Long Deal with St. Louis Clears Up Tackle Free Agency Market

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Late last night, former Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long agreed to terms with the St. Louis Rams on a four-year, $36 million contract. While Miami was hoping to get Long back, they will now turn their attention to some of the other tackles available in free agency. For those tackles, Long's signing means they can now start to find deals as well.

The free agency market for offensive tackles had been blocked by former Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long. The 2008 first overall draft choice was the top player at the position this year, and his contract would set the market for the rest of the league. Late last night, Long agreed to a 4-year, $36 million deal with the St. Louis Rams. Now, the Dolphins, and the rest of the league, can start to move on the rest of the market.

Long spent three days with the Rams last week, before returning to Miami on Friday to decide between St. Louis or staying with the Dolphins. In the end, he chose to head to the NFC West for a contract that will pay him a $9 million per season average. The Dolphins were thought to be offering Long between $7-$8 million per year.

Miami has already had discussions with free agent Eric Winston's representatives, prior to Long's deal, and will likely move in that direction fairly quickly. The team could also look to the NFL Draft in April to address the position.

Other tackles on the market looking for deals this offseason include Sebastian Vollmer, Andre Smith, and Jammal Brown. All of them, as well as the other 25 offensive tackles still searching for new teams, will find the market a much easier working environment with Long's deal finally in place.

For the teams, Long's deal also helps with salary cap management. The four time Pro Bowl tackle had been thought to be trying to find a contract paying him at or above the $11 million per year he was making on his rookie deal. Coming in below that will help teams get solid tackles at a reasonable price, rather than having to overpay.

Whatever way you look at it, Long's deal was good for just about everyone.

Well, everyone except Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, who really wanted his offensive line-mate back.

In This Article

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.