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 Post subject: NFR: Jake Long on his way out of Miami?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:25 am 
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http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/ ... g-in-miami

Is this it for Jake Long in Miami?
December, 4, 2012
Dec 4
10:23
PM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com


The Miami Dolphins put four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long on injured reserve Tuesday evening. Long tore his tricep muscle in the first half of Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the New England Patriots.

Long
But here is the multi-million dollar question: Did Long just play his last game in Miami? The former No. 1 overall pick will be an unrestricted free agent in March after wrapping up his rookie contract.

Whether to re-sign Long or let him walk is the biggest decision Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland will make this offseason. It’s a complex situation with many layers.

Long was once considered the top left tackle in the NFL. But he’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistency the past two seasons. This is the second consecutive year Long ended his season on injured reserve. Can Miami make Long one of the NFL’s highest-paid linemen based on his play the past two seasons?

Long plays the premium position of left tackle, and good left tackles are hard to find. Long is no longer elite, but still a top-10 player at his position. The development of rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill also depends on good pass protection on the blindside.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the franchise tag is not an option for Long. Therefore, the Dolphins have narrowed their choices to a long-term extension or letting Long sign elsewhere.

The Dolphins (5-7) will start rookie Jonathan Martin at left tackle for the remainder of the season. Martin’s performance over the final four games could determine if Long returns to Miami next season.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Jake Long on his way out of Miami?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:10 am 
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Sad that a guy who is only five years into the league is "no longer elite." Parcells not looking like such a master drafter these days. Many of us were so hurt that he jerked (good verb for BP) Blank around to extort more money out of Miami. Without him doing this no TD, no Smitty, no Matty. We would likely have a GM who replaced BP and a tackle who cost a fortune, never finished a season and is no longer elite. You can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need. :king:

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Jake Long on his way out of Miami?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Ok, but Baker also has had the injury bug, and is no Long, so that being said, with both being UFA after the season would your rather sign Long or Baker as your LT? Not saying we couldn't draft for the position, but just asking simply about these two players.

Funny though, my only real memory of Long is Abe absolutely abusing him a couple years ago before the injuries and when he was still 'Elite'. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Jake Long on his way out of Miami?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Long will cost more than Baker, at least he should. Long's play was way down this year from what I could see. What an interesting gamble he presents, he could be elite, or he could be useless and anywhere in between.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Jake Long on his way out of Miami?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:26 pm 
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I think that's an easy answer MF1. Long is the better choice just at face value (not factoring in salary).

Long is a better run blocker and better pass blocker. He's having a "down" year, but that's still about as good (and in some ways better) than an "up" year for Baker. Long is a plus run blocker, while Baker is average on his best day. Long has had some bad games, but despite being "bad" this year, he's still had more good games than Baker has.

Now, Long could wind up being another Tony Boselli or Kyle Turley. An uber-talented LT that will have his career cut short by injuries. Turley's career was concussion-related. Boselli had bad shoulders.

Long has been bothered by back, shoulder, knee, and now a triceps tear the past year or two. Is he going to bounce back? Who knows. But it doesn't look too promising.

But once you throw salary into the mix. If Long is going to make "Joe Thomas money" around $10-11 million/yr. with $40-45 million guaranteed, then it's not worth it. And on the other hand if Baker is making "Tyson Clabo money" around $5 million/yr. with $10-15 million guaranteed, it probably makes Baker the smarter investment.

However if you can somehow get Long on a discount, like say "Duane Brown" money, like around $8-9 million/yr. with $20-25 million guaranteed, then I think Long might be worth that due to the upside.

We know this is probably the best Baker will ever be. And while he's been healthy this year, it's not like he's suddenly turned a corner and is no longer injury prone.

The reality is that any team that invests in Long, needs to make sure they have a good backup on the roster given the fact that you cannot trust Long to be produce and be healthy for a full 16-game season.

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