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Long leaves St. Louis, Dolphins 'encouraged'

Jake Long may still join the St. Louis Rams someday. But probably not today.

After three days of dining and meeting and poking and prodding and, yes, negotiating, Long left the Rams facility earlier without a contract from that team. That is a blow of sorts for Long who expected he'd have a deal with the team once his medical exam checked out.

It's also a blow for the Rams who wanted Long as their blindside protector of quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Rams did offer Long a contract, according to a league source. But it wasn't for the terms the Long camp want.

Meanwhile, as I've been reporting for days including today the Dolphins continue to want Jake Long back in the fold. They have continued to try to get him back throughout this process.

Now, keep yourself from making the leap that Long leaving St. Louis without a deal and Miami pushing for a deal means it is a certainty Long will return to the Dolphins. A league source told me today Long has multiple teams interested in him and that he is willing to explore those interests.

But, on the other hand, I'm told the Dolphins are very encouraged by today's happenings. The last time the Dolphins told me they felt things were looking good was earlier today and then the club agreed to a deal with TE Dustin Keller.

A reminder: The Dolphins have a Plan B if Long bolts, I am told.

But it is not correct to believe the Dolphins cannot continue to do other work while Long hangs in the balance. The team obviously already disproved this by getting Keller. The Dolphins are also hosting wide receiver Brandon Gibson and want to get him signed as well at the right price.

Free agency has not stopped because of Jake Long. 

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