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Miami Dolphins: Buy or Sell Jake Long as Most Overpaid in the NFL

HOUSTON,TX - SEPTEMBER 09: Connor Barwin #98 of the Houston Texans takes on Jake Long #77 of the Miami Dolphins during the season opener at Reliant Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIINovember 3, 2012

Pro Football Focus has put out this year's midseason rankings of the most overpaid players in the NFL. At the top of the left tackle list in none other than Miami Dolphins star Jake Long.

This is not the first time such comments have been made. When Long was drafted in 2008, his record salary—the highest ever given to a rookie offensive lineman—was brought into question.

"There's something wrong about the system," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "The money should go to people who perform." Long's salary was one of the inspirations for the tighter rookie salary cap that was later implemented.

Long is an interesting case because he was the last non-quarterback to be picked first overall in an NFL draft. After Long was picked in 2008, the following years were all quarterbacks—Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. The first pick the year before in 2007 was JaMarcus Russell, another quarterback.

Long's unique situation is the main reason he is paid so much more than other young offensive linemen. Long's cap hit of $13 million this year is more than a lot of quarterbacks make and is three times that of Duane Brown, the No. 1-rated offensive tackle in the NFL.

While Long is having a poor season so far—rated the No. 34 tackle—he has history on his side. He reached the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons and in 2010 was arguably the best left tackle in the league.

Now in his fifth year, he is earning the biggest salary of his career and is simultaneously off to his worst start. This combination is likely what pushed him onto the most overpaid list. Though it is still questionable whether or not he belongs at the top of that list.

 

Adam Waksman is a featured columnist for the Bleacher Report New York Jets community. Be sure to follow Adam on Twitter to receive updates right away.

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