Dolphins may offer several No. 1 deals
By next week, the team could talk to the agents for Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, and possibly even Glenn Dorsey. That has not happened yet. But it would be the smart thing to do.
Rather than getting caught up with which player the Dolphins prefer, think of it in terms of which CONTRACT the Dolphins prefer.
It is smart for the Dolphins to offer all the players contracts that are advantageous to the team. By working several players at once, the team can play one against the other and the supply of options can somewhat lower the worth of the deal. At least that's what Miami hopes.
The reason an agent would enter into such a negotiation is because it allows him to judge the contract the Dolphins put before him to sign at No. 1 versus the possibility of his player dropping to, say, No. 3 or below. Gholston, in particular, might not go in the top 3 if he doesn't go to the Dolphins.
So him considering a cheap No. 1 contract that pays $25-$29 million in guarantees is better than the risk of going, say, No. 4 or No. 5 which would bring around $16-$18 million in guarantees.
This strategy also speaks to Miami's intention not to repeat the Raiders' mistake of a season ago. The Dolphins want their No. 1 pick signed on draft day. They have no desire to pick a player that might then entrench himself in a prolonged negotiation as JaMarcus Russell did last year.
Russell missed all of training camp with Oakland while his agent negotiated his mega-deal. The Dolphins can't afford that kind of setback.