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Loss of Long completes Dolphins defection Trifecta

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The good news for the Dolphins in free agency came from their ability to re-sign receiver Brian Hartline and quarterback Matt Moore, and then to add receiver Mike Wallace, receiver Brandon Gibson, tight end Dustin Keller, linebacker Phillip Wheeler, and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

The bad news is that each of the team’s big-name free agents signed elsewhere.

Gone are left tackle Jake Long, cornerback Sean Smith, and running back Reggie Bush.  Though it’s no surprise that Bush chased better money and a bigger role in Detroit, Smith and Long left for deals that hardly could be regarded as salary-cap busting — especially since the Dolphins had plenty of spending room, and given that they managed to sign a bunch of players with minimal 2013 cap dollars.

And so while the Dolphins have gone a long way toward buying votes for a stadium renovation referendum and selling tickets to the place,  losing three of the most recognizable names and faces on the roster won’t help.

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46 Responses to “Loss of Long completes Dolphins defection Trifecta”
  1. mastermathias19 says: Mar 18, 2013 1:15 AM

    “And so while the Dolphins have gone a long way toward buying votes for a stadium renovation referendum and selling tickets to the place, losing three of the most recognizable names and faces on the roster won’t help.”

    I disagree. Those players were the cornerstones of mediocrity. Time for some new blood (e.g., better players!).

  2. promickey says: Mar 18, 2013 1:15 AM

    The Dolphins are being smart in paying for performance instead of overpaying for guys they can certainly replace in the draft. The draft is full of outstanding OT’s and DB’s. Jake Long is not an elite OT anymore and Sean Smith is one of the softest covering DB’s in the NFL.

  3. spfripp says: Mar 18, 2013 1:16 AM

    Had very little doubt that he would leave Miami. From the reports I saw the money was about the same , so if he really wanted to stay he would have chosen Miami in a heart beat.

    Good luck with your new team Long!

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 18, 2013 1:17 AM

    The Dolphins are in my Top 5 of most disappointing teams in the NFL right now, they are stuck in a disastrous limbo situation that is posing monumental risk towards getting sucked towards the cellar for the next decade, and I think they are clearly oblivious to some of the risk factors they are voluntarily and unnecessarily taking on. Their long-term plans are frightening the heck out of me.

  5. bullpuppy552 says: Mar 18, 2013 1:24 AM

    None of them are big losses for the team. The Dolphins will be just fine.

  6. guvsta says: Mar 18, 2013 1:25 AM

    We went 7-9 last year and have 4 consecutive losing seasons- why would we want to keep all of those players. We’ve upgraded the receiving corps and (potentially) the linebackers.

    Long has not played well the past 2 seasons- he has been slower and injury prone. He was great the first 3 years but definitely won his 4th pro bowl on reputation. Sean Smith is an under-achiever who allows easy catches, struggles with small receivers and loses the ball. I am not sad to see him go- he’s one of those guys who gets chances because of his physical attributes but he is not a great CB! I would have liked to keep Reggie Bush but the coaching staff seem high on Miller and I trust Philbin.

  7. lanjoith says: Mar 18, 2013 1:27 AM

    They’ll still lose 10 games.

  8. pancanfinfan says: Mar 18, 2013 1:29 AM

    I remind you that the dolphins were 7-9 with this trifecta and have not made the playoffs in 4 years…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result!!!…I like what the Phins have done and look forward to an exciting draft.

  9. hollymeus says: Mar 18, 2013 1:37 AM

    good receivers with bad qb…. another vikings

  10. rukkus1 says: Mar 18, 2013 1:44 AM

    Way to shoot for the stars

  11. finsphan says: Mar 18, 2013 1:49 AM

    So let me get this strait, when smith, Bush and long played for the dolphins this site kept saying how long was not good anymore and keeps getting hurt, Smith is not a very good cover corner and Bush can’t run thigh the holes and also can’t stay healthy, but now they are gone this site makes it seem that they were great players and Miami will not be able to replace them…. So much miami hate is starting to get a little ridiculous.
    Miller will prove to be better than bush, they will draft a cb in the first rd better than smith and replace long with a younger, better and cheaper option, but I’m sure you’ll figure some way to bash those guys too. Keep up the good work

  12. fin72 says: Mar 18, 2013 1:49 AM

    Actually, losing those three recognizable names will help tremendously being as they were the cornerstones of this team’s struggles over the last few seasons. Between Long’s diminishing skills, Sean Smith’s hands of stone, and Reggie Bush’s solid but unspectacular career here I think it’s best to go out with the old and in with the new.

  13. nublar7 says: Mar 18, 2013 1:54 AM

    Stop with the buying votes and selling tickets shtick. The main goal for the Dolphins is to improve the team on the field and that is what they did. Stop with all these sarcastic shot articles to keep buying visitors and keeping your face in the spotlight Florio.

  14. cornersss says: Mar 18, 2013 2:03 AM

    those 3 players brought us losing seasons that media like yoruself love to point out how much we suck. We then get rid of avg players and people rag on us.

    We cant win.

  15. mikealstott says: Mar 18, 2013 2:11 AM

    And the Dolphins will still suck…

  16. eventhorizon04 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:37 AM

    Sean Smith: 74th ranked cornerback in the NFL out of 113 in 2012 according to ProFootball Focus.
    He was ranked 105 out of 109 in 2011.

    He gave up the most combined touchdowns and first downs of any cornerback in the NFL.

    Jake Long: Ranked 46 out of 80 offensive tackles in 2011 before missing the final four games of 2012 with injury.
    He was ranked 21 out of 76 in 2011 before missing the final game with injury.

    Reggie Bush: Ranked 47 out of 59 running backs in 2012.
    He was ranked 63 out of 67 running backs in 2011.
    While he produced highlight reel plays that everybody saw on ESPN, he also was one of the league leaders in runs for negative yardage.

    They were the biggest name Dolphins players in free agency, but name recongition doesn’t always mean quality.
    Bush and Smith are inconsistent, and Long has been in decline for 2 years.

  17. db105 says: Mar 18, 2013 2:46 AM

    The way the Bills, Dolphins and Jets are run no wonder the Pats will continue to dominate the AFC East.

  18. jrcoop says: Mar 18, 2013 2:50 AM

    On the contrary, since it’s about improving from a 7-9 record, rather than stadium politics, such changes are required for a new system from J Philbin. Moreover, new faces are certainly of greater interest than the same faces of a losing season(s). Of course as previously stated, winning as a result of the changes will do more to sell tickets than recognizable names.

  19. tiredofblatheringnflexperts says: Mar 18, 2013 3:06 AM

    The only one on this list I wish had one more year is Bush, Long is in decline and Smith could not make plays. I remember his first preseason he made a spectacular interception, catching the ball essentially with his back. Never lived up to the potential!

    Reggie’s two years in Miami were productive. I think Lamar Miller will be good, but Reggie was proven and would have a least served as a good 2 to Lamar’s 1.

  20. mackie66 says: Mar 18, 2013 3:38 AM

    Florio you are as wrong as wrong can be. First of all Long has been on IR the past two yrs. He should have been on IR three yrs ago but refused to leave the line up due to arm and leg injuries. Sparano played him in the last preseason game against Dallas where Long received a knee injury that hampered the entire season. Smith cant cover a peanut butter sandwich, let alone catch ints. And Reggie would take snaps the younger backs need to take. As a Dolfan these three are not needed to sell tickets. All the Fish need is a few wins to start the season. Get Tannehill throwing a few TDs to Wallace and Keller and things will be money/honey. Im sorry to burst your budding GM job with the Dolphins but they dont need you either.

  21. shadymduk says: Mar 18, 2013 3:46 AM

    Miami didn’t even make offers to Smith and Bush so I fail to see how this is a story. Slow news night Mike?

  22. sclazo says: Mar 18, 2013 4:20 AM

    It was Dansby, Long and Bush making the commotion when the Phins cut Chad Johnson. Now all three are gone. I believe they wanted to keep Long but they where not going to over pay for a LT that ended the past two seasons on IR.

  23. gottaplan says: Mar 18, 2013 4:25 AM

    This is all part of the plan…sure they would have like Jake back, for the right money, but the other two guys were expendable…Bush has Lamar Miller right behind him with a lot of the same talent and a lot less money. Sean Smith does NOT fit the system, couldn’t catch a football if his life depended on it, not a great zone coverage corner so no big loss. Dolphins have made the right moves this off season…for once..both business wise and in improving the team! Bring on the draft and let the renaissance begin!

  24. makavelidafins says: Mar 18, 2013 4:56 AM

    With those key free agents we went, 7-9 so whatever…..

  25. thetooloftools says: Mar 18, 2013 5:13 AM

    win some lose some.

  26. Scott Mullin says: Mar 18, 2013 5:27 AM

    I hardly think this is a bad thing, however.

    Smith was a good cornerback for the most part, but he had stone hands which couldn’t create turnovers and looked absolutely lost on a few big plays last year. There are also other veteram CBs on the free agency market and a bunch of talent there in the draft.

    Long is a great tackle, but it might be more cost-effective for the Dolphins to move Jonathan Martin over to his natural left tackle position and sign Winston or McKinnie for the right.

    And it looks like the Dolphins were ready all along to hand the RB duties to the younger, cheaper Lamar Miller, despite Reggies success last year.

    Yes, people left Miami, but there’s a solid contingency plan in place for every position… so this article might be making somethinh out of nothing

  27. Iknoweverything says: Mar 18, 2013 5:59 AM

    Not surprising at all that Smith and Long left. They want to play for a winner. That is something that will never happen with a Ross owned team. He is more worried about celebrity-has beens.

    Smith in particular just went to a team that will dominant over the next dozen years and win multiple titles.

  28. saintsfan26 says: Mar 18, 2013 6:07 AM

    Hey Miami,

    We have another runningback you guys might like to try out. We gave you Ricky Williams and Reggie Bush. Sorry they didn’t work out the way you liked. But give us a 2nd rounder and you can have Chris Ivory. Its been a pleasure doing business with you guys.

    Signed,
    The Who Dat Nation

  29. dh4321 says: Mar 18, 2013 6:16 AM

    Remind me again how many playoff games the Dolphins have been too with these players? Smith can’t catch a cold and Long is a shadow of his former self. Bush wanted to be an every down back of which he never has been. With Long leaving, finally the Parcells fleecing is over.

  30. jtm12180 says: Mar 18, 2013 6:45 AM

    Yeah, considering what Long got in St. Louis, this is a bit of a head scratcher. He was prob just tired of losing…he gets to protect a solid QB and has a great solid coach now

  31. cantonbound13 says: Mar 18, 2013 6:50 AM

    Smith wasn’t a playmaker, Bush was not an every down back & Long was always injured. This draft is loaded with offensive tackles. All 3 are replaceable. The only question is if Ireland is capable of replacing them. A good GM would have no problem.

  32. mainephinfan says: Mar 18, 2013 6:56 AM

    There is a difference between losing them and allowing them to walk because you don’t want to overpay for them.

  33. jkibler1 says: Mar 18, 2013 6:56 AM

    2 of the 3 are recognizeable for the WRONG reasons! Long was falling apart at the seams and Smith was getting beat so routinely that hi sname was mentioned too many times. Would love to have kept Bush, but the other 2 can move along.

  34. pisstol says: Mar 18, 2013 7:11 AM

    Once again, no matter what Jeff Ireland does he still proves himself to be a bumbling idiot.

    It’s becoming more and more clear that he should be considered a mole in the organization trying to ruin it from the inside.

  35. dcryan82 says: Mar 18, 2013 7:15 AM

    Any Dolphins fan who watches the games knows that Sean Smith sucks and cant make plays, and that Jake has been a shell of his former self the past 2 seasons.
    Jake is better than any tackle the phins have on roster, but if they can get Winston to play RT, and slide Martin to left, that is a better OL to fit the zone blocking scheme Miami runs.

  36. iamthefootballjerk says: Mar 18, 2013 7:40 AM

    Face it, Phins fans, your GM is a bum. Your QB is second rate, and the receivers with Wallace are still mediocre. Building through free agency rarely works.

  37. dolphins4 says: Mar 18, 2013 7:55 AM

    They were going to need a really good backup tackle for when Jake long got injured any way so they might as well just pay for 1 left tackle instead of 2.

  38. thegregwitul says: Mar 18, 2013 8:09 AM

    I see the Dolfans are out in full force in these Miami threads, clicking the thumbs down on any comment that even hints at negativity towards the Dolphins. I understand, they are fans after all. But lets not be blind to the truth…

    Truth: It doesn’t matter if it is the fault of the player or the team that drafted him, but when you have the first overall pick in a draft and that player can’t make it beyond his first contract with the team that drafted him, it’s a failure. Plain and simple. This is especially true for Miami because they were in dire straights at the QB spot and passed on Matt Ryan.

    I’m no Patriots fan, but what I’ve typed above is one reason why New England wins the division every season; look at the competition. Miami spent a lot of money to fill holes this offseason, but they let another couple players who they invested high draft picks leave the team, and they lack a playmaking RB. They also overpaid for Brian Hartline, although to be fair, they resigned him before the contracts for Welker and Amendola were finalized. They added Brandon Gibson who isn’t even as good as the underrated Devone Bess.

    I don’t even have to go into detail regarding the Bills or Jets. Maybe the Dolphins will prove me wrong, but I doubt it. I’m afraid that as long as Tom Brady is productive, the Pats will be in the drivers seat in the AFC East.

  39. mfinsrule says: Mar 18, 2013 8:09 AM

    So let me get this straight……. Long signs a 4 year $36m deal and it is great for the Rams and Dolphins are terrible? You know if Miami had matched that deal it would’ve been like “here goes the dolphins throwing money around on injury prone Jake Long”. SMH Get off Jeff Fishers jock Florio and report the news objectively……….. For once. Next headline………… So and so team signs Pat White and he will be great cause Miami doesnt know talent and only you do. Moron

  40. vaphinfan says: Mar 18, 2013 8:10 AM

    He has been injury prone last two years and even when he did play he gave up sacks.

  41. phinstruth says: Mar 18, 2013 8:12 AM

    Really, bad moves?

    Bush and Long didn’t fit the ZBS. Long lack lateral movement and had difficulty moving to the second level at times and as a result was rated out of the top 30 OT. The ZBS requires a RB to make a quick decision, one cut and get up field, Bush danced in the backfield far too much and as a result loss yards more then necessary. Moving away from the was a very smart move.

    Smith was not good in Coyle’s system and he’s a guy known for making mediocre DB’s look very good.

  42. phinfan says: Mar 18, 2013 8:30 AM

    By ‘trifecta’ i thought you were referring to the three players crying about the loss of Sparano and 85; ‘reggie, long, dansby’

  43. cjjones5656 says: Mar 18, 2013 8:50 AM

    Sometimes you have to break a leg to reset it. It isn’t like we were contending for the Super Bowl last year with these players. If something isn’t working (ie paying big $$$ for a broken down LT and a RB in a passing league) That wasn’t working….so lets do something Different! Whether this direction works remains to be seen.

  44. bobg0722 says: Mar 18, 2013 9:25 AM

    Pretty telling if you ask me what their thoughts were about all 3. They had plenty of money to resign them if they wanted. They never even made an offer to Bush or Smith and then signed 5 guys before they turned their attention to Long. I am glad they finally realized that they needed to go in other directions. I applaud them. Why so many articles about Miami screwing up by not resigning there own? They missed the playoffs the last 4 years. It was time to move on.

  45. nflgreedleague says: Mar 18, 2013 9:56 AM

    The obvious attempts to slight the Dolphins and incite their fan base are becoming laughable. Like a hypocrite you choose the side of the fence that you think will infuriate and jab the dagger, grow up. I’m not sure what scarred you in childhood but the taint is kind of sad, quite frankly. You possess a serious lack of professionalism.

  46. thelastpieceofcheese says: Mar 18, 2013 10:25 AM

    The best news is that the Dolphins got rid of 3 bums.

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