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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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And Fed Up,

How am I a bullsh*t artist for reporting what I read? Cause it doesn't jive with what your saying? In what world?

Posted by: Craig M | March 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

TELL ME WHERE YOU READ IT! YOU MAKE THE CLAIMS AND TELL ME YOU READ IT.

WHAT THE PROBLEM WITH TELLING ME WHERE! LEMME SEE IT WITH MY OWN EYES.

I GAVE 2 LINKS, YOU GIVE 0.

Zero is your credibility!

"The Dolphins are "finalizing" a deal with free agent G/T Nate Garner.
Garner would be returning as insurance for a team that just lost Jake Long. Garner acquitted himself well in four starts at right tackle last season, but he'd almost certainly be coming back as a swing tackle, not a starter."
Source: Adam Beasley on Twitter
Mar 18 - 12:02 PM

Another smart move by Ireland. I can't believe the job Ireland has done so far this off season. Having said that--considering the move to a West Coast offense & the switch to a 4-3 defense--I've got to believe Philbin & his staff are heavily involved with the re-shaping this roster.

Enough with FA. Now they need focus on the draft & nail some of those picks. After that we just need to win games....

Criag Illiterate M,

So, you say the new guys can't cover TE's but, completion yards per play isn't an indicator of that?

THEY GAVE UP FEWER YARDS PER COMPLETION THAT DANSBY & BURNETT.

It completely refutes your idiotic claims.

You wont' admit it. You won't provide a source of one of the MANy articles you read.

Your posts are shallow, uneducated & lacking in ANYTHING factual.

Go find a dumb blog where you may actually appear to know what you're even saying.

You call other people comical? You are th ebiggest joke Mr. many sources!

Dashi, I've always been a fan of the ballet. If you ever find yourself in Ontario or Quebec, check it out. Our laws up here are a lot less stringent than they are in the USA.

0 draft picks left on team from 2008

LMFAO @ Fed up! I applaud your effrot. Trust me, it didn't go unnoticed! I see though that he insinuated your someone else. That's common!

FYI, I could open both links but the bleacherreport one is TOTALLY screwed up format wise. Could read it but, it gave me a headache!

Honestly, how dumb and brainwashed would you have to be to honestly believe in your heart that the fairy tale you were taught is a child is actually true when you inherently understand that Greek mythology and Scientology and Hinduism and tribal African religions are completely made up.

Felt Worse when Webb and Simms left. But hay that is the past.

This is a blessing in Rams clothing. This money can be used to get us three more players who can add depth and experience. Martin has to man up, the two new LB's have to man up.

We can fix the line in the draft. We can not find a player with enough experience to cover the best the NFL offers. You can get good CB's in the draft but you need to give them time to adjust.

Ed Reed and Freeny would be my next splurges. I would then head to the draft and find a way to get Fluker or Warmack. Saban has seasoned these boys he runs one of the toughest war machines in college.

Huge speed jump from college to NFL. That is why alot of these names we love never pan out. And why you sometimes find MUTTS in the later rounds who are used to working hard and shine when you expose them to NFL coaches.

Love Long, but Tanhill will just have to Roll Right, sort of sounds like (Roll Tide??) and thats comming from Ohio STate Alum. By the way my Buckeyes have a couple good OL in this years draft just sayin.

Ireland seems to be trying to save his job.

Martin needs a chance to compete for LT job. he was only a rookie last year and RT was his position on the team.

he did play a pretty good LT in college no?

i'm completely fine with letting the 4 guys who left go. bush's contract is too long, keller better than fasano, long hurt too often, and smith was overpaid by KC.

we still have space and guys we can cut/replace for more cap. we have 12 picks, 5 in the 1st 80? this draft may not be loaded with superstars but there are can't miss starting calibur players deep into the 4th round. i think ireland and the coaching staff has done a great job so far this off-season. foyle hs the LB core he wants, he has a grey d-line tat can draft that pass-rushing DE the covet. our safety duo was pretty highly ranked at years end. honestly, while we will improve at CB, there were times when smith was out at it wasn't a massive drop off. sign grimes, take a chance on the honey-badger in the early 3rd. he is 1st round talent. put a full time companion with him. write it in his contract. the kid's been humbled enough to sign a deal like that. even if you cut patterson and marshall you'd still have wilson, carrol and mccaan for depth/nickel. that's he defense. draft a future safety.

that still gives you picks and a lot of them to add line depth or a starter on offense, a top TE, and hopefully get a top TE. i know 12 is a bit of a reach for eifert, but he could have the biggest long term impact of anyone we draft at 12. he is a gronk type TE. big, strong, long arms, solid speed and route running, can block an catch. i don't see him going too many picks past 12. i doubt he gets to 20. so if you need a great TE in the west coast offense to make it humm, is it that big a reach?? sure trading back to 16 or 17 and doing it would be great. if it can be done do it!! but if you can't move draft him anyway!!!

get a RB in this draft too. would love to get lacey in the second. that give you lacey and miller to carry the load and thomas can be used as depth and catching passes on third down.


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?

Posted by: DC Dolfan | March 18, 2013 at 08:41 AM

DC...Amen brotha!!! The voice of reason...Hopefully Ireland learned a lesson...Good God...

The bad back comment by BANE. HAHAHAHA!

In college he could but in the NFL, Jonathin Martin CANNOT plat LT. In the past drafts, the old Ireland has traded down (stupid). The new Ireland will, in this upcoming draft trade up somehow to get the best LT and I'm hoping Tyler Eifert. Go get'em Jeff!

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