Jake Long's St. Louis Rams physical key to his future


It's wholly appropriate that the next step in Jake Long's NFL career will come down to a doctor's examination.

NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Tuesday that 2008's No. 1 overall draft pick is scheduled to take a physical with the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday. Breer says Long's chances of signing with the Rams "hinge on" the results of the physical.

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Long was thought of as the league's preeminent left tackle before injuries took a toll on his reputation over the past two seasons. His 2012 season with the Miami Dolphins ended in early December after he suffered a triceps tear that required surgery.

Long said last month that his body was feeling good and he believed he had years of high-level play ahead of him. He's looking for $11 million annually, in line with his annual earnings during his rookie contract in Miami.

If Long signs with the Rams, starting left tackle Rodger Saffold will likely ask to be traded, a source informed of his thinking told NFL.com's Ian Rapaport. That's assuming Long would play left tackle and the team would want to move Saffold to the right side.

If things don't work out for Long in St. Louis, his market becomes highly uncertain. The Chicago Bears reportedly were considering making a run at him before deciding on Jermon Bushrod. The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly have had internal discussions about Long, but he remains "a long shot" to sign with the Eagles. It's not out of the question that Long ends up back with the Dolphins if the market deteriorates.

Long hopes it doesn't get to that.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.