Well, Jake Long‘s foray into free agency certainly was an epic one. It took nearly a week of silence, a grassroots movement, a two day physical and an alleged “strong push” by the Dolphins to resign the left tackle, but now it has finally reached a conclusion. Tonight, just before 12:30 am, ProFootballTalk reported that Jake Long has come to terms with the St. Louis Rams.
The terms of the deal are being reported as 4 years and up too 36 million dollars. This will certainly have ramifications on how the Dolphins proceed during the remainder of free agency. The Dolphins were reported to have made it clear to Long on how far they were willing to go to retain him. Dolphin’s GM Jeff Ireland seems to have wanted Long back, but only at his price. In the end, Long is moving on and the Dolphins are left with a hole to fill on the offensive line.
There are still quality linemen available in free agency. Expect to hear a lot of chatter in the coming days about OT Eric Winston and a possible fit with the Dolphins. If the need is not addressed in free agency expect multiple picks to be used on offensive linemen early in Aprils draft.
This may be interpreted as a loss for the Dolphins, but no one knows Long’s worth better than Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins. Long’s 2012 season was plagued with injuries and a step backwards from his prowbowl play in prior seasons. What Ireland does from this point forward will indicate if the Dolphins made a huge mistake or a prudent decision to separate themselves from an expensive player with injury problems.
Let’s all remember Jake Long and his contributions to the Dolphins fondly and remember to keep our FINS UP!