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Dolphins low-balling Jake Long?

Here's an interesting report by Rob Rang, who is a senior analyst at  He reports that the Dolphins initial offer to Jake Long was low.  How low?

While insiders maintain the Dolphins have Jake Long as the highest-rated prospect in the draft, their grade on the All-American offensive tackle is only slightly higher than that of pass rushers Vernon Gholston and Chris Long. The Dolphins are so torn as to whom to select, they're essentially auctioning off the pick - for the lowest contract.

Insiders tell me the initial offer sent to Jake Long's representatives was $10-15 million less than what the first and second picks of last year's draft (Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell and Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson) stand to earn with their rookie deals. Should one of the three be willing to sign for a significantly lower sum, the Dolphins could find themselves drafting a player who they don't necessarily have ranked at the top of their board.

Now that's low.  But, again, this is just a rumor.  And it's also likely that this offer was just used as a starting point (if this rumor is indeed accurate).  After all, that's probably why they started negotiations with Jake's agent, Tom Condon, so early.  

But if the Fins really do have Jake atop their draft board, then I would expect this offer to rise to a more reasonable contract.

And if they are so "torn" on who to take number one, then I would imagine the team would enter negotiations with others.  But they haven't yet, despite reports that the Dolphins contacted Vernon Gholston last week.  Those reports have turned out to be false.

I guess the best thing to do right now is to just sit and wait until next Thursday or Friday, at which time contract talks will certainly be heating up and we'll have a better idea on what might go down.