Long Time Coming; Jake Long the Dolphins First Pick in the Draft

The NFL Draft may not be as exciting on Saturday, as today the Dolphins sealed the deal with their newest player, as the team held a press conference announcing the signing of Michigan tackle Jake Long. The deal is being reported as for five years at $57.75 million, with $30 million guaranteed. The team had been talking with Long for several days, and now four days before the Draft have really nothing left to do but sit back and hand the card in. There were reports they wanted to trade the pick, but found no teams that wanted to spend that type of money to be in the number one spot.

“Jake was our guy from the beginning,” general manager Jeff Ireland said. “Jake Long was on the top of our board for a long time. There wasn’t a whole lot of debate. We thought it was a very good fit with the Miami Dolphins.” Getting Long signed this early is not that much of a stretch, as the Texans came to a deal with DE Mario Williams the night before the 2006 draft. Of course the Dolphins wanted to avoid last years drama of the number one pick, as Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell didn’t sign till early in the season, missing his entire first training camp.

“It’s such a great honor to be the No. 1 pick,” said Long, who spoke today. “I’m real glad we got the contract done so I don’t have to worry about any of that.” Long is expected to come right in and shore up a major trouble spot of the Fins, and he will play left tackle according to reports. New coach Tony Sparano will use the new 6-foot-7, 315 pound lineman an awful lot. “Jake has all the qualities we’re looking for in our linemen,” Sparano said. “He’s very tough, smart and disciplined. Those are the people we want to surround ourselves with here.”

Thanks to Al Gordon for his help in this story

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