For Dolphins fans, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that this was where he was going to sign. Then after three days, Long left St. Louis and returned to Miami. His return to Miami without a deal spurned hope that they still had a shot at him. His return to Miami without a deal prompted Richie Incognito to unleash a Twitter campaign in an effort to keep Long in Miami.
Other Dolphins players and numerous fans joined in on this campaign. Every tweet and plead was tagged with #bringjakehome. Well, the campaign just came crashing down.
The contract is for four years with a maximum value of $36 million, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported.
This news is somewhat disheartening considering the outpouring of support Incognito, other teammates and thousands of fans showed Long. However, losing Long is something that was almost a foregone conclusion a few days ago. Now that this is a reality, Dolphins fans should not let this ruin what has been a terrific offseason thus far.
Moving forward, Miami is obviously going to have to address the tackle position. It is possible that they could look to do it in the draft. It is also possible that they will do it via free agency. Miami was in a holding pattern while waiting for Long. The team clearly wanted him back, and it would seem they chose not to reveal their backup plan while he was still on the market.
How should Miami replace Long?
That's right, I said backup plan. This offseason has inspired me to believe that Miami does have a backup plan in place. I am willing to bet they bring in some tackles this week for workouts. Hopefully one of those tackles will be former Kansas City Chief Eric Winston. Miami was linked via rumors to Winston a few days ago, but nothing came of it. Now that Long is off of the market, we shall see if there is any truth to those rumors.
In the meantime I hope that somebody checks on Incognito. The team is going to be fine, but he just lost his bro. At least they seemed to be bros while Incognito was courting him to stay. But we all know how that bromance ended.