if it means overpaying for top level WR's and CB's so be it. There are some solid WR's and CB's to take in FA who will upgrade the team for sure.

But don't, please don't, pay Jake Long, Reggie Bush, Sean Smith or Brian Hartline big money. you have a stock pile of draft picks and can find replacements in rounds 1, 2 and 3.

Stay to this recipe and we may finally make consistent runs to the playoffs in '14, '15 and '16.

Oscar,

Good Safeties. But Not Great. Specially Not the Best Safety Draft in the Last Decade. Not Even The Last 5 Years.

2010 Draft

#5 E.Berry
#14 E.Thomas
#133 K.Chancellor

All Pro Bowlers. And No Safety in this Draft is E.Berry or E.Thomas.

I understand that those are rookie contracts. We have the chance to pay even cheaper rookie contracts. We have a solid LT in Martin and he came cheap. Go sign Garner as a RT and pick up another late in Round 2 or early in Round 3 to compete.

Spend the $'s in FA on WR's and CB's. NOT on LT's.

Sometimes it is hard to tell!!! If I am smelling my own farrrts!!! or my dogs!!!!!!

Posted by: DaShe | March 04, 2013 at 10:08 PM

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Grow the fukkk up already

If you wathced the games you know Martin is not a LT.

Hi there Dashi!

jpao,

Agreed. Spend Money on Playmakers.

But On The Money. You Want Jake To get Paid Like a Rookie? That is how it sounds.

Jake will get paid like a Rookie. Like His Rookie Contract.

The Only Way I See Reasonable to go after A OT high. Is if We Do Sign A Couple WR's and a CB in Free Agency.

This is The First Year. Where We Really See What Are Ireland's Priority on His Roster. Money Wise.

Does He Believe In the Parcells Theory? Build Thru the Line.

Or

Is Ireland his own Man. And Has His Own Way on How a Teams Cap Should Look Like.

1 Thing is For Certain. Ireland is Not That In Love With Jake!! As I Thought.

The Possibility Of Letting Jake Walk Is Looking More Realistic By The Day.

Long needs to stop and think hard about this. He's not a 10-11 million a year player. End of story! If the guy and his representatives have any clue at all--they'll take $7.5 mil in a hurry and get a deal done.

Going to be away on work the next few weeks. Now with the Tag applied to Starks, here are my hopes for Free Agency.

Let go of: Bush, Long, Smith, McDaniels and Mastrud.

Keep only at salaries for positions listed: Fasano (#2 TE), Hartline (#2 WR), Garner (RT or RT backup), Clemons (no more than midlevel S's in the NFL).

Pick up the following: #1 WR, #1 or #2 CB and #1 TE, G or T depth (to push current starters).

If we can pull that off we are in GREAT SHAPE entering the draft.

#1 DE or CB
#2 DE or CB
#2 T or WR
#3 T or WR
#3 CB
#4 G or S
#4 (compensatory hopeful) G or S
#5 RB - short yardage bruiser
#6 LB - depth and special teams
#7 LB or DE development player

Sign mike Wallace first ,,,,,,,,,,,

Then sign martellus benett ,,,,,,,,,,,,

Then resign hartline for the right price 5 million per

Then sign Tracy porter,,,,,,,,

Old And Senile!!

Now Making Imaginary Post Up. @11:21

Guess, You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks. Right, Rin Tintin.

Name Seems Fitting Since You Come From A Long Line Of People That Follow Their Masters Order.

And Before You Go On Some Racist Rant! That Isn't A Reference TO Black People. They Haven't Been Slaved In Almost 200 Years.

Black People Stand Up For Their Rights.

You? You are Just a Coward ... WHO HIDES.

Then draft like you never have before,,,,,,,,

Hey Sentinal, I got some breaking news for you... The reason your mother did not return your call earlier was she was busy tossing my salad.

Dump Brandon Marshall and get Wallace? Does that make any sense?

Whoa, I'm back. Was taking a HUGE dump. Took three flushes to get all the dashe down the chute.

Coward

Spend money on a new GM.

DUDE ALL OF YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT U ARE TALKING ABOUT Jonathan Martin PLAYED VERY WELL LAST YEAR! HE DID NOT PLAY ALL THAT GREAT IN THE 1ST 6 GAMES BUT AFTER THAT HE PLAYED GOOD THEN WHEN JAKE LONG WENT DOWN AND MARTIN MOVED TO THE LEFT SIDE THE LAST 7 GAMES HE PLAYED VERY WELL THEY ACTUALLY SAID HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE LEAGUE AT LT WHEN HE MOVED OVER THERE HE DID NOT GIVE UP REALLY ANYTHIGN HE GAVE UP 2 SACKS IN 7 GAMES AT LT AND THE PLAYED AGAINST AWSOME TEAMS WITH PROBOWLS TIGHT ENDS! SO GET YORU STORY STRAIGHT JACK! HE PLAYED VERY WELL AT LT IF NOT BETTER THEN EVERYONE IN THE LEAGUE THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS IS THAT TEH FAT BOY NEXT TO HIM IN RICHIE INGCONITO WAS LIKE HIS NAME HE GOT RAN OVER AND WAS NOT SEEN AND THAT IS WHEN TANNERHILL WAS UNDERPRESSURE BECAUSE INGONITO WAS NOT BLOCKING AT THE END OF THE YEAR! MARTIN WAS ROCK SOLID HIS LAST 8 GAMES! THAT IS WHY ALL OF ESPN AND ALL TEH SPORTS WRITERS ARE PREDICTING HIM TO STAY AT LT AND SAYING HOW GOOD HE WAS BUT U SO CALLED FANS HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THE HELL U ARE TALKING ABOUT ALSO FOR HIS GRADE THEY SAY HE WAS A STEAL IN THE 2ND ROUND CAUSE HOW HE PERFORMED WHEN LONG WENT DOWN HE ACTUALLY PLAYED A 100X'S BETTER THEN LONG DID WHEN JAKE LONG PLAYED THE FIRST 9 GAMES U IDIOT!

I know you all will laugh at me, but NE is waiting to see if Hartline is re-signed by Miami. If he isn't expect Hartline to be signed by the Patriots at $6M a year for three years immediately. If he is, expect Welker's deal to get done immediately.

A

Miami will definately keep Martin at LT. The question is whether tackles McDonald, Yeatman, or Patrick Brown are good enough to handle the RT spot.

fintasy, you are 100% wrong. as a rookie martin played pretty well, and it was not until he was moved to left tackle (his natural position and where he started 4 years at stanford)to fill in for an injured long, that he actually plyed better. if you want to criticize everything like you do at least be accurate

arl, washington overpaid for RG3 and where did it get them? they made the playoffs which they had not done for how long? they got the rookie of the year, and they turned their franchise around with 1 player. THATS what it got them, and overpaid? they would do it again and so would I

carl,BTW, i dont think atlanta is thinking they overpaid for 1 of the top WRs in the NFL.

thank goodness you have no say in personnel matters for miami, because you seem uninformed and clueless

Beatty has been just as injured as Long and is not as talented. Mando, come on man!

Reality is sinking in..with Starks locked up with the Franchise tag until they get a long term deal done the only glaring need on defense is a CB. They will probably resign Clemmons at some point.

Now lets see who Ireland signs before FA. Long, Clemmons, Fasano? Maybe a cap cut from another team that can be signed immediately?

Martin played better? Like when Aldon Smith picked him up and threw him at Tannehill. Seriously, he picked up and threw the man... have you ever seen that before??

He played well against Buffalo and jax because they suck. He stunk against San Fran and NE. STUNK!

Great article is there any chance I can take it and copy it onto my own blog

If Martin played all 16 games at LT, he would have been a ProBowler!

Ok, that was a joke to jumpstart Mark this morning.

But Mark, isn't Vollmer intriguing? Pretty good tackle. And taking a NE player away and using him against them is a delicious thought, isn't it?

Great article is there any chance I can take it and copy it onto my own blog

Jake Long comes with a huge tag- BUYER BEWARE!. Let him walk, let another team overpay for a player on decline and a player that will start 3/4ths of the 16 games. Solve the O-line through free agency as much as possible. With the first 4 picks of the draft, priority needs to be given to finding playmakers!

All is well. Jeff Ireland is in charge. Nothing to worry about.

Alex Marvez just wrote an article saying how the Dolphins are the biggest jokebin the league because of Jeff Ireland.

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