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Monday, April 14, 2008

Dolphins trying to roll back cost of No. 1 pick

In a post last week I suggested you stop thinking about which player the Dolphins will pick with the first overall selection and think more along the lines of which CONTRACT the Dolphins will offer their first overall selection.

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the contract is somewhere between Mario Williams and JaMarcus Russell? I could live with that I suppose.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of going after Gholston next. He's probably graded right there with Chris Long and would likely slip to #4 at best, probably #6 though. He'd be a real threat to accept the offer, even if it means firing his agency that also represents Jake Long.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous MartinK said...

Thanks for the updated 'Mando. When will the 'fins start contract talks w/ C. Long? Have we officially started negotiating w/ Gholsten? And do you really think we'll talk w/ Dorsey's people (if just for increased trade possibilities)? Thank you.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous CitizenK said...

It seems like a sound strategy to me. Anyone passing on the 1st overall pick contract will surely be offerent even less for 2nd and beyond, so the team with the 1st overall does have some leverage here. Also, regardless of the fact Parcells took defense #1 in the past, circumstances are not always the same, it is not likely those other teams were as weak on the OLine as this one. Despite all the 'J Long is a natural rt and not really a lt', I say nonsense, the guy is a beast and considering what we need and what is available, don't see how we pick anyone else. Our need on OLine is huge, and he is clearly the most dominating available, when rebuilding a team, that is the kind of guy you want to select. Since we are picking first, and nobody is likely to trade up, could be they have no reason to smokescreen, and are just doing what they really want to do.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

los tres amigos know they can pull this off. The question is if pick #32 will ask for first round money??? even if he is trully a 2nd rounder

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

If the dolphins can get a guy with the 1st pick, 10 million cheaper than Russell, I would imagine the players association will throw a fit, and it wont be pretty, + Chris Long WILL BE the pick!!!!

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Zolo said...

At the end of the day, what's important is that this team gets at least two long term starters out of this draft, which will be 9000% more than the last several drafts. Look at half the 'stars' in this league and so many are not top one or two picks, so you take your best shot with each pick and hope some of them are worth it, all of them won't be, never are.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like they really want J Long and are not just sending up a smoke screen. I think the Phins are smart in letting it slip that they will make an offer to Gholston next because it would be in Gholston's best interest to take the offer at #1 since he will likely fall out of the top 3 otherwise. That reasoning alone should light a fire under Long to take the Phin's offer.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agents suck.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you're going to rip off Peter King's ideas, at least cite him., you know? Monday Morning QB?

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is absolutely RIDICULOUS that the NFL has let it come to this. I can't believe that rookies who haven't played a day in the NFL are getting guaranteed money in the 25 million dollar range. How much money do people need to live? My salary is VERY modest compared to these guys and I have everything I need. The rich get richer because we're spending $10.00 on a hot dog or a bucket of popcorn! Not to mention ticket prices and parking fees. The NFL is turning its back on the blue collar workers. Pretty soon football will only be accesible to the rich. The economy sucks yet the NFL keeps raising prices. At least we will be able to watch it on TV, until the NFL network takes all the games away from the networks so they can charge us to watch,,auuuugggghhhh! NYScott

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Zuma said...

Let's face it, there is no one in this year's draft that will drastically improve our franchise. Let the time expire and move down on the board and save the money. Give us a chance to sign veteran free agents. With the type of money we save, we can sign several above average veterans or a few really good ones. That pick would become very valuable once that draft begins and we move down the board. It's time to change what we've seen in the draft. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just happy we are negotiating agressively and setting everything up to make the right pick. (God willing)


6:43 PM  
Anonymous B- Man said...

Yep, makes sense. You can always bargain up but you can't bargain down from your first offer. Forget the "this guys a beast", or "this guy is a can't miss" crap. I've heard the same thing every year. Truth is, a great player could come from any of the picks and without the prima donna attitude. Just sit back enjoy and lets see what plays out. I would love to hear a last minute podium deal and the Rodger saying, "The Dolphins have traded the first pick in the NFL draft ..." and see Ireland/Parcells commit highway robbery from a team like the Raiders. Hey a fan can dream can't he....?

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Al (Just lose baby) Davis said...

Jamarcus who??? Talk to me when you have done something kid....

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Doll Fan said...

I see where you are going with it, but it would be a PR nightmare. Remember the Vikes(I think?) a few years back passing on the pick... and that wasn't even close to the #1.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Taylor Eats Brady said...

Looks like what the Phins are doing is smart. This is the year to try and put the brakes on 1st pick pay. Why not play several guys against each other?

That being said, I think Jake Long is the pick. Most elite LT's come from the top half of round one, and why not make what is a safe pick that fills a glaring need?

Wouldn't it be interesting if we are still after Chris Long and we set him up by talking to everybody else first? Great strategy if we still are after him.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anko said...

We are just assuming any of these players even wants to play for the worst team in the league. They all may demand more to make a sacrafice playing on a perennial loser team. This team has been a failure since Shula departed.

8:09 PM  
Blogger AADolfan said...

It's a good idea: however, this plan can work only if the Dolphins are truly willing to pick someone other than Jake. Because if they are not, and JL's agent calls their bluff, they will be in a weak position and over pay.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Bob Knight said...

I love Bill Parcells. mmmmm now thats one hot Tuna... oh well let me go put on my track pants and hit the early bird senior special at Denny's.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Germany speaking said...

If I had anything to say as GM I would offer B.Albert a contract in Ted Ginns range, who signed a five-year contract worth more than $13 million last year.

Thats enough money for any rookie to get his first paycheck and he can tell his grandkids he was taken No.1 in the 2008 Draft!

Then all those senior agents will have a hard time to get their top ranked players happy - ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE !!!!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Cap't Slammie said...

So, I'm wondering, again, what if we pick the most attractive player in the draft, like McFadden, and then don't sign him? Let him sit on his rear end until someone finally offers us some lower draft picks for the next year's draft.

9:29 PM  
Blogger JP said...


Usually I like your commentary and appreciate your on the beat work. However, the same views were expressed by Peter King a bit earlier, and its hard for me to believe you came up with this yourself when it was posted < 24 hours ago. If this was really authentic, then you should know what your peers are posting and at least reference him!

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on a couple of the comments on here I read Peter King to read his post and I saw very little resemblence from this post to that one.


10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK guys...
I am going to do the Armando act: And this is true.
"Last week I told you that it was a no brainer that the Dolphins were going to take Jake Long (they NEEEEEED another offensive tackle), but were not going to pay a premium, because EVERYONE had Jamarcus Russel at the top of their board last year and he deserved the money, and there are six or so players who could be taken at the top of this draft". Non of whom are anywhere close to Jamarcus Russel in talent. So/and Jake does not merit that kind of money. Wow!!!!! I I I I am GOOD GOOD GOOD!!!!!!!
Armando, this is all obvious stuff that is and or was going to happen. You are NOT smart dude. A child can fgure this sh it out. Tell us something that a GOOD reporter can find out, but laymen like us Dolphans can't. And quit saying I I I I....

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So will Tuna be willing to not submit a pick at #1 if he can't get the kind of terms he wants?

For example the Rams will likely go Dline and the Falcons would love to have Ryan (God knows they need a QB).

If Long doesn't agree to a deal couldn't they get in their pick during the Rams pick (meaning that the Fins pick wouldn't be #1 but #4 since by rule the "next" team (Falcons) would get its pick? You'd then have the #1 olineman in the draft at the price of a #4 overall.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get off Armando's a@@. This hypothesis has been written by lots of folks - and not just Peter King (who also actually says the Fins will definitely, positively pick DEFENSE. In fact, Armando is the first to report the salary range, so give him some credit. If you don't care for his blogs - don't read them. WADOLFAN

11:18 PM  
Anonymous flpd said...

I'm reading salary range, I'm reading details about no signing bonus, I'm reading stuff here I didn't see in King's post. And by the way, if nobody here had mentioned it, I wouldn't have even looked for King's post.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Dirt Deil said...

I thought Peter King was a porn star.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey nyscott, you can't pay $10 for a hot dog and a bucket of popcorn and then complain about it. by purchasing these items, you acknowledge that they are at least worth that amount in money to you. and you know, if tickets were too expensive, people would stop attending games and prices would drop. this is one of the more fundamental ideas behind the market economy.

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call Jerry Jones, ask him how much he wants to pay McFad and then sign and trade McFad for the Cowboy's two #1s this year and their #1 in 2009.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Amen, Anony about the free market. I get so tired of this class warfare crap coming from underachievers, who would rather blame the NFL for their lack of success than their own decisions.

Two points, NYScott. You are where you are today because of the decisions YOU made in your life. Where you are five years from now will be determined by the decisions you make between now, and then.

Second point is this: NFL players are worth the money they make because of the amount of revenue they earn their team. You make less than them because you bring less money in to your company than they do.

I actually have a third point, come to think about it. The money they earn isn't being taken out of the economy, it is fueling it. These players buy big houses, fancy cars, all sort of luxury items that are manufactured by many people in this country, thus providing them with jobs. If you make their salaries around 50k a year, to balance them out with the majority, they can't afford to do so, and many of those people will end up losing their jobs.

For years you have heard the cry of the socialists that everyone DESERVES to have the same amount of stuff, and earn the same amount of money. This is unrealistic, and actually quite stupid. Getting stuff is the goal that pushes people to work hard, and succeed. There is the aspect of pride in a job done well as well, though if you believe that pride could sustain an economy the size of our nation's you are deluding yourself. We gain the luxury of thinking beyond our baser instincts when we have more than the minimum for survival.

Sorry to rant so long, I guess you struck a I don't have ill thoughts for you, NYScott, I just think you should reevaluate your comment earlier, and see how much it sounds like you are whining about them getting more than you do. That isn't what this country was founded on, though it seems more, and more likely that is where this country will fall.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


sonny crockett

9:06 AM  
Blogger H.C.D. said...

I think NYSCOTT was just trying to say that the salaries of the players and the costs of enjoying a game-day stadium experience are spiraling out of control.

I'm all for going out and getting "what I deserve." However, for me to get the salary that I get now, I've had to prove myself for years. I didn't come straight out of college making 100K. I had to start at the bottom and work my way up.

Point is, I applaud the approach the Dolphins are taking with the first pick in the draft. To automatically assume that the first overall pick is getting what JaMarcus Russell got is LUDICROUS. The Dolphins are trying to reverse the trend of the #1 pick getting more money year after year and that is refreshing. It is time to start paying these "can't miss" rookies what a rookie should earn. For some guy who has never played a down to come in and start making bank for doing nothing is crazy. We need a rookie salary cap, period. Come in, prove what you can do, then get paid.

Once again, I completely approve of this Dolphin's approach. Stay strong guys!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Armando, there's this thing with agents called collusion. I expect them to band together to fight setting a precedent that will hurt them and their clients for years to come.

The real question here to ask is how far are the Dolphins willing to go to get a discount with their first overall pick? Would they reach down and pick someone who isn't believed to be a Top 5 guy in order to get their price?

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name of the game for a player is what position will you be in on draft day. The player at the #1 spot will command more compensation. I believe it's a year where any of these players could be positioned at #1 (Jake Long, Chris Long, Dorsey, Gholston) based on what the Dolphins need.

What I like is getting a contract done without the holdout nonsense that the Niners went through with Alex Smith (he better prove in 2008 that he's not a bust), the Raiders went through w/Jamarcus Russell (unproven), and what the Dolphins went through w/Ronnie Brown (if healthy it may work out but there's the risk of being damaged for good), Jason Allen (see Alex Smith), and even Ted Ginn (see Jamarcus Russell).

The greatest blessing last year was the opportunity to turn over the Dolphin's football operations to the Tuna. That made the decision easy to unload the clowns that were continuing the trend toward mediocrity and being down right stinko.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the price for a number one pick can be driven down some considering Miami is an awesome place to live with money. I would rather have 50 million and live in NMiami than 60 and live in Atlanta, St Louis or Oakland.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

your question leads me to wonder, how likely it would be that the 2nd overall pick gets paid more than the 1st overall. I mean let's say hypothetically that the fins choose to go so deep that they pick a player that is clearly not a top 5 pick. and he takes a deep discount where compensation is concerned. Is it conceivable that the likes of Ryan, or either of the longs that get taken next get paid slightly more?

11:18 AM  
Blogger James A said...

don't underestimate the lack of state income tax in Long's assessment.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous FINSFAN said...

Att: All fins fans,

Theres a report out there on FOXSPORTS.COM, that Jake Long "DOES NOT" want to come to Miami. But the fins are still in negotiations with his agent.

Mandoooo follow this up and get the down low on this matter.

Also PFT.COM also wrote about it this morning!!!

1:10 PM  
Anonymous S. Trevino said...

J. Long doesnt wanna play in miami? i wonder if this is just a smoke screen in negotiations.. so J. Long can squeeze more money out of the dolphins..

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

2008 Miami Dolphins Schedule

Wk Date Matchup Time
1 Sept. 7 N.Y. Jets 1 p.m.
2 Sept. 14 at Arizona Cardinals 4:15 p.m.
3 Sept. 21 at New England Patriots 1 p.m.
4 Sept. 28 Bye
5 Oct. 5 San Diego Chargers 1 p.m.
6 Oct. 12 at Houston Texans 1 p.m.
7 Oct. 19 Baltimore Ravens 4:15 p.m.
8 Oct. 26 Buffalo Bills 1 p.m.
9 Nov. 2 at Denver Broncos 4:05 p.m.
10 Nov. 9 Seattle Seahawks 1 p.m.
11 Nov. 16 Oakland Raiders 1 p.m.
12 Nov. 23 New England Patriots 1 p.m.
13 Nov. 30 at St. Louis Rams 1 p.m.
14 Dec. 7 at Buffalo Bills (Toronto) 4:05 p.m.
15 Dec. 14 San Francisco 49ers 1 p.m.
16 Dec. 21 at Kansas City Chiefs 1 p.m.
17 Dec. 28 at New York Jets 1 p.m.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

I'm thinking 5-7 wins. The Schedule isn't that tuff, the harder games like Seattle and San Diego are at home. There's a few road games that could go either way like Arizona and Houston, never know what you are going to get with those teams. They play playoff teams a total of 4 times, 3of those are at home. All in all, you couldn't really ask for a better schedule

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to voice my opinion on what's going on with the contract deadline Bill Parcells has given to Jake Long.

It makes no sense for Long to take this deal. Why would he accept less money than JaMarcus Russell did last year, when he could probably sign a more lucrative deal with the Rams or Falcons? There's no way he's getting past No. 3, so Long has all the leverage. So, unless Long is willing to cave for less cash than what he's worth, there's no way he'll be playing in Miami.

If Peter King is correct in assuming Vernon Gholston will be next on the Dolphins' wish list, there's no doubt in my mind that Gholston will be a Dolphin come April 26. While Jake Long would become a huge pushover to take a discounted deal, Gholston would almost have to do it. I currently have Gholston penciled into the No. 2 slot, but there are scenarios out there that could see him fall to the Patriots at No. 7. If that occurs and he doesn't sign Miami's contract, he stands to lose a ton of money.

So, is Chris Long still an option? Absolutely. If Parcells truly likes Chris Long, he's a genius. By offering a contract to Jake Long and threatening to do the same thing to an eager Gholston, Chris Long's agent would have to encourage his client to sign the contract. Unlike Jake, there's no guarantee Chris will be a top-three selection; the Virginia hybrid linebacker could conceivably slip down to the Jets at No. 6.

If you're penciling Jake Long into the No. 1 slot, don't do that just yet. Al Davis lowballed Brady Quinn last year in a similar fashion, and we all saw how that turned out. In hindsight, Quinn should have taken the offer, but there's absolutely no way Jake Long slips on Draft Day.

At any rate, I'll return you to my mock. This will be updated Wednesday or Thursday. I'm adding a sixth round, and there will be at least one change in my Top 10.

Back to my 2008 NFL Mock Draft: I'm guessing you've heard that the Dolphins have opened negotiations with Jake Long. Now before anyone gets excited and pencils the Michigan tackle into the first slot, keep in mind that Miami is expected to begin negotiations with Chris Long and Vernon Gholston as well. Matt Ryan is not on that list, as expected.

Teams negotiate with players they don't pick all the time. The Texans spoke with Reggie Bush for at least a month before settling with Mario Williams. The Raiders dealt with Brady Quinn. If anything, this makes me more encouraged that Miami is pursuing Chris Long; this could be a great way of getting Chris' agent to lower the asking price.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, I agree with everything you are saying about a free market....but, does a company have to make an extra million or two of profits if they are in the billions if they could kick back something to the fans that are lining the owners pockets....also, what about teachers....forget impact on corporation's profits, teachers impact civilizations....good athletes deserve their due, so do good teachers and others who risk their lives for our society (fireman/policeman)....ok, enough ranting....go FISH BABY

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter is a moron, and his argument is illogical. On one hand he says Jake is not as good a left tackle as Thomas, then says Atlanta should take him comparing him to Thomas in Cleveland.

He says Jake will be snapped up by the Rams or the Falcons who will gladly pay him more than the #1 overall pick. Why the heck would they do that? Especially if he's just a right tackle?

Why would Gholston or even Chris have more incentive to sign a low ball contract with Miami than Jake when Walter says the Rams need a pass rushing DE and would take him with the second pick? It would appear that Jake has much more at risk since the teams following the Dolphins actually have greater needs than OL. Especially if as Walter says, he's going to cost more than Chris, Matt, or Gholston.

The bottom line is that no team's going to pay Jake more than he'll get with the Dolphins at #1, simply because of the rookie scale, and there is no OT premium.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Antonio, that's a good question. It all depends on whether or not the agents stick together. You can bet that guys like Rosenhaus will rallying the resistance.

The danger here that the agents are facing is that it becomes a domino effect down the line and EVERYONE signs for less. If the Dolphins sign their guy for less, it could set the bar for the slotting that will go on down the line.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Miami can't find someone to take an offer they should just forfeit the 1st pick altogether.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should NOT go after Gohlston. He's just like Daryl Gardner, high end skills, low end motor. The guy was scarcely above average as a senior until about the last 3 games. Guys like that are hard to get going once they've been paid. Think: Andre Ware, Sean Gilbert, Dan Wilkenson, Shawn Rogers, these are all guys with immense talent and little to no motivation to improve themselves. Avoid him like the plague.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont understand why everyone thinks that Gholston will be the pick if Jlong is not... they are represented by the same guy, no agent is goin to turn down a deal w/ one player and then go back and sign it w/ the other player. its just not goin to happen. its bad business. think about it... you are goin to be the #1 if you accept.. your agent gets you not to accept saying you can get a bigger pay-day somewhere else and then he takes his other client and signs for the amount you just turned dowN? then what happens if you do not get picked next... your def not goin to make the money that the #1 would have gotten you b/c normally all other agents base what they are goin to get on a sliding scale from the #1. so in one quick move you just go from being #1 and more than likely the most money in your draft to not making that kinda money and goin b/w 2 and say 7 while watching another guy your agent reps taking that #1... its just not goin to happen


10:33 AM  
Anonymous Clint said...


11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

based on the current strategy of making a fiscally prudent pick, why not go on ahead and widen the field to those outside the top 5... why doesn't anyone consider them fiscally prudent to become Miami's top pick... after all we are talking about risk versus reward and besides that it increases the leverage against the top 5...

6:58 PM  

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