Long landed on IR late last season with a torn biceps muscle.
The injury concludes perhaps the worst season of Long's career. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Long is ranked 47th out 75 tackles this season. By comparison, Long was ranked 21st in 2011, second in 2010 and second again in 2009.
The Dolphins now have a very interesting decision on their hands. Long's rookie deal expires at the end of the season and he could become a free agent. It would cost the Dolphins $15 million to retain Long with the franchise tag, an expensive move for a player who might be in decline.
Then again, Long plays a premium position, is still just 27 and is sure to attract plenty of attention if he reaches free agency. The Dolphins might do well to lock up the four-time Pro Bowler and give themselves another season to evaluate a potentially longer investment.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.