Dolphins may have to let Jake Long walk

The Miami Dolphins will not use the franchise tag next year on starting left tackle Jake Long, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The tag is projected to be about $15.4 million, and reportedly that is too much for Miami.

I agree wholeheartedly. Franchising Long for one year would eat up most of the cap room Miami worked so hard to free up. It would hold the Dolphins (5-7) back, not move the team forward.

It’s been at least two years since Long was arguably the best left tackle in football. He's not that same player anymore. Long is now injury-prone and inconsistent by his standards. On Sunday he suffered a triceps injury that could keep him out for an extended period.

The Dolphins should offer Long a short-term, team-friendly contract and see if he accepts. If he doesn't, let someone else throw the money at him and move on. Paying Long $60-$70 million over five or six years would be a bad business decision for Miami. The Dolphins are better off using that money at other positions.