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Long takes best deal available, becomes a Ram

PHOENIX -- In the end, Jake Long went with the most money.

Period.

The St. Louis Rams offered him the biggest contract he had on the table -- a four-year, $34 million deal that included up to $20 million in guaranteed money, if he stays healthy -- and he went with that. Football is a business as well as a sport.

Long made a business decision.

The Dolphins offer that hovered around $8 million per year but offered him a chance to stay with the same team and came with built in tax advantages, was not enough. A late Pittsburgh Steelers offer to play for a perennial winner -- neither the Dolphins nor Rams have been to the playoffs for years -- was not in the financial ballpark.

Long did not get the $10 million offer he wanted from anyone.

And the sweet but fanciful bring-jake-home twitter campaign by some teammates and fans ultimately fell on deaf ears.

"There were other teams other than Miami and St. Louis," agent Tom Condon said. "The deal makes a lot of sense for Jake. It makes a lot of sense for the Rams, especially for the quarterback."

Condon joked that St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford texted him when the news of Long's signing came out. "He's excited," Condon said.

Long spoke with St. Louis Post Dispatch early this morning. He mentioned the "great family atmosphere" surrounding the Rams. He mentioned falling in love with the "entire vision of the Rams organization."

He said he didn't visit with the Dolphins over the weekend, as was reported here on earlier Sunday. He didn't mention that St. Louis had the best offer on the table.

The Dolphins seemingly had a price point on Long and although there was room within that, they generally stuck with their belief of what Long is worth, I'm told.

The reason the team didn't blow Long away with an offer is it apparently is not sold that Long is the same player he was when he was drafted first overall out of Michigan. According to YahooSports.com there have been conflicts within the Dolphins organization about bringning Long back at all.

The club also has a "Plan B" for replacing Long.

I do not know what that is. Perhaps the club offers Cincinnati left tackle Andre Smith. Perhaps the club makes a push for New England Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. (Vollmer is a right tackle but has played some at left tackle). Eric Winston is also on the market as a right tackle and that might be a direction the Dolphins take, perhaps on a one-year basis.

Perhaps the club goes to the draft and plucks one of the many left tackle prospects with the No. 12 overall selection.

The Dolphins can also draft or sign a right tackle and hope second-year player Jonathan Martin grow into the left tackle spot. Martin finished the season at left tackle after Long blew out a left triceps muscle and finished the year on the injured reserve list.

(Martin was bad in his pass-blocking assignment at left tackle. Long yielded four sacks last year to Martin's two, but those two came in 200 fewer pass protection snaps. And in those fewer snaps, Martin allowed more hurries than Long.)

An aside about Long and his injuries: The Dolphins wanted Long back. No doubt about it. But they also have a full understanding -- they believe the most intimate understanding -- of Long's physical condition. And their offer reflected that understanding.

Let's face it, Long is a gifted and solid player. But his spate of injuries the past three years have taken a visible toll the past two seasons. He's finished both those years on injured reserve. His play has declined. His body hasn't been the same.

Last training camp he talked about "feeling the healthiest I've felt in years." But the player who once ran conditioning drills with linebackers was doing it with his other offensive linemen now, according to one player. And as healthy as he felt at the start of camp, he finished right where he was the season before.

On the injured list.

Comments

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I dont have a problem with players going for the money, but something about this whole thing doesnt sit right with me. Was it all for the money, does he not like Ireland or Philbin. I mean "I fell in love with the vision?" I didnt realize big Jake was such a baby. I am sad to see him go, but it's probably for the best

Breer also reports that $16 million is guaranteed at signing, with another $4 million guaranteed if he is on the roster at the start of the 2014 league year.

Thats a pretty big gamble on someone that hasn't finished the last two season...

Get Winston and a CB for Long money...

Probably Philbin didn't like him back either. Jake is primarily a drive blocker and not specially good at pass protect, specially vs speed rushers.

Time to move on he wasn't the first draft choice in 08 anyways. Move on from this guy he"ll likely end up in the injured reserve anyways

*correct

Grab Winston and Defensive End Dumervil

I'm happy we are moving on that price. Thanks for your service Jake.

It's hard to understand why a multi-millionaire like Jake Long would place such a high value on making another million or two.I know when you reach the professional level it is a business decision but would it hurt to show a little loyalty to the club that invested such a high draft pick and all that money in you?If you are that greedy a person then I say don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.I see the IR list in your future again real soon.

Maybe best for all concerned. Rams get Long, who's a better fit in their system. Maybe Jake will work harder and prosper there, also. Dolphins avoid overpaying for an Ireland fave.

'Hovereing' close to 8 mil. seems high and certainly not 20 mill guaranteed. He was ranked 47th of 75 always playing injured and in decline. Moreover, NOT a good fit for zone blocking. Easily replaced and cap money better spent elsewhere.

He passed his physical?

Peace and blessings Long.

I know his wife was behind it.

She gets half in the split.

Big lunk. Big money. Big headache off our team. Move on. Good luck Jake.

I'm bothered by him leaving too but in the end FA's make the choice and it's all about the dollars. Family atmosphere? Really..LOL? ALL we heard from the start was how he was offended and thought 11 mil was his value. Guess he was not offended by the 9 mil or less he is taking from the Rams.

What is plan B? I'd sign Winston 5 mins after Jake signed and get OL in the draft.

And with that, let's all put the Long vs. Ryan debate to bed. Long advocates, you really don't have a leg to stand on. Faulty strategy. You get a LT BEFORE you have a QB worthy of his services, and wind up wasting him away on scrubs until he's no longer cost-effective to your organization. 5 years, that's what you got out of your NUMBER 1 PICK IN THE '08 DRAFT. Ray Lewis (a 1st-rd pick, just retired after what, 16 or something years with his organization), and we got a Pro-Bowler for FIVE years. No matter what ANYONE thinks Ryan would have done here, the probability is he'd still be the Dolphins QB today, and into the future. Maybe not as accomplished, but certainly still a viable franchise option.

And that's why you build a team around a QUARTERBACK, before you choose ANYONE ELSE. Or else you stay insignificant. Any questions?

They lost 2 starting wrs the starting rb and got a lt. Sounds like a good trade off

Ross is a cheap SOB and will never produce a winner. Not to pay Jake with all our cap room is JUST PATHETIC!

Time to pursue Dumervil

I say its time to bring out the secret weapon:

I say we put armando out there @ LT in sring camp & line him up against ELVIS DUMMERVIKL

We lost our 2 best players Long and Bush.

I feel sorry for Tannehill without Long and Bush. YIKES!

THIS TEAM SUCKS!! TONS OF CAP ROOM AND THEY LOSE 7 STARTERS?? WTF??

fatty pos.lol

I know sports is a business now but this is offensive to me as a fan. For about the same money he could've stayed with the team that overpaid him and stayed loyal to him. It hurts.

At least the consolation is there is that the Seahawks and 49ers will make him look bad four times a year. I'd say good luck Jake, but I wouldn't mean it. the money was apparently similar, he left for a measly couple of million when he already made $60+...sheesh

So do we go with Winston, Vollmer or a draft pick? I think top 3 tackles will be gone by 12. I think Vollmer is younger and probably a little better and he protects Brady, so that makes me want him!! I think Winston is probably the best bet , for financial reasons and we will take a tackle later in the draft. What do you guys think?

I would take Dumrvile's 10 sacks over Long's pass protection all day.

Pick up a tackle and CB in FA then move to the draft. Solid off-season pickups.

Vollmer, Grimes. Make it so Ireland.


Good luck to Long.

I think this is a win for the Dolphins. It doesn't matter how good you are, if you're injured its all worthless. The Dolphins will add someone else and I doubt there will be a significant net drop off in production. Tannehill will hopefully continue to improve and with better pocket awareness and better pass catchers a weakened line can be compensated for. Its perhaps more important to use the extra available cap space, after a tackle, on CBs and maybe a pass rusher.

cheap fish and totally fed up have to be the same idiot.

Losing the 2 best players on offense is just pathetic. Its no wonder everyone hates the Dolphin FO.

Re-sign Garner & let's focus on the draft.

I can't believe I'm going to say it BUT Ireland didn't blow it!!! IMO--He definitely got it right by letting Smith & Long walk. No need to waste money on underperforming players.

Can ANYONE name the starting left tackle of the last 10 teams to play in the Superbowl or the playoffs the last 5 yrs???? But I bet we can all name the QUARTERBACKS of all the teams to make playoff runs the last 5yrd and play in the last 5 Superbowls.... Enough said right there because superbowls are won every yr with good left tackles or even descent ones. You don't need a dominant one (which Jake has not been the last 2 yrs anyway)
Thank goodness we finally get to move on and sign Winston and hopefully one of the CBs out there, or maybe even Osi UminUra (he's got fresh legs) since Giants have only rotated him the last couple yrs.

And the Dullfins wonder why they stink every year....

Hey totally fed up - take a bottle of smart pills! they didn't lose any starters they let them go. I don't think losing anyone from a 7-9 team is much to worry about. This team is far better than it was three weeks ago and we still have nine draft picks in a heavy offensive and defensive line draft. How can any o f you dumb bunnies say Ross is cheap after this FA splurge - IDIOT!!!!!!

rdubs, other than the top 3, the guys I'd be looking at in the draft are

Terron Armstead , Ark Pine Bluff, who's a great athlete but played at a small school, make take some time to catch up but may play like a 1st rounder in the future

Kyle Long, Howie's boy inherited the family athelte genes, played at Oregon, may be a day one starer.

David Quessenberry (SJ St), and Reid Fragel (Ohio St) are interesting late round options ...

Stop taking his words and trying to make this about Ireland or Philbin. If Miami had offered even one dollar more he would of fallen in love with Miami's "vision", whatever that means. In Football these days it is all about the money. Keller now loves Miami because they offered him more then anyone else, period, end of story. If the Jets had made him a better offer he would of signed and overlooked their circus and told the press that they were "headed in the right direction".

Jake has to be thrilled to be out of this cheap cespool franchise. Good luck Jake!

lost their 2 best players on offense?
bush? miamis starting RB will get more yards than r. bush
who is 2nd? jake long? he has not played a full season in 2 years and was rated 53rd out of almost 80 OLinemen last year.
is fasano 2nd? keller is ahuge upgrade

LOL!!! You guys are cracking me up. Let's look at the facts. Jake Long is not the player we drafted at number 1. He does not have good feet. We are no longer a power blocking team, but a zone blocking team, which requires more athletic offensive lineman. Ireland's knew exactly what he was doing when they drafted a left tackle last year in the draft. This is a passing league now guys, don't forget. Offensive lines need to be more athletic now, not power guys anymore. It is not the end of the world and if you look at not his number one draft status, but the wayheplayed on the field the last two years, we would not even have this conversation now.

I know sports is a business now but this is offensive to me as a fan. For about the same money he could've stayed with the team that overpaid him and stayed loyal to him. It hurts.

At least the consolation is there is that the Seahawks and 49ers will make him look bad four times a year. I'd say good luck Jake, but I wouldn't mean it. the money was apparently similar, he left for a measly couple of million when he already made $60+...sheesh

Mark,

IMO--It had to be the difference in guaranteed money. We'll never know how much of the money was 'guaranteed' by the Dolphins. These guys all know they're one play away from calling it a career.

I'd be extremely surprised if Jake made it through the 2013 season w/o missing a game.

I don't care who comes and goes, just as long as things work out for the Dolphins.
Long is no longer a good fit for our system, hes's a perfect fit for the Rams.
I hope Long have a few more Pro Bowl seasons with the Rams. I also hope that my BELOVED DOPHINS become the new beast of the East and add two more Lombardi Trophies to the collection during coach Philbin's tenure.


- GO DOLPHINS

I thought from the beginning he was gone but not at a little more than 8 million a season.He better than anyone knows that in this business you have a limited time because of the wear and tear on the body.Only time will tell if the Fins made the right decision, and if he continues being injured regularly, the Rams fans will have something to complain about on their blogs.

as much heat as ireland took last year, he has totally redeemed himself.

Henry, I know what you're trying to say but you DO NEED a capable left tackle and now, we don't have one... you can fart rainbows all day but the best left tackle on the market is gone and we need to go to plan B ... it's not a good day.

long has a very high opinion of himself. wish his play could have reflected that. vollmer is a good option.

WOW! I cant believe they cheaped out again. Just F'n pathetic!!

LOL!!! You guys are cracking me up. Let's look at the facts. Jake Long is not the player we drafted at number 1. He does not have good feet. We are no longer a power blocking team, but a zone blocking team, which requires more athletic offensive lineman. Ireland's knew exactly what he was doing when they drafted a left tackle last year in the draft. This is a passing league now guys, don't forget. Offensive lines need to be more athletic now, not power guys anymore. It is not the end of the world and if you look at not his number one draft status, but the wayheplayed on the field the last two years, we would not even have this conversation now.

Naples,

Great post. The difference is that you know what you're talking about.

Not for nuthin but, has anyone noticed that the three players that met with Philbin in the HBO series Hard Knocks (after Chad Johnson was let go) are no longer with the team? Dansby, Long and Bush.

So far a bunch of trolls and nervous nelly's. Can't believe you doom and gloomers think Long wins us games. Especially the Long we've seen for the past two years.

Long is injury-prone. He may not even last out the 4 years. This contract may have been his one big shot at "getting paid."

Best decision for him; best decision for the Dolphins. Let's get somebody who can go 16 out of 16.

Its a very SAD day in Dolphin land.

WNP, I was thinking about the guaranteed money too or else it doesn't make sense to be stuck with the mustache man and trying to fight SF and Sea every year during the rest of your career when you could've stayed here and know that Tom Brady won't be dominant forever.

I still think there's such a thing as loyalty in every kind of work, not just sports. I can always take another contract that will give me a 5-10% bump in pay but if you are entrenched somewhere and know your role and are comfortable with it - then it's more than worth it to not chase the money.

Whatever, he's gone ... Lane Johnson would be a definite upgrade ...

1966finfan, your're kidding when you say a million or 2 isn't a reason to leave a team. I'm sure that a million or 2 is enough to leave any job. Don't be naive.

At the end of the day, pro-football is a business and sadly so. Peyton Manning being released by the Colts a year ago, Welker leaving New England last week and now Jake Long heading for greener, financial pastures. It's all about the money. How long does an offensive lineman last in this league these days? How much punishment can a body take: Jake long is entering his 6th year and his body is not what it was when he was drafter #1 in 2008, which was to high in my humble opinion. This past fall, as I watched opposing linebackers run around Long to tackle Tanneyhill, I could see the decline in his speed and strength. I hope he does well in St. Louis.

Vazman,

I don't think the Dolphins did lose their two best players.

Bush was productive but not relative to the number of touches he got. Now we're spreading the ball around more his touches would have decreased. I expect Miller to be more productive, and cheaper, than Bush in 2013, partially because he's more likely to stay on the field.

The same is true for Long. He missed games and Pouncey was arguably more effective on the O line. Tannehill and Hartline were better on offense last year relative to their cost and will be even better in 2013.

Both players are declining whilst younger players are ascending, lets no over pay for past production, instead under pay for future production.

I wish Long luck , but he clearly isn't the player that the asking price reflected any more .

When Jake goes to the Hall of Fame, does he go in a Dolphin or a Ram?

That Ross is a cheap SOB. He wont even pay for a real GM or to fix his own stadium. And he's worth 4.4 BILION!! Anh he wonders why the stadium is empty!

Long was a decent player and I would have preferred we go t him back because we are familiar with him.We know what he brings more or less.Yes the key was always his health.He was a long-term risk for sure so I m not upset either that he s now gone.We ll just need to get a healthy player....likely not with Long s potential though.

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