Just because Miami is in preliminary negotiations with Jake Long, doesn't mean they will actually pick him. Bush was in negotiations with Houston a couple years ago also, and then Williams was selected #1.
even with all this stuff about Jake being taken #1, i still don't think he'll be taken #1. I think they want to hear what his camp is going to want monetarily before they decide to take the plunge on an OT with the first pick.
I think if they can get close, they might take him. But, if they are REALLY far apart, they're not going to take an OT for a high price. I think this is all just a feeling out process to see if he is signable and if the Fins would be able to get him in camp on time.
my $0.02 for the night. I'll be back tomorrow.
Parcells plays poker with No. 1 draft pick
Posted: April 11, 2008
Bill Parcells hasn't held the No. 1-overall pick in the NFL draft since 1993, his first season as head coach of the New England Patriots. Fifteen years ago, however, the NFL was a far different world. The top pick in the draft didn't receive the same financial windfall the No. 1 selection now enjoys, and so the pressure to get the pick right wasn't nearly as intense as it is now.
In 2008, the worst team from the previous season not only gets first dibs on the draft pool but it acquires the privilege of paying that one guy up to $35 million in guaranteed money on a deal that likely will exceed $60 million in total value. The price tag in guaranteed money, which has grown from $15 million only five years ago, has made owning the No. 1-overall pick more of a curse than a blessing -- especially in a year when there isn't a clear-cut, can't-miss, gotta-get-him prospect.
But the team that holds the No. 1 pick also has the ability to begin negotiating a contract with as many players as it chooses. The prevailing thought is that Parcells and the Miami Dolphins will flirt with several of players in the hopes of holding down the total price paid.
The process already is unfolding.
Published reports from the past few days indicate the Dolphins have opened talks with Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long and Ohio State defensive end/outside linebacker Vernon Gholston. Don't be surprised to see the team instigate contract talks with Virginia defensive end Chris Long, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan as well.
Each player under consideration for the No. 1 overall pick must ask himself a simple three-part question: If I don't take the Dolphins' deal ... Where will I be picked? How much less money will I make? And how much will I lose in possible endorsement earnings?
But for each player who gets to talk with the Dolphins, his agent should feel more than a little nervous. The agent for the No. 1-overall pick faces ridicule and criticism if the contract isn't an increase of 15 percent or more in guaranteed money and total value when compared with last year's deal signed by Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
Agents, you see, typically do current deals with an eye toward next year. The contracts negotiated by the agents in 2008 will be feathers in the caps (or, possibly, warts on the chins) when boxing out each other to represent the various high-profile members of the 2009 rookie class. If an agent doesn't maximize money this year, he'll struggle to attract top clients next year.
Another difference between 1993 and 2008 is the fact players (and their families) have access to so much more information, thanks to the wired contraption that allows you to waste otherwise productive time. They don't have to accept at face value the monologues of a silver-tongued agent.
And more informed players will ask tougher questions (especially in the case of Jake Long and Gholston, who are represented by the same firm and thus might be concerned about which player's best interests the agency is trying to protect and/or advance) and perhaps go directly against his agent's advice (and interests) and takes the best offer the Dolphins put on the table.
Parcells has the brains, the will and the personality to win this game of high-stakes poker. He might even put the same contract out to several prospects and tell them whoever signs first gets to be the No. 1 pick.
If Parcells pulls such a move and if a player rejects his agent's advice and signs the contract, it would be unprecedented. It also would be the last time such a thing happens. The easy fix to this conundrum would be for the agents to recommend that the next Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and union be written to prohibit pre-draft contract negotiations.
The better solution would be to institute a rookie wage scale. But that would make agents completely irrelevant when it comes to the representation of rookies. And that would be a shame. Wouldn't it?