February 20, 2013
Jake Long Puts It Up to Miami Dolphins to Get Deal Done and Other AFC East News
The Miami Dolphins have a lot of money to spend this offseason and a lot of key free agents to take care of in the process.
Among those names is left tackle Jake Long, formerly a No. 1 overall draft pick. Long joined NFL Network’s “Total Access” on Tuesday and reiterated that he would like to remain with the Dolphins, but said it’s not entirely up to him.
I’d be open to continue my career there, but it’s essentially on them, see what they want to do and what direction they want to head in and go from there. That’s the business side of it, so we’ll see what they want to do.
I hate to break it to Long, but it was up to them before he said so, and if he wants to stay, he could be in for some bad news.
Long wants to get paid like one of the top left tackles in the NFL. Quite simply, Long has not played like one of the top tackles in the NFL over the past couple of years. There’s a chance he could return to form, but the fact is his play has dipped when, in theory, he should be entering his prime at 28 years old.
A recent outburst of injuries could be one reason for his decline and also a reason why the Dolphins have been hesitant to offer him a top-dollar contract to this point (via The Miami Herald).
In the interview, Long also said he feels good and has worked hard to rehab from his triceps injuries, as well as the other injuries he’s faced over the years.
The last couple of years, I’ve had some injuries I’ve had to work through, it hasn’t been the ideal situation, but I’ve been working hard this offseason to get healthy and get strong…And this is the best my body has felt in a long time, and I’m just excited to get a deal done and focus on football and get back to work for 2013.
Those injuries could drive down his market value a bit more than he expects, but if he’s right, whichever team signs him could be in for a treat.
Don’t be surprised, though, if that team isn’t the Dolphins.
Here’s some more news from around the AFC East.
New York Jets
Conor Orr of the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger writes about the Jets getting their roster redux off to a big start Tuesday.
Chris Gross of TurnOnTheJets.com shares part two of his interview with former NFL general manager Ted Sundquist.
Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post has Mike Mayock’s thoughts on where the Dolphins should go with the No. 12 overall pick.
According to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace will be the Dolphins top free-agent target this offseason.
Tim Graham of The Buffalo News shares the thoughts of Pete Metzelaars, who says the Bills problems start with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com has Mayock’s thoughts on the risk-reward element of taking a quarterback in the top 10 this year.
New England Patriots
Christopher Price of WEEI.com shares Mayock’s thoughts on the Patriots safety situation and the best fits at the position in this year’s class.
Field Yates of ESPN Boston points out the transition tag is an option for the Patriots and lists the players who could be hit with it.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and “like” the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained first-hand or via team press releases.
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