Sports Outside the Beltway

Dolphins Sign Jake Long

The Miami Dolphins have signed former Michigan tackle Jake Long, ending speculation as to who will be the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Dolphins Sign Jake Long University of Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long is seen during a game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007. If the Miami Dolphins make Long the top selection in the 2008 draft he will be the first offensive lineman, and fifth in league history, to be the No. 1 pick since 1997, when the St. Louis Rams took Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Michigan tackle Jake Long has signed a multiyear contract with the Miami Dolphins, who plan to select him with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft on Saturday.

The Dolphins were interested in trading the top pick, but no suitors surfaced — so they decided to sign Long and avoid a possible holdout. Last year’s top pick, JaMarcus Russell, missed all of training camp before signing a $61 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.

The new Miami regime led by Bill Parcells began negotiations last week with Long’s agent, Tom Condon. Offensive line is considered the biggest need for the Dolphins, who went 1-15 last year, and new Miami coach Tony Sparano coached the offensive line with the Dallas Cowboys.

That’s an insane amount to spend on an offensive lineman, frankly, but this is widely considered a “safe pick.” With no sure-fire star quarterback available, one would think the Dolphins would have gone after a pass rusher, especially in a copycat league salivating over what the New York Giants pulled off in the Super Bowl.

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