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The Miami Dolphins tackle direction

PHOENIX -- Remember the names Sebastian Vollmer, Eric Winston, or any of a number of draft picks on the board that might be able to play left tackle, including Oklahoma's Lane Johnson.

All are options the Dolphins have confirmed to me, through sources, they will study in an effort to fill the void left by Jake Long's signing with St. Louis.

But for the moment, and perhaps much longer, Miami's new left tackle is Jonathan Martin. The man who played the spot last season when Long went on his now habitual December injured reserve sabbatical  is today the Dolphins new left tackle.

"Right now he is," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said today at the NFL annual meeting.

Are the Dolphins upset Jake Long is gone?

Yes. And no.

The team will miss his grittiness. The players may miss his leadership. 

"I've got nothing but LOVE for Jake! The Rams just got themselves one hell of a leader! Not to mention the toughest dude I know," guard Richie Incognito tweeted today.

But Miami's coaching staff and personnnel departments were ready for this possibility. They set a price for Long -- that was not as high as what the St.  Louis Rams gave him, but in the ballpark. And although the club could have increased its offer to Long, they really didn't to any significant degree.

In the end, as I wrote here, Long picked the team that offered him the most money and with whom he felt most comfortable. A source close to Long told me this morning the Rams simply made Long feel more wanted. (Obviously the money was part of that but there were other issues at play including lifestyle issues.)

So where do the Dolphins go from here?

The club is closing in on finalizing a deal for Nate Garner, according to The Herald's Adam Beasley, but that is not the answer. Garner is viewed by the team as a solid and valuable backup tackle who can start in a pinch. But, again, he is not the long-term answer.

A club source told me this morning the team plans a corresponding move to upgrade the offensive line. That move isn't necessarily the signing of a left tackle. Indeed, the best offensive lineman on the market now is New England's Sebastian Vollmer, who is a right tackle.

It is possible the Dolphins go after Vollmer to upgrade at right tackle and move forward with Martin at left tackle. It must be noted that Vollmer comes with red flags. He missed all of training camp last year with back issues. He played throughout the season, even practicing during the week, but the back was constantly an issue for him.

He also suffered back issues in 2011.

So the Patriots have not bent over backwards (pardon the pun) to re-sign Vollmer.

Eric Winston is a short-term possibility. He's been cut two consecutive offseasons and that speaks to his relative value or over-value in some sense. If the Dolphins show interest in Winston, and they have not yet, it will likely be as a stop-gap situation -- perhaps a one- or two-year deal. Winston is also a right tackle.

If the Dolphins wanted to make a commitment at left tackle, I suppose they could chase Andre Smith. Hard to believe they'd do that. Smith has struggled with weight issues in the past. He solved those last year but, of course, that was his contract year.

He is a mauler. He was good last year, but not great. He wants big money.

I'm thinking Smith is not a Dolphins kind of guy. He's not a great system fit. He's doesn't sound like a Joe Philbin guy. He's expensive. And there are lots better (also cheaper) options in the draft.

Bryant McKinnie?

Don't see it. He's going to be 34. He was a backup for Baltimore all of last year until the playoffs because he was out of shape. He finally got in shape in time for the playoffs and played very, very well. McKinnie also has obvious South Florida ties as a former University of Miami player.

But, again, he's not a system fit. He's not a Philbin kind of guy. He's a guy that you have to worry about being out late at night at the local clubs. He's going to be 34. Did I mention that?

Maybe he's an short-term injury option. Maybe he's a desperation pickup after the draft. I don't see him as the answer now.

Comments

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bpa.

..Craig M.I have to ask.. If you were runnning a team. would you ever think about signing high profile free agents? I'm not saying this is right or wrong. But I think by reading your posts. That you belive 100 percent that premiere free agents are overpaid, and over valued?

Now there are reasons why some teams get away with not being held hostage by huge free agents. 1 they have a history of drafting better players at premiere positions then we have. In fact if we could draft worth a dime, perhaps we wouldn't have to pay the prositute for some lovin'..

2..They have a much better draft history
3..They can draft
4..This affords them the opportunity to not overspend.

We do not..This team wants to compete. The best way to do this now..Is to search for answers today. Remember. This GM has not proven he can draft a lick. So this buys him a bit of time to get it right..

What would you have done with all this cap space?

As Long As Ireland Knows The Fins Need O-Line!!

And As Long As Ireland Knows That Best O-Line Available!!

Get a RG And Move Jerry To RT!!

Just Please Do Not Waste A First Round Pick On A O-Linemen.

Vollmer. Best F/A available. Sign him up he is not asking Jake Long money.
Plus he is 27 years old. I'm telling you the guy is a great athlete and he is healthy. No major injuries or surgery.
Than draft one or two OL players. Plus rookie F/A. Never know if you get lucky

Two years ago the Miami Dolphins were pitching Jake Long and Reggie Bush as the face and future of the Franchise. Now they are BOTH gone without much to do from the Dolphins. How many of you bought Long and Bush jersey's? Do you feel stupid now? I will NEVER buy a players jersey in today's NFL. NFL Players are only passing thru. No need to fall in love with any of them.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just get here and see Craigarrhe's at again. Accusing other posters of being me. What an utterly warped obsession he has with me.

Am I in your nightmares at while you sleep too?

Craigharrhea's in total denial that more than one blog poster could consider him a colossal idot of the umpteeth degree. Bet you also still believe in Santa and elves too, dotn you craigarrhea boy.

Youre living proof of when nothi changes, nothing changes. LOL...

Congrtulations Jake long on your new contract and team. I wish you and your wife all of life's blessings. Just can the nonsense about the "family atmosphere", when in reality we all know it is about the dollars.

Starting players in key positions AND depth are key. We do have some young players who did not do or show much last year but are on the books--the yeatman example is just one. A GOOD draft is the overwhelming key to this teams future. I very much agree that we have done very poorly over the past 5+ years (maybe last year was a turning point?) which has put us in such needy position and we have set ourselves up this year to make a bit of a move. I can only hope the draft choices end up as being as wise to the plan as the FA's have in giving us hope.

Jake Long is a Mauler. He fits the Rams power running attack, and not in a west coast offense that runs a zone blocking scheme. So guys, it was a better for him, then our new offense. Both teams will be fine,,and I wish Jake the best. We need to move on. With a zone blocking scheme we need athletic offensive linemen, so stay tuned because Igonito and Jerry might be next.

Volmer Has A Bad Back.

That Is A Major Injury.

Sign B.Moore From The Jets. Move Jerry To RT!

But Drafting 1 At #12?

In The 2nd Round? Yes!!

But Please No Linemen!!

Me? I'd go for a RT that can also play LT. Just in case.

Two years ago the Miami Dolphins were pitching Jake Long and Reggie Bush as the face and future of the Franchise. Now they are BOTH gone without much to do from the Dolphins. How many of you bought Long and Bush jersey's? Do you feel stupid now? I will NEVER buy a players jersey in today's NFL. NFL Players are only passing thru. No need to fall in love with any of them.

Posted by: albert | March 18, 2013 at 02:14 PM

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

This Was About The Same Time Craig Bought His Dansby Jersey(Best LB Alive)... With The Glittered Dolphin On The Shoulders.

1st round Jarvis Jones OLB
2a Terron Armstead OT
2b Logan Ryan CB
3a Rob Alford CB
3b Brandon Williams DT
4a Justin Pugh OG
4 sup Kenjon Barner RB
5 Josh Evans S
7a Dustin Hopkins kicker
7b Levine Toilolo TE

DD,

Actually, I believe that Ireland's 2012 draft will go down as one of the better ones in fins history. Ireland seems to be on a 2012 roll.

Hopefully Ireland's 2012's draft roll, rolls over into 2013. Im seeing signs of Ireland becoming a real gm. What escape's many dolfans of this fact, Ireland didnt play scared by upping his offer to exceed that which Jake recieved from the Rams.

IMO, a great move vet gm move. The easiest, safest, and most cowardly move Ireland could have made would have been to cave in to Long's demand. We'll see how good the move is when Sam Bradford is recouping from IR before season's end.

Especially when the defender desroysJake Long on a pass rush to land him there.

I'm not worried about the o-line. Many of the premier offensive lineman have been picked after the 1st round. It's up to the team to do its homework. Now after saying this, I don't disagree with selecting a offensive tackle at 12. If he's the guy that is rated at the top of our board. But that's not a position that you should reach for. Best available player in my opinion. Xavier Rhodes is who I want as of today. Big and fast corner who isn't afraid to tackle. Sean smith was big...but not fast and couldn't tackle an old woman in a grocery store. Upgrades upgrades upgrades! Making this team a contender.

Jeff Ireland won ther Jake Long stare down. Long waited so long to sign with the Rams because he thought Ireland would cave in and up the offer to more than the Rams.

Didnt happen did it Jake and Jackie? Great job, Jeffy, you didnt fold to Jake and Jackie's poker face.

..YG. I put no blame or glory to any of the picks prior to 2011. IMO it was Parcells Parcells Parcells.

So this isn't just about Ireland, I should have clarified. It really is more about Parcells. If his picks had been more solid. We wouldn't be shopping for so many "groceries" Seriously. How many of his picks are still here? The whole draft class of 2009 is pretty much gone..Like it didn't happen..That is abysmal. So insead of developing our own...We have to pay..

The jury is still out on Irelands picks..The 2011. His first(IMO)..Not great. 2012..could go both ways. I hope your right. I hope the 2012 draft is looked at as the real turning point for this franchise. Not this free agency period.

The guy I would be eying in this draft, if I were gm, would be DJ Fluker. Martin at LT, Fluker at RT.

Fluker also brings great flexibility. He played both tackle positions and og in college. He can be hadwith a 2nd rd pick too.

....@2:37 I put no blame, or give Ireland glory to any of the picks prior to 2011.

Armando Salguero
Have you notice that the three so-called leaders (Reggie Bush, Jake Long & Carlos Dansby) from HBO's Hard knocks are gone. I like what Joe Philbin is doing to get the Dolphins back to where we suspose to be. I did not like the JJ, Wanstadt or Nick Saban hires. I can see a vision and I like it. I have been a Dolpins fan since 1970.
GO Phins

Were you kicked in the head by a donkey as a child?

"What an utterly warped obsession he has with me."

Just yesterday you were posting about Craig and the other guy and they weren't even here. Someone even called you on it. You may have brain damage dumbo.

Honestly can't say if Long going is good or bad until they replace him. Also depends on how Long plays next year if he is in the probowl it is a bad move, if he is on the IR it is a great move. If the phins get solid LT play it just doesn't matter.

I rather grab a 2nd rounder OL, than sign an old FA RT.

DD,

Whe paying closer attention to Ireland's moves the past 2-3 seasons. IMO, Ireland's been in "Parcells Sterile Mode". He's been cleaning Parcells mess, while also trying to land a piece of talent or too.

Its now beginning to become crystal clear, Ireland, does not share Parcells team building philosophy. The hiring of Joe Philbin itself, should lend first hand knowledge he's no Parcells clone.

Philbin goes totally against the grain of what Parcells would value in a hc. Hint...hint.... Tony Sparano.

Each passing season, Ireland seems to distinguish the differences between Parcells more and even more. Ireland's showing great signs of moving towards becoming a "21ST CENTURY" nfl gm.

DD,

I'm totally fine the Dolphins going out and signing Mike Wallace in FA. Did we overpay for him? Yep we did, unless you think he's the third best WR in the league. I was fine with the Dansby signing and with the Burnett signing. We filled holes and that's what FA is for.

Where I have a problem is when teams build their teams through FA. It never works. We've seen that with the Eagles and past Cowboy and 'skins teams. There's a reason why the Steelers and Packers are successful and yet don't throw big money around in FA. Yeah they build it through the draft.

So I have no problem with how Ireland's gone about his busines, except that IMO he still hasn't sufficiently addressed the TE position. Keller will be OK but I don't rate him highly. I would have put the FA money into TE. We still don't have that stud TE, IMO and I'm not convinced about either of the LBers. That's all I'm saying.

Armando, It's in vogue to critisize the Parcells Drafts in Miami. However if you take a second look, this is what you will find. 1st Draft: Jake Long, a starter with the Rams, Chad Henne, a capable back-up and marginal starter, competeing in Jacksonville for the #1 job. Kendal langford, a starter with the Rams. Daniel Thomas. Started much of last year in New England. Signed to be a starter with the Colts in free agency. Lex Hilliard a workmanlike Fullback and special teams ace now signed with the Jets. The second draft produced two starting CB's. Vonte Davis with the Colts and Sean Smith with the Chiefs. That Miami did not want to keep these guy's is awnsered by a coaching change. A new philosophy and the Salary Cap.

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | March 18, 2013 at 02:37 PM

The only pick of the 2011 draft that may still be with this team even unto 2014 is Mike Pouncey. But the great thing about this draft? 2015's offseason.

Mike Pouncey may be the ony fa of this draft worth resigning.

bobbyd12, take a look at your information, Long is projected as a guard.

Unfotunately....this was the BEST possible out come for BOTH sides....

If Long had come back...he NEVER would have been able to live up to expectations that fans would have set for him and his play....not after this (hold out) Rams visit.....

Had Jake signed with us earlier...without the visits....Long and Ireland could possibly lived out their careers in miami in medocrity.....

but after the 3 day visit to the RAMS....all of a sudden...bringing back Long would have seemed like brining back the FINAL piece to a SB victory....like the 9ers and the seahawks are trying to do....

anything short of a DEEP playoff run...after showing Long with money...a press conference...and the parade he would have required would have looked like a GUGE failure by Ireland....

So Mr. Ireland....

this worked out in the best way possible for you and the FINS.....

you looked like a patient GM who was willing to waiton his #1 pick from 2008...you looked loyal....

Long looks like a money grubbing ingrate....who was only going for top dollar....

I mean really...are the RAMS any closer to the playoffs then we are....it could be argued that they are further away.....

Craigarrhea,

You gotta be the only idiot that sees this has "REBUILDING THROUGH FA". IT ISNT IDIOT. The only significant signing is Mike Wallace.

There was absolute no way Dansby would be paid 12 million dollars next season. Ellerbe became available, so why notr pull the plug on him now. That was genius.

Why not go younger and faster? So you see Wheeler availble, pull the plug on Burnett too. Neither made game changing plays. Neither were true "BUILD THRU FA" moves. They were "COMMON FKING SENSE" MOVES.

Im sure you know very little about this.

I don't think long was broken, However now that we have to move on (why so many fans forget how good a player he was when he was on the field?) I think getting a corner in second and a tackle in the first will be a good look or vice Versa. Still want a safety with the 2nd 2nd rounder (J.Cyperin, FIU) if he is there. would like a Guard and running back in the Third (running back can wait to the 4th if a better player is available)would like to take a flier on Honey badger in the late 3rd or 4th but no higher.

Craig M....

have you EVER seen Keller play....

or are you just taking others word for your evealuation of him....

This guy is the ANTI-FASANO.....

I can understand NOT loving Keller....

what I don't get is AS BAD as our TE play has been recently...and not knowing that Keller is a 1000% upgrade to the position....

Kris,

I've seen him play LOTS. There's a lot of TE's I'd put ahead of him. Because he plays well against us doesn't make him a top TE in the league. There are 30 other teams in the league.

There's a reason why he only got a one year year while other teams were giving out multiple year deals at big money. And please spare me the 'he had Sanchez as his QB' stuff. He's an OK TE and we'll get by with him but he's not a star.

Is there a reason we're not allowed to have a difference of opinions on this, Kris?

I SEE THE DIRTY AMIGO GANG IS HERE//////
BOBBYd13,YG4L WHOAS BEEN HERE ALL DAY ARGUEING WITH GREAG,AND DASHI,SOON ODI NWILL WAKE UP IN A DRUNKEN STUPOR///LIFE IS TO SHORT.
I WISH YOU ALL WOULD GET JOBS.

Craigarrhea,

Keller was signed to 1 year contract. Bet you consider that a building thru fa move.

Gibson was signed to be a 3rd wr at best. Bet you also consider this a building thru fa move.

Craigarrhea, get a fking lobotomy dude, it'll give you a much better look in the mirror. Hell, the headless horseman surpasses you in comprehensional ability right now fool. LOL...

Could the Dolphins trade for Brandon Albert....stay tuned.

Kris,

We'll talk again about Keller during the season. I'll remind you that Keller is '1000% per cent upgrade to the position'.

Gotta go....

Yeah Craig....

why would I bring FACTS like Sanchez into the argument....the guy throwing the ball to him is TOTALLY irrellevant to this discussion....

Just like Henne....and Marshll v. Cutler and Marshall....

QB played no part in the difference in reciever stats.....

ALoco,

Craigarrhea is a pain freak. He comes here for his daily asswhuppings.

Jake Long leaving just punctuates the failed Parcells/Ireland disaster which comes full circle as follows:

1-Draft Jake Long over Matt Ryan.
2-Draft Chad Henne (cause he's just as good as Ryan - as Ireland assesses)
3-Lose out signing Jeff Fisher because he likes the QB situation in St.Louis over Miami (no Matt Ryan)
4-Lose Long to Fisher
5- Now we have no Jake Long nor Matt Ryan


Way to go Jeff!

Craig M....

his PLAY will remind YOU that he is a 1,000% upgrade....

you are wrong so much...I wish I could make a living off of betting against you...

Yeah Craig....

why would I bring FACTS like Sanchez into the argument....the guy throwing the ball to him is TOTALLY irrellevant to this discussion....

Just like Henne....and Marshll v. Cutler and Marshall....

QB played no part in the difference in reciever stats.....

Posted by: Kris | March 18, 2013 at 03:02 PM

That was funny, boss looking at me funny. Wait till I them about this.

YG4L/DB/YG/LOL, SHOW YOU THE BIGGER MAN AND END THE FUED WITH GREAG.

LFE IS SHORT.
TO BE
OR
NOT TO BE

Kris,

Only the idiot Craigarrhea can not see Keller was signed for only "ONE SEASON".

This suggests Ireland has not placed all of his eggs in one basket with Keller. If Keller proves himself this season, then something longer term will be worked out.

For right now, Keller is only PIP insurance. Craigarrhea would rather pay a TE, with "FASANO_LIKE" stats 8 fking million a year because he runs fast.

SHT, Clyde Gates could run fast, but what did that bring?

Kris,

You kdding me, man? How's your record for being wrong?

And your 'have you ever seen Keller play' comment is nothing if not condescending. Seems I'm not the first one to bring that to your attention.

I need to get back to work.

Just so were clear Craig M....

you were on the WRONG side of the Long/Rtan debate....and now there is no debate...Ryan won...

You LOVED Henne to the last OFF TARGET throw....

You LOVED Sporano after I told you for 2 YEARS he was OVER-MATCHED....

remember years ago when we bet about coacges who would/would not be fired...

I told you Reid had another year....and RECENT SB winner Coughlin was in ZERO danger of losing his job....

i need a bookie....

If long return to form, the debate over drafting Long over ryan would not be over. Long looked like a half farmer for 3 years, Ryan wasn't even pro bowl status until about a year and a half ago.

Posted by: Kris | March 18, 2013 at 03:07 PM

ALoco,

I have no problem showing Im the bigger man with Craigarrhea, But how does that stop Craigarrhea from accusing other posters of being me? Hell, Craigarrhea fruaduletly thinks youre me too.

ALoco, he also thinks Armando is a liar. Armando personally told the bold faced idiot I dont use aliases. Yet that pain freak still accuses others of being me.

UNFKINGBELIVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL.....

It will be interesting to see how the artificial turf will treat Jake Long's gimpy knees. Also it will be interesting to see how an older, slower Long handles the speed rush of the 49rs's twice a year not to mention the 12th man in Seattle.

Ed E, Ed they didn't lose Jake Long to St Louis, they didn't want to match St Louis's offer. That's why he's gone, no other reason. The drafting of Long vs Ryan can be debated all you want. But at the time Long was drafted no one disagreed with the pick. Ryan was a good not great QB at BC. he threw for under 60% his senior year along with with 19 interceptions. A QB who throws 19 INT's doesn't sound like the 1st pick in the draft. If you went with the information at the time of the pick, Long long looked better. It's very easy looking back now and saying what we should have done, but we need to bring into view the information at the time.

..Craig M. I don't think that Keller is a more then a stop gap.. Is he the perfect answer? No. Is he even the final answer? I would say no again.

But we did need a body. And for what we need right now. He is going to have to work. Really, we got what we were looking for for much less risk then Jared Cook. (I don't know if you were a Cook guy) We needed an upgrade to Fasano in the receiving game. We accomplished this.

Sure you can look at the stats and say..Well Fasano was just as productive, if not more then Keller. But I'm thinking inside the context of how we would like to use the tight end as opposed to how we were forced to use Fasano because of his limitations. Kellr gives the team a greater opportunity to do more. He can win matchups Fasano couldn't. Can he block like Fasano? Nope. Will this hurt? remains to see what offense we run.

Egnew is the missing link here. Personaly I think he is good as gone. But is it out of the question to say he may make some strides. And could contribute with his skill set? Like you said. We all have feelings about the free agents. But until the product on the field tells the story. We can only guess.

Kris,

Craigarrhea's an idiot. You dont change the minds of idiots. The harder you try, the more he'll despies you.

Proof of that was in his parting post to you.

Kris,

To clarify, when it came to Henne, what I said was 'he needed more time'. I never said he'd be a superstar or what ever your making me out to have said. I didn't like Henning and I didn't like the play-calling or the system. I wanted him to have time away from that. It was clear after the 2nd game last year that he wasn't the answer.

Sparano? It was the wrong time to get rid of him. Strike-shortened season. But you KNOW all this Kris, why the history lesson?

You've also been on the 'fire yourself Ireland' bandwagon ad naseum. Now you're on side with the moves? I guess it's OK for you to be wrong? How about the 'team will be 11-5 this year. Book it!'. How'd that one work out for you?

Looking forward to seeing your 'elite' QB Joe Flacco next year and that team he has. Cause after all, 'it's not about the team, it's about whether a player has IT'.

Yeah I'm keeping score too, Kris....got my bookie on line one....gotta go!


Leaving Jonathan Martin at LT is NOT an awnser.

GM SOD....

I think its over....I like Jake Long....

but here is how I see it...Long's value...to us...6 mil or so....and he's on another team....

Ryan will be a 100 million dollar man abd NEVER see FA in his career...

Ryan won...

Posted by: albert | March 18, 2013 at 03:11 PM

POST OF THE FKING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exactly why the Rams may have fked up royally in signing Jake Long.

Those speed rushers in the nfc west(SF/SEA), Bradford may be on IR before season's end.

The Rams have Seattle and SF twice a yer. ROTFLMAO!!!!

DD,

I see Keller as a stop-gap too....thank you....that's my point. Another God damn stop gap!! Kris has him as '1000% better than what we had'. I was no Fasano fan and I like that Keller will bring some other things to the position. But he wasn't the guy I wanted. We haven't solved anything.

I think Ireland thinks the Egnew still has a chance. I hope he's right. We've solved nothing with Keller, other than another body, as you've said.

Bye for now...

Leaving Jonathan Martin at LT is NOT an awnser.

Posted by: albert | March 18, 2013 at 03:13 PM

You never know (Lol, did I just say that)

Craig M...

before you go...read Daryl D's post....

amd then consider that Keller matched Fasano's "stts" with about 36 less games played....

go deeper than the headlines.....

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