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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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The real story:

Players drafted in the first 3 rounds leaving here with no compensation to us.

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: Kris | March 18, 2013 at 03:16 PM

Disagree, on this. If Long can return to form (health?) He is better and more important Than Matt Ryan in my mind. I don't grade Matt Ryan as elite, Very very good but his talent around him has done this for him. He has 3 Pro bowler (one of which that is gonna have a gold jacket one day)


Posted by: Craig M | March 18, 2013 at 03:16 PM


WILL YOU FKING STOP TEASING US AND JUST LEAVE ALREADY DIARRHEA BOY? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZ.............

50 TIMES YOUVE SAID YOURE OUT. YET YOU CONTINUE TO SHT AND VOMIT. WHAT GIVES? LOL...

jmike, huh?? I just got off two different sites that project Kyle Long as an OT, both in second round. He played 4 games as a guard in college but his size and speed has him rated out as a left tackle in the NFL. Now if you found a different site that disagrees, then it is was it is but everything I have researched says Long will be a LT.

?'s the latest mock @ 12?

Well, Jake Long will regret when Chris Long starts "RAMMING" Jackie Long.

...Craig M..Do you think aquring Keller eliminates the tight end option come the draft? I do not. I see it as an opportunity to improve the position. Nothing changes. We lost Fasano. We needed a tight end. I think it is a slight upgrade because his pass catching ability is superior to Fasano. You have been critical of folks celebrating some of the free agent signings as the fianl answer to our issues. Like all is well. Shouldn't we wait to see what we do in the draft to critique what holes we still have?

Even after the draft..As much as I have been critical of Ireland in the past. I will trust his vision going forward. If we do not furthur address tight end. And the final roster reads. Keller, Egnew, Clay, Mastrud. Shouldn't these guys get a chance to prove it on the field before we scream fire in the movie theatre?

One other thing Kris,

I never 'loved' Henne or Sparano but one thing I will do is defend my guys. Loyal to a fault. Same reason I'm on here defending Jake Long 'til the end. Others want to kick these guys when they're down, that's up to them....that's not how I work.

Henne and Sparano were Dolphins here doing their best. Not all of it was their fault. It's clear to me now that Henne's not an NFL starter and Sparano's not a NFL HC but when they were here I'll defend them.

I've also stuck up for Ireland. You on the other hand have been trying to run him out of town for 2-3 years now. We got the 'just fire yourself' posts more than once a day. Now all of a sudden you think he's doing a great job and if Tannehill works out 'he's GM for life'.

Guess we're just different guys, Kris...

GM SOD....

Long has just made his path to Canton a bit tougher....

he went from the 2nd best team in the division...to the 3rd best in the NFC west....not good for play off chances....

Matt Ryan is closer to a SB right now then Long will EVER be....

I still say Ryan won...

Jake Long beomes a RAM, Jackie Long gets a RAM from Chris Long.

DD,

Keller'S gotten PIP insurance. Right now he's the paid for clunker. But if he proves to be the show room shiner, then he gets "FULL COVERAGE".

DD,

I think guys are kididng themselves if they Ireland is taking Eiffert at 12. I don't see any way it happens. He just doesn't value the position enough.

And I know you're a guy who's excited about Escobar. I just don't see it happening. Yes, I think he's done at the TE position. That's the disappointing thing. He passed on TE after TE in the draft before and he passed on guys like Miller in FA. I think he's going to get by with Keller and Clay and hope Egnew develops. That's myu disappointment in this whole thing.

@OmarKelly: Dolphins signed WR Brandon Gibson to $9.78M/3 yrs ($3.75M GTD). He got a $1M signing bonus. $1.75 year one cap hit.
Good contract by Ireland and Aponte


Kris,

Like another poster posted today, Long also will face two of the best pass rushing teams in the league twice a year now. Seattle and SF. The Rams ahd better now pray they didnt get the declining Jake Long.

Or its going to be a "LONG YEAR" for qb Sam Bradford. Or should I say "SHORT YEAR". LOL...

You're right Craig M....

were different....

I am not "loyal to a fault"....

I am RESULTS orientated....I don't care if somebody is a nice guy...if you can't do your job...get the EFF outa here...comes with my job description....

I meant a lot of guys who were OK @ my proffesion that I helped (forced) into a career change...

RESULTS or nothing is the world i live in....

Ireland is producing...imo....getting results in other words....

and because I can see he is moving forward (results)....Ireland gets a chance to continue to improve....

I'm sorry if it bothered you that I wasn't a fan of Ireland after 4 STRAIGHT losing seasons...and little to no improvement....

my bad....


Posted by: bobbyd12 | March 18, 2013 at 03:34 PM

Could i be Ireland's turning into a great gm before our very eyes?

Too bad a certain poster who vigorously defended Ireland when he was a piece of sht, cant now see this.

Maybe DC's rght, that poster's just a natural born contrarian.

Agree YG @ 3:35...

Those potntial sacks Long will give up will also hurt his HOF bid...

and I don't have any ill will tward Long....

but EFF HIM....

he's a Ram now....

Lineman (which I love) isn't really measure by super-bowls, but dominance. Long was flat out dominant his first 2 years and a half. If he get back to that play or close to it he will be fine and canton will make him a first ballot (health for him is a big if). Matt Ryan almost has to win a ring. Considering the talent is a puzzle why he hasn't won more than one playoff game in his career. Defense (yes to an extent) but he also a player that needs alot of talent around him (my assessment of flacco as well) not elite. Ryan is no Bress, Manning, Rodgers, Brady, even Big Ben or Eli (fringe elite). Don't think Ryan can carry a team like these guys have.


Good Write up on Chris Long

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-50-oregon-ol-kyle-long-173130290--nfl.html

errr I'm an idiot Kyle Long

bobby, this Long as a guard doesn't make any sense to me either. The guy is a super athletic OT prospect .. I've seen nothing that makes him a guard either ... whay would you make an athletic big man like that as a guard ... maybe if your tackles are Joe Thomas and Ryan Clady .. but otherwise ...

Just found out the Brandon Gibson contract information. It looks like another good move by Ireland.

3 years 9.78 million for 3.26 million a year. Only 3.75 million (First year + signing bonus) is guaranteed.

bobbyod12, here's Mike Mayock ranking of guards in the draft on NFL.com
1. Chance Warmack, Alabama
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
3. Larry Warford, Kentucky
4. Kyle Long, Oregon
5. Brian Winters, Kent State

Here is a crazy thought of the day. Anyone remember the TE who they loved on Hard Knocks, but they cut him and told him to get his conditioning and strength together??

Maybe that guy is comming back come trainning camp. The TE coach seemed to love the boy. He was supposed to be fast, but couldn't keep up strength wise.

One thing for sure Philbin is going with his guys. Anyone who even made a peep last year is getting shown the door.

We are either going to fix this thing and improve or we are heading for a total rebuild again. We had all better hope this plan makes us turn a corner. Still a 3 or 4 year build at the minimum.

I hope all these new guys live up to their hype.

Sort of thought the new logo would have leaked by now. Hopping they really dont screw this one up. Shouldn't matter, but I hate the thought of having to go out and turn into one of those "Preepers off TV" and buy 20 to get me through the next deluge.

..Craig..I understand. But..Here it goes. Ireland went out of his comfort one this free agency. It was a definite shift in how he operated in the past. Whos to say what he will, or will not do come draft day. I would agree that Eifert @ 12 would have been a reach even if we had not signed Keller. But is it possible that we may trade down(if there is a deal to be done)..Is it possible that we think Ertz is the better prospect? Could we look to the second round for a tight end? Are we seeing a total reconstruction, or a epiphany from our GM that his old way of thinking has to be altered?

A lot of what ifs..I know. The only thing that is set in stone right now is Keller. But I still would not discount there is a change in the philosophy. We have a bounty of picks..A lot of currency to find players where we see the need to try and upgrade. I wouldn't rule out a tight end in the draft just yet. IMO just because it may not be Eifert does not mean we will not get a good player should we take a tight end.

Long playing on artificial turf isn't going to help him with the type of injuries he has suffered.

Will Yeatman has been bulking up and would make a good platoon at right tackle with Nate Garner or John Jerry.

Draft Xavier Rhodes at 12 as we need a solid corner.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: GM SOD | March 18, 2013 at 03:40 PM

Matt Ryan has 2 more years left to get a ring before Julio Jones becomes a fa. It could possibly become a major decider in Julio's decision to stay or go.

..@ 3:43..Lots of nots in that last sentance..How's my command of the language today????

Oh Bobboyd112 He's also a guard on Scout.com.

There is a rumor phins to trade for chiefs LT branden albert

Oh bobboyd12 Kiper has him as a guard. Look it up.

Posted by: shula71 | March 18, 2013 at 03:42 PM

Famous quote by Bill Parcells: "You Are What Your Record Says You Are."

Last season it said that the Pats were 5 GAMES better than us. A great draft, followed up by these offseason moves, could easily put us at 10-6.

Meaning the 5 game gap closes to 2 games. Should the Pats finish 11-5, then its only a 1 game gap. Meaning in 1 offseason a 5 game gap was closed to only 1 game.

Also making for a very interesting 2014 season between the Fins and Pats in the AFC East. The 2013 offseason could be more productive than you think.

Mark in Toronto, really really short arms. Tackles need much longer arms.

All the FA signings to cover the WR positions...
Letting Long walk, and probably not signing any other OLine starter...

Big conspiracy so we can draft an O lineman top round again. Thank goodness! Ireland almost had to watch some college WR film. Whew!

LaCrosse players make fine WRs, and they'll be available after the draft.

(yes, I'm mean. I may change my tune after the draft if Ireland surprises me.)

Naples Dave, I agree with you that Will Yeatman could very well be the answer at LT or RT. I've also heard the Coaches are very high on him.

I think Armando erred in not mentioning Yeatman's name in the conversation.

DD,

Im still seing Gavin Escobar, 3rd-4th rd of the draft. His 4.8 forty may have been a blessing in disguise. He runs with Eiffert/Ertz and he's in the same rd considerations as those two.

Fk the forty, Escobar seems to be a real football player and seems to play with good enough "GAME SPEED".

Who cares if he can be run down in open fiedl by much faster db's. He'll carry them for another 10yds before he goes down.

They cut T. McDaniels? Is this new?

I think he's a FA.

Something going on. No better place to make a deal than Arizona now, isn't it?

jmike, that's nice, but like I said, other sites have him as a LT, including CBS Sports, Yahoo sports, Draftcountdown all list him as a LT. Some sites list him as OT/OG. DolphinsWorld listed him as a potential 2nd pick as a LT. So tell you what, lets call it even because obviously he can and has played both positions. Neither of us is going to win this argument when different sites have different opinions.

Oscar, McDaniel was a free agent his 2 year contract ended after the 2012 season.

PFT reporting Dolphins among other teams expressing serious interest in Osi Yumenyuri.

Before some of you kids began jumping from the ledge, it doesnt mean we;ll actually sign him. It means we'll bring him in, talk, kick the tires, and weigh value vs cost.

Craig,
I understand your concerns about the Dolphins throwing money around in FA(like eagles+cowboys) but I believe we were in a better cap position to do this than those teams were. we also haven't really brought in lots of superstars, we have brought in 1(hopefully Wallace lives upto it)the rest are on manageable contracts IMO.
I agree we need to build through the draft and with the way rookie salaries are now that is certainly the cheapest option. That is another reason I feel Ireland made those moves in FA - because he doesn't have to pay anywhere near the money that Jake long got for a rookie ever again. And rightly so!!


jmike, 33 3/8 arm length ...

luke joeckel is 34 1/4. is less than an inch the difference between going first overall and being a 2nd round guard? maybe it is but I find that hard to believe.

Mark I've sited 3 different sources that have him as a guard, just look.

I actually like what we've done in FA, but some of it gives me pause as to what the plan is. Curiosity.

1. Wallace = good job, needed. Maybe #1 guy, def #2.
2. Dansby out, Ellerbe in = Unsure. Dansby had same write up the year we got him. Seems sideways. But Ellerbe could be better than his history.
3. Burnett out, Wheeler in = Shrug. Some folks say big improvement, some say sideways.
4. Fasano out, Keller in = On the surface, seems like a better match. Like it.
5. Gibson = Depth sign, mainly at #3 Wr position. We had 2 #3s already, plus rookies. Not excited. BUT IF this is just a pick up to replace Bess, and we STILL draft a dynamic slot... then I'm happy with this. IF this is our answer at slot competition... not happy.
6. Long out, Martin moves, RT ? = Seems like Ireland trusts NO ONE at line he doesn't draft, and HAS to draft high. Don't get it, but there ya go.
7. Smith out, ?? in = Seems like a thrift decision. Coulda had a a couple options in FA, but opting to draft one instead.

**On the whole, I'm OK with drafting vs. signing FAs. But we seem to have a pattern which is what bothers me.
Ireland has always maintained he drafts for BPA and has no plans otherwise. Yet he paints himself in a corner, and makes it so he HAS to draft certain positions. Positions he's already accustomed to drafting: O-lineman and CBs.
O-linemen he's been successful mostly.
CBs, he's 0-2.

Just an odd pattern, and I don't get it.

Having sanchez as qb was a detriment to how good keller is. Give gronkowski sanchez and lets see how good he would look. Hard to make plays downfield when yer qb has no velocity on a ball past 15 yards. And whoever doesnt like the linebacket moves obviously didnt watch dansby and burnett unable to get to the edge or run with a te after 10yards. Both of the new guys will run with te's down the field.Any rb with speed ran circles around our former guys.

I just listed 3 different sites that have him listed as a Tackle, like I said, he can play either position. And as far as arm length goes, that would put him in the middle of the pack of NFL LT. Arm length for LTs go all the way from 31-36 inches. Matt Light is in the 32 inch arm length catagory. Arm length to me doesn't matter.

Going thru todays post it looks like I'm with the majority on Jake Long. It is what it is time to move forward.

The only thing I would say is your gonna replace him, replace him with the best you can get. Especially someone who is more athletic and suited for zone blocking.

Some of the stop gap ideas worry me a litte bit. Only the coaches and Ireland know for sure if Martin can handle LT but if there is at least moderate amount of doubt I wouldn't make that move.

I'm not sure it's completely necessary to use a 1st rder on LT. I'm sure a solid LT can be found in the 2nd rd (ie Terron Armstead). Certainly a solid RT can be found in rds 2 and 3 where we have 4 picks.

Winston sounds like an option to look at although like Mando, it worries me that he can't find a home. It would be nice though if we didn't have to use a draft pick. We still have cb,g,s, wr, te, and a pass rusher we would like to address.

Yeah I saw the CBSsports.com post on him bobboyd12

jmike, he can play either position. Guess it depends on who drafts him for what.

Lol agre with u and have been saying all along i they draft best players available and not out of need unfortunatly its shaping up be out of need no startigcaliber corners on roster and holes 2 fill on o-line M.Wallace isnt gonna mean jack if tannehil on his back the whole time.

Armstead in the second round!

You Guys know who I like at the Top: in no particular order, Jonathan Cooper, Lane Johnson, Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam, Damontre Moore, Dee Milliner, DeAndre Hopkins, Marcus Wheaton, Steadman Bailey.

More good news today...Jake Long gone...Smart...Spend that money on a veteran pass rusher and a corner...Use the draft to get a T...This draft is loaded with talented o-linemen...I also think Yeatman will compete for a starting job... Now apparently the Dolphins are interested in Osi...And McKinnie wants to play in Miami...Probably won't happen but for those who think he's too old, look at the protection Flacco had last year...Nobody came even close to him...Well, that LT giving him all that time he needed was, you guessed it, Bryant McKinnie...So Miami should at the very least consider him I would think...

Fasano has only put up 500 yards recieving ONCE in his career.....

Keller has only bee UNDER 500 yards once in his career....the one when he played HALF a season....\

but...yeah...they're the same player....

A couple of interesting things on PFT. The Bucs as I mentioned the other day are in fact shopping LeGarrette Blount. I think he could be decent insurance behind Miller and Thomas. To bad we don't have a 6th rd pick. I wouldn't want to give up a 5th and they probably won't take a 7th.

Also the Dolphins are supposedly interested Uminyiora(yes i pasted his name). That doesn't really seem like the Ireland type signing but we'll see.

You don't pick Damontre, Ozzie will. He specializes in "dropdowns". So there.

JS,

I see the boldness and sensibilities in ALL of Ireland's offseason moves tus far.

1. Jake Long

Live with or without. Why stress future cap money on a player who very well could be in decline. His play has slipped at least 1 full notch in each of the past 3 seasons.

2. Reggie Bush

No more than a cap luxury at this point. We have Miller and upgraded the wr corps vastly with Wallace alone. Bush is now a cap luxury we no longer HAVE to have. Future cap room with his exit.

3. Sean Smith

Wont rehash what we already know. The new is, our cb position gets smarter. Hint... hint... Vontae was his best friend. Birds of a feather.......

4. The LB corps

Do we really have to get into this again? No fking brainer.

5. TE Position

Became a little more athletic, leaves the door open for Egnew to prove he can stick, and I dont believe Irelands thru with this position. Think draft.

All in all, fa has laid the groung work in how Ireland will plan to pursue this draft. If he backs it up with a 2012 calibre draft, we're good to go in the 2013 nfl season.

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