Miami Dolphins tackle Jake Long made $11.2 million in 2012 and is looking for what could be the last major contract of his career. The former No. 1 pick is looking for $10 million per year, sources told The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.
The Dolphins are still negotiating, but are unlikely to pay that price. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported the Dolphins will have $46 million in cap space and aren't eager to overpay their own free agents before the market dictates the number. The Dolphins are expected to let starters like Long, running back Reggie Bush, wide receiver Brian Hartline, tight end Anthony Fasano, safety Chris Clemons, defensive tackle Randy Starks and cornerback Sean Smith test the market.
Long was considered the top tackle in the NFL at one point, but his play has slipped as he's been plagued with injuries. He's no longer an elite run-blocker. Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas is the highest-paid tackle in the league with an eight-year, $92 million deal signed before the 2011 season.
The 27-year-old Long, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times in five years, is a strong locker-room leader. Some team will gamble that he can stay healthy and return to form. The Dolphins, who have insurance with Jonathan Martin, are prepared to see what the market dictates rather than negotiating against themselves.
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