Do The Miami Dolphins Need to Restructure Jake Long's Contract?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 20: Jake Long #77 of the Miami Dolphins runs onto the field during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

With the first overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Jake Long, tackle, University of Michigan. After four seasons, with four Pro Bowl selections, and two first-team All-Pro selections, Long has proven to be a wall at the left tackle, and worth the five year contract that he signed with Miami.

Now, as the Dolphins move to enter the 2012 season, talk has begun on why Miami has not locked down their franchise left tackle with a contract extension, given this would be the final year of that five year deal. However, a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report today shed light on why the contract extension has not been a pressing need.

Jake Long is not entering his final year.

According to the report, Long's rookie contract included a clause that would add a sixth year to the deal if he were to meet certain milestones. That clause was triggered by his rookie year Pro Bowl appearance.

So, now, the Dolphins know they have their left tackle for two more years. And, the need to lock him down is not pressing. However, a contract extension may still be needed.

With all of the bonuses and base salary, Long is scheduled to have a cap number $12,350,000 this next season. With nose tackle Paul Soliai most likely heading to free agency this year, Long will be the most expensive player on the Dolphins' roster. While the Dolphins do have cap space to make some moves this offseason, restructuring Long's deal could free up a lot more money.

Long should be looking to exceed the Cleveland Browns' tackle Joe Thomas' seven-year, $84 million deal signed last year. If the Dolphins are willing to extend Long now, despite an injury plagued 2011 season, he's going to be expensive; but, if the contract is done correctly, he won't hamper the team's salary cap situation.

Otherwise, the team can wait until the end of next season. After all, Long isn't going anywhere.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.