The St. Louis Rams have been flirting heavily with free agent left tackle Jake Long, but despite a visit with the team, Long remains on the open market. It appears as though this is continuing to be motivation for his former team, the Miami Dolphins, to hash out a deal with him that would return Long to South Beach in 2013.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the Dolphins are “making a charge” to re-sign Long after he left St. Louis without a contract signed.
Long, 27, left St. Louis on Friday without a deal after spending the better part of three days with the Rams’ football and medical staffs. While reports have surfaced that the Dolphins are “making a charge” to sign Long, the buzz in league circles is that he’s not getting offered anywhere near the $10 million annually he would like. Teams clearly are wary of his injury history and declining performance.
Long was never going to get the money he wanted, which is the only reason why he’s still on the market. Arguably less talented guards have been scooped up by other teams due in large part to their low salary demand, but Long is asking the same kind of money top skill free agents like Mike Wallace were asking.
You can give a left tackle $10 million annually if he’s going to be Gary Zimmerman, Rayfield Wright or Dan Dierdorf, but you’re not giving that money to Jake Long.
Still, the Dolphins have invested well over $40 million of guaranteed money into offensive weaponry this offseason, and they’ll need a solid line to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill if they don’t want the big signings to blow up in their face. Long isn’t the best left tackle in the game, but he’s far from the worst and the Dolphins would benefit greatly from bringing him back in 2013.
The only question is, how low can the haggle price on a guy who’s quickly learning that making high salary demands usually never equates to getting said highly demanded salary.