The Miami Dolphins came out swinging this year when free agency started, signing wide receiver Mike Wallace and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, along with re-signing safety Chris Clemons. The team then started taking visits from other potential targets, but paused on the signings as they waited for offensive tackle Jake Long to make a decision.
Long underwent, and passed, the longest physical in history on Wednesday and Thursday with the St. Louis Rams. The two sides were reportedly close to a deal that would keep Miami's 2008 first overall draft pick in Missouri.
As of Friday morning, that deal still was not complete.
If a team comes in with a home run of an offer, it doesn't take this long to come to a deal. Obviously, the Rams are not simply throwing money at Long.
Before free agency started, Long was thought to be looking for a contract around $11 million per year, paying him like an elite left tackle and keeping his salary on par with his rookie contract. However, after not finishing the last two seasons due to injuries, and seeing his level of play degrade due to back, knee, shoulder, biceps, and triceps injuries, the Dolphins were not willing to spend that kind of money on Long. Now, it appears, the Rams are not willing to pay that kind of money either.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Dolphins are back in the fight to sign Long, making a strong push to bring him back to Miami.
Of course, this could simply be Long's representative looking for a way to drive up the price on the Rams, but the fact that the Dolphins have not moved on Eric Winston and have repeatedly stated they want Long back makes this likely.
Either way, we are back to sitting and waiting for Long to come to a decision and put pen to paper for some team.