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**BREAKING NEWS: Dolphins begin contract negotiations with Jake Long**

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Update [2008-4-9 21:17:4 by Matty I]: Besides Jake Long, ESPN's John Clayton is reporting that the Dolphins will also talk contract with Chris Long and Glenn Dorsey. Clayton writes that no deal with any of these players will likely be struck until a day or two before April 26's draft. Clayton, along with Adam Schefter report that the Dolphins will not enter contract talks with Matt Ryan, all but ending the speculation that Ryan could go number one overall.

I hate to say "I told you so," but I did tell you so!!

Anyways, it's interesting that Dorsey is in the mix. I do think, though, that he is in the mix more so as leverage for the Dolphins while they talk to the two Longs. But Clayton seems to think Jake Long is the preferred pick if they can just get his agent, Tom Condon (who is an ass) to come to terms on a deal. Interesting times ahead, guys and gals! [end update]

The Miami Herald is reporting that the Dolphins have begun contract negotiations with the agent for Michigan OT Jake Long. Tom Condon, who is also Matt Ryan's agent, has been in Davie already on behalf of Long at the Dolphins' request. Of course, the idea here is to reach a deal prior to the draft so that nobody has to worry about a long holdout that prevents the #1 pick from getting into training camp on time. We all remember how ugly Jason Allen's holdout got and we know that owner Wayne Huizenga vows to never again go through a situation like that. Last year, the Dolphins did get all of their picks, including first round pick Ted Ginn, under contract and into camp on time.

The article adds that the Dolphins still like Chris Long, though no talks have started between the Dolphins and his agent:

Miami is still intrigued by Virginia defensive end Chris Long, but no in-person talks between Chris Long's agent and Miami are believed to have taken place to date. However, the Dolphins are believed to be happy with quarterback John Beck, and they are not considering Ryan as an option with the first pick.

The latest meeting between Condon and the team doesn't necessarily mean the Dolphins have made their final decision to select Jake Long over Chris Long, but it is certainly a major step in that direction.

I'm actually a bit surprised at this just because I think it's kind of early. However, this is just the beginning. I'd be stunned if the Dolphins did not also start contract talks with Chris Long in the coming days as well.

It's interesting that Jeff Darlington writes the Dolphins are happy with John Beck. No, it's not surprising to me because I do think he's going to be a good quarterback. But I just didn't think the Dolphins would let on to their feelings on John prior to the draft.

Regardless, the games have begun, Dolphin fans!!