Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Long in Miami

With no takers for the pick, Dolphins made right move

The Miami Dolphins made the right choice. Jake Long will be, at worst, a very good player for Miami. More likely, he'll be a consistent Pro Bowler. There is a chance he will be a Hall of Famer. Long has that kind of ability.

And yet, it's still a shame that the Dolphins couldn't do what they really wanted to do — what Bill Parcells did last time he had the No. 1 pick.

In 1997, Parcells was rebuilding another AFC East team, the Jets. He had the top pick. He traded it.

He couldn't do that this time, because ... nobody wanted the No. 1 pick in the entire draft.

It's too expensive. Last year the Raiders gave JaMarcus Russell $29 million guaranteed just to show up in September and see if he is an NFL quarterback. We still don't have an answer.

This year the Dolphins gave Long $30 million guaranteed. By comparison: Alan Faneca, a perennial Pro Bowl lineman, got $21 million guaranteed from the Jets. Sure, Faneca is 31, which explains the disparity a little. But why should somebody as unproven as Long get more than one of the best linemen in the league?

This is why nobody wants the No. 1 pick. Agents have successfully sent elite rookie salaries into an illogical stratosphere. Teams could just take the 12th-best player with the top pick and give him 8th-pick money, but that's harder than it sounds. Fans would go nuts, and the player's agent might not let him sign anyway.

Read more of the article here.

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