It has been reported that the Dolphins and former Michigan LT Jake Long were in the process of negotiating a contract for Long to be the No.1 overall pick in the draft. It was reported today that it has happened. Jake Long signed a 5-year deal for a reported $57.75 Million Dollar contract with $30 Million Dollars in guaranteed money.
Long will get $2 million dollars less in guaranteed money and $3.5 million less in total money than Raider QB JaMarcus Russell received. However, Jake Long is tied up for one less season. This writer is the same one who predicted that this would occur in the article titled “Bill Parcells is Going for the win”.
The fact that this was a year that there wasn’t one guy that was head and shoulders above the rest made the move easier. Bill Parcells in one swoop has done what some thought was impossible to select a guy who he felt would best help his team and pay that guy less than what the previous years No.1 overall pick signed for and have him signed prior to the draft.
He didn’t allow Tom Condon, Long's agent, to sell him with the “you need this guy speech” and the fact that Jake Long isn’t a QB, WR or RB helped out. There was a moment there where it was thought that former Ohio State DE/OLB Vernon Gholston was in the mix to be the top pick but today’s announcement put that thought to rest.
It was strange to hear Miami GM Jeff Ireland say thanks to Ben Dogra and Tom Condon of the "CAA Group" for getting the deal done. Seeing as Tom Condon is Jake Long's agent and Ben Dogra is Vernon Gholstons' agent, they're both with the CAA Group.
This was the right pick for the Dolphins who now have to fill a hole at Right Guard on their offensive line. Jake Long has been compared to John "Jumbo" Elliott who similar in size to Jake Long 6'7" 308 lbs. Elliott played for the NY Giants from 1988-1995, with the NY Jets from 1996-2000 and then again in 2002. Jumbo Elliott was a Bill Parcells favorite and now he has signed a similar player to be the cornerstone of his offensive line.
You can go ahead and consider this the first win of the 2008-2009 season for the Miami Dolphins and the NFL. Several league owners were feeling the financial crunch of the extremely high rookie salaries and several teams at the top of the draft even attempted to trade down to avoid having to pay the price. As stated previously, Bill Parcells has the personality and the moxie to pull off this win. He will re-build the Dolphins as he has other teams in the NFL the old fashioned way, by bringing in hard-working blue collar players, smart draft choices and savvy personnel moves.