Long will not be signed to a reasonable deal. He will be tagged or get top dollar from SOMEONE. I suppose it could still be us. I don't think Miami plans to invest big money into the offensive line and that big money will go to play makers on the offensive side of the ball.
However, Miami may want to draft and groom their own WR's and later give them the big bucks if they earn it instead of paying big money in FA (Build through the draft). Without having anybody on the offensive side of the ball in need of big money (cheap QB next 3 years and 0 play makers in need of a big deal), perhaps we can afford to give Long the big contract right now. By the time his contract runs out all that money will HOPEFULLY be going to our QB and home grown WR's.
An investment in Long now is also an investment in Tannehill. It's risky business to let Long walk and find at least a competent replacement.... Also risky to give a multi-million dollar contract to a guy who's body may be breaking down.... But can't afford to have Tannehill's growth hindered by protection issues. If Long walks I think we have to target one of the top 3 OT's in the first round (Joeckel, Lewan, J, Matthews).