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Report: Dolphins will franchise Jake Long if they can’t reach extension

Matt Moore, Jake Long AP

We’ve got plenty of time to go before teams have to decide on franchise tags for the 2013 season, but the Dolphins are reportedly thinking ahead.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins will use the franchise tag on left tackle Jake Long if they can’t reach agreement on a long-term extension. There are no contract talks currently underway as Long enters the final year of his rookie contract which will pay him $11.2 million this season.

Long, the first overall pick of the 2008 Draft, will likely be looking for a contract in the neighborhood of the seven-year, $84 million extension that Joe Thomas signed with the Browns in 2011. Long hasn’t been quite as good as Thomas and he’s had some nagging injuries over the last few years, which could complicate that pursuit. The Dolphins aren’t going to have an easy time finding a replacement of Long’s caliber, though, so there should be interest in finding a number that works on the team’s end.

Jackson also reports that the team has not opened talks with defensive end Randy Starks, running back Reggie Bush or tight end Anthony Fasano either. All three players are entering the final year of their contracts, as are cornerback Sean Smith and wide receiver Brian Hartline.

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23 Responses to “Report: Dolphins will franchise Jake Long if they can’t reach extension”
  1. truthhurtstoo says: Jun 3, 2012 12:11 PM

    Long is better then Thomas. Man, do some homework before you post this nonsense!

  2. southontario says: Jun 3, 2012 12:16 PM

    Hasn’t been quite as good as Thomas??? What games are you watching? Thomas can’t block the run to save his life….Once again PFT makes a uneducated about the Dolphins

  3. tfaulk says: Jun 3, 2012 12:16 PM

    Has Jake really underperformed Thomas or has the entire Miami O-line (and those skill players in the backfield) performed worse than Cleveland’s O-line (and backfield talent)? Yes, the injuries have been an issue, but that is it. And many would say Jake deserves even more consideration for playing through reasonably severe injuries and still outplaying most LTs in the league.

  4. audiorage says: Jun 3, 2012 12:19 PM

    Long > Thomas

  5. tfaulk says: Jun 3, 2012 12:32 PM

    And to be fair: Joe Thomas is amazing and it is close. But most of Thomas’s reputation is built off of his ’09 season. He wasn’t as fully formed as Jake straight out of college, taking him a couple of years to build up steam and he hasn’t quite produced at the same level as ’09 since. Thomas may be better as a run blocker but is by no means close to Jake as a stopper of QB pressure. Jake seems to keep getting better from a technique/intelligence perspective despite being slowed by some nagging injuries.

  6. jc327 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:34 PM

    Uhhh, exactly which Joe Thomas is better than Jake Long?

  7. randomguy9999 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:37 PM

    I’m sure I’ll get a buncha thumbs down…. but when the leader of the unit underperforms and they come in almost dead last in sacks and hits allowed, then everyone becomes suspect…. welcome to the NFL..

    accordingly, the Phins haven’t been showing him a buncha love, which makes sense… why give the guy a big re-up when you are unsure if he’s gonna string two bad years together….

    he’ll get tagged, then if he and the unit turns it around, he’ll get his big number next year…

  8. opinion157983 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:40 PM

    I hate to say this but Thomas has been a media darling ever since he decided to go fishing with his dad instead of attending the draft. I think this still helps the opinions on him especially in the eyes of ESPN. I feel Long is the better player if I had to pick one.

  9. rethinklogic says: Jun 3, 2012 12:59 PM

    Dude I am a jets fan and even admit that long is better than thomas

  10. bereado says: Jun 3, 2012 1:34 PM

    A lot of Miami fans on here, and a Jets fan- and Jet fan’s opinions do not count because they lack the intelligence to be Giant fans.

    Thomas has been a all pro for the past three seasons. Long did it once. They are both very, very good. Thomas has been slightly better, though. He has been more reliable, and he is clearly better in pass protection.

    Take away nothing from Long, he is a hall of fame caliber LT. But Thomas has been slightly better since 2008 on a offensive team that has been significantly worse then the Miami Dolphins.

  11. ajcard929 says: Jun 3, 2012 1:38 PM

    nagging injuries? he’s been pretty healthy through 4 NFL years of going against the best pass rushers and banging with 300 lb monsters week in and week out.

    also thomas is great no doubt but long is a better all around tackle

  12. frankdatank23 says: Jun 3, 2012 1:43 PM

    Matt Moore hasn’t been quite as good as Sanchez……..

  13. tfaulk says: Jun 3, 2012 1:52 PM

    “but when the leader of the unit underperforms and they come in almost dead last in sacks and hits allowed, then everyone becomes suspect…. welcome to the NFL..”

    But the data does not show that he underperformed (even while injured), and sorry, if you as a GM chose to undervalue Long based on the totality of the OL and backfield’s play, you would make a horrible GM.

  14. zackattack006 says: Jun 3, 2012 1:58 PM

    Are you kidding me?!
    Long is “the man” among men
    The beast among beasts!!

  15. tfaulk says: Jun 3, 2012 2:00 PM

    As far as the “report” that they will franchise Long, the only meaning I take from that is the team will take the year ahead of them to negotiate knowing that there are no other players coming out of a contract that they would otherwise like to use the tag on, that they have 3 backup players possibly capable of playing the role (Hicks, Murtha, Martin — admittedly an aging vet without the skill level, a development player, and a young rookie — all of whom can play other positions on the OL or be depth), and that their guy is coming off of an injury and has shown a tendency to miss (or be slowed in) a few games per season of late… That is all that an be gathered from this: the franchise tag is a sensible option if they cannot reach agreement this year.

    Anyone thinking that the Dolphins do not think Jake Long is, if not the top, near the top in LTs — a rare breed worthy of 1st pick in the draft and someone fully worth being payed among the very best in the league has been reading Florio far too long. The Dolphins value Jake as any other team in the league would: as the epitome of elite LTs that you want to keep on your team by paying them what anyone in the league would value them at.

  16. ishudbgm says: Jun 3, 2012 2:08 PM

    The only problem that I have with Jake is that the Fins are making him go to waste. Jake is the size of a grizzly bear and plays like one. Joe Thomas is good but Jake is better even if its by minimal margin. PFT took two steps forward and then 7 back by saying Joe is better than Jake! Fins should just give Jake a blank check honestly.

  17. thraiderskin says: Jun 3, 2012 2:32 PM

    Jake long is a mauler… he is not an overall better LT then Thomas. I am now positive that the vast majority of folks on this thread have little, to no, understanding of o-line play, let alone at the left tackle position. Let’s not forget who Vernon Gholston owned in college and who owned him and where Gholston is now. Again, if we ignore the durability issue, Thomas still has a much better first step and stays low in his block (long is a leaner). When Long faces Mario Williams (a REAL pass rusher in the AFC east) this year, see how well he does.

  18. tfaulk says: Jun 3, 2012 2:51 PM

    Jake has opposed Mario Williams twice in the last 4 years and made him disappear, did not give up a sack.

  19. simonwelds says: Jun 3, 2012 3:09 PM

    Long is a product of circumstance; For the last few years the phins have asked him to primarily run block, so he’s skill-set leans more to a run blocking tackle, that’s not his fault and you can’t use that to judge his overall talent. I rank him above thomas because he’s done a better job at what he has been “asked” to do. We’ll see how he’s game evolves under philbins west-coast hybrid offense, but based on he’s body of work he’s been all pro

  20. finsbooyah says: Jun 3, 2012 7:28 PM

    Long is clearly better than Thomas. Long has had 4 excellent years, including last season where he was hurt the entire time.

    Thomas can’t run block. Period. Jake Long, Jason Peters, D’Brick, have consistently been the best all around LT’s in the league over the past few years.

  21. dwatkins69 says: Jun 3, 2012 9:22 PM

    finsbooyah, You are correct Long is a better run blocker. But is that why you pay him that money, nope. LT is for pass protection. Thomas is the stud there

  22. gcsvp says: Jun 3, 2012 10:01 PM

    He has missed two games in his entire career, and made the Pro Bowl four times…

    What more do you want?

  23. cwhite9295 says: Jun 5, 2012 12:33 AM

    NFL networks top 100 players of 2012 was voted on by the players. It was mainly on last years performance. That’s why Jake Long dropped from #28 down to #59. #59 thoungh,is still better than #84,where Joe Thomas was ranked! I would say, NFL players probably know more about what it takes to be good,at any position,than any Blogger on this thread,including the author of this article,and they say Jake Long ,injurred,is better than Joe Thomas.

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