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Jake Long, Dolphins talking again

Will the Rams lose out to the Dolphins in their chase for the left tackle?

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Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Jake Long contract watch may well have shifted from St. Louis to Miami. USA Today had a follow up to Jim Thomas' last report, revealing that the Dolphins and Long are talking again, as recently as Friday morning.

From the USA Today report:

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity, said general manager Jeff Ireland and his team have been in communication with Long on Friday morning and are trying to bridge the gap they've had in previous negotiations.

Things get interesting at the gap. Miami declined the chance to use the franchise tag on Long, which would have paid him more than $15.3 million for a one-year deal, because that's 120 percent over the $12.8 million he made last year. Long was originally believed to be looking for a deal like the one Joe Thomas got from the Browns, seven-years and $84 million in 2011.

Clearly, he's finding team reticent to pay that. Did he dip his toes into the waters of free agency thinking he could find that kind of money? If David Diehl is getting a contract averaging $7.5 million per year, Long's best shot might be $8 to $8.5 million.

Either way, he's leaving St. Louis without a contract, and that's not a good sign after the Rams spent three days negotiating.