Miami Dolphins: Vernon Carey Takes Pay Cut; Kendall Langford Up for Extension
Two days after the Miami Dolphins signed veteran offensive tackle Marc Colombo and starter Vernon Carey was excused from the team's scrimmage for "personal reasons," the Dolphins' long-time tackle has agreed to take a pay cut to remain with the team.
A first-round pick by the Dolphins out of the University of Miami in 2004, Carey signed a six-year, $42 million contract extension with $15 million guaranteed back in 2009. He was due $4.15 million in base salary in 2011 and carried a cap hit over $7 million.
Carey has played both right and left tackle with the Dolphins, starting 92 of 106 career games played. A knee injury late last season ended his consecutive starts streak at 87 games, dating back to 2005.
Another interesting development is that Carey was seen playing right guard in the team's practice on Wednesday, which is something head coach Tony Sparano had previously said this offseason was not an option for the veteran.
Of course, the signing of Colombo gives the Dolphins another starting-caliber right tackle, and right guard has been a problematic area for some time with 2010 third-rounder John Jerry proving to be a major disappointment. Former undrafted free agent Ray Feinga had been working at first-team right guard thus far in camp, but was not at practice Wednesday.
While Carey's move inside is not necessarily permanent, it's certainly encouraging for those of us that have called for the move for some time now. Carey is absolutely a serviceable tackle, but he'd been grossly overpaid and in recent years he'd been losing athleticism and gaining weight.
If Carey does indeed take over at right guard, I expect him to be highly productive given his size and experience. While Marc Colombo or Lydon Murtha would be a downgrade at right tackle, the combination of Carey and Murtha or Colombo on the right side is certainly better overall than Jerry or Feinga next to Carey.
Kendall Langford in line for extension
Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Kendall Langford is reportedly in talks about a much-deserved contract extension with the Dolphins, according to Ben Volin.
A third-round pick out of Hampton in 2008, Langford outshined fellow rookie end Phillip Merling and has gone on to appear in all 48 possible games for the Dolphins, starting all but six of them. His efforts have given the Dolphins consistently one of the best run-stopping lines in football.
While the numbers of a 3-4 defensive lineman don't typically jump off the page because they are asked to occupy blockers and clear room for linebackers, Langford has excelled in his three pro seasons, recording 121 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and eight pass deflections.
The news of a potential extension should be music to the ears of Dolphins fans, as Langford is very deserving of a new deal and is a key component to a very deep defensive line.
Marten gone; number changes
The Dolphins have released offensive tackle James Marten, who was on the team's practice squad in December of last year. Colombo has taken Marten's No. 71, while undrafted rookie tackle D.J. Jones will now wear No. 65.
In other number news, nose tackle Ronald Fields will wear No. 95 and undrafted linebacker Mark Masterson No. 45. Quarterback Matt Moore will switch from No. 4 to No. 8, while Reggie Bush will take No. 4 for the time being as he waits for cutdowns to pick a legal number.
As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and currently works for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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