Dolphins trying to roll back cost of No. 1 pick
That's because the team is more likely to pick a player that will agree to the contract it has in mind.
Well, the Dolphins have a contract on the table to Michigan's Jake Long and guess what? It is for less money than what last year's first overall pick got.
Last year the Raiders gave JaMarcus Russell a staggering six-year, $62 million deal that included $31 million in guaranteed money.
The Dolphins have no desire or intention of reaching the $30 million guaranteed money plateau. They are looking to roll back the guaranteed money closer to 2006 levels when Mario Williams signed a six-year contract worth $54 million.
Williams initially received $21.75 million in guarantees that was increased to $26.5 million after the Texans exercised an option a year later that added that sixth season to the deal.
So the Dolphins are looking to reel in either Jake Long, or Chris Long or Glenn Dorsey or Vernon Gholston for six years and about $55 million with about $25-$27 in guarantees.
How can they roll back the price of paying the first overall pick, you ask?
Well, they are going to ask for, and get, the non-quarterback discount. Because they aren't picking anyone playing the most expensive position on the field, they don't expect to pay like the Raiders did for a QB.
Secondly, they rolled out their offer to Long with the implicit understanding that they could go chase someone else if he doesn't complete a deal within a certain period of time -- a deadline, if you will. When Russell signed his deal in September of 2007, the Raiders had no such option of picking somebody else if he didn't agree to their terms.
Finally, the Dolphins are trying to roll back the contract cost for the first overall pick because, well, it makes sense to try.
And by the way, the team is NOT expected to offer a signing bonus. Ronnie Brown didn't get one in 2005 when he was Miami's No. 2 overall pick and teams have lately been avoiding signing bonuses for expensive rookie deals as a means of countering collective bargaining agreement restrictions while still achieving the maximum value for the deals.
The player will get guaranteed salary and roster bonuses instead.
None of this is to suggest the deal Miami offers will, you know, actually get signed immediately. Tom Condon and Ben Dogra, who represent Jake Long and Vernon Gholston, along with Joel Segal (Glenn Dorsey) and Marvin Demoff (Chris Long) are veteran agents. They are not likely to simply roll over like a mutt at the Dolphins' command.
These agents want as much money for their clients -- and themselves -- as possible. And they are all accustomed to seeing salary scales go up not down from year to year.
So it shall be an interesting negotiation that Miami has already begun.
But if any think they're going to take a record bite out of Miami's salary cap based on the JaMarcus Russell contract of 2007, they are probably mistaken.