Posted: 11:39 am Monday, March 25th, 2013
By Post Staff
The numbers are in on Jake Long’s contract with the St. Louis Rams, which he officially signed on Friday. And the Rams are definitely betting that Long, who has suffered shoulder, knee, biceps, triceps and back injuries in his five years with the Dolphins, will stay healthy and productive over the next three seasons.
Here’s the full breakdown:
Total value: $34 million
Total guarantee: $20 million
Signing bonus: $5 million
Workout bonus: None
2013 salary: $3 million (fully guaranteed)
2014 salary: $8 million (fully guaranteed)
2015 salary: $9.25 million ($4 million fully guaranteed)
2016 salary: $8.75 million (no guarantee)
2013 salary cap number: $4.25 million
2014 salary cap number: $9.25 million
2015 salary cap number: $10.5 million
2016 salary cap number: $10 million
* Long also has performance escalators in the last two years of his contract.
Frankly, this is a great deal for Long. Dolphins fans believe that his play has suffered in the last year or two as the injuries have accumulated, but the Rams obviously don’t think so. He gets $16 million guaranteed in his first two years, and he’ll get another $4 million if the Rams decide to part ways with him before Year 3. Long’s 2013 cap number gives the Rams some flexibility this year, but that $8 million guarantee for 2014 means the Rams are really betting on him staying healthy and elite for at least two seasons.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher told us last week at the NFL owners meetings that the Rams put Long through a series of medical tests to make sure he checked out.
“It was not an easy thing, to put that big body in an MRI tube and MRI six body parts,” Fisher said. “It’s not a fun deal, but he knew it and he handled it and when it was done he was happy. It was like finishing for a game for him, physically.”
But Fisher said Long passed every test.
“Jake’s going to get back to where he was — I know that and he knows that,” Fisher said. Quarterback Sam Bradford “is going to feel very comfortable with his back to Jake.”
As for the Dolphins, it’s hard to blame them for not matching this contract. They’ve seen first-hand over the past five years how having an elite left tackle who chews up a lot of the salary cap does not always translate to wins. But they still do have a big hole on their offensive line, and as we mentioned this morning, their options are dwindling.
Noteworthy: A league source tells us this morning that the Dolphins are still in the mix for CB Brent Grimes, along with a couple of other teams. The Dolphins’ activity in free agency has slowed a bit after an exciting first week, but they’re definitely not done making moves.