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T-post Tom
04-22-2008, 11:18 PM
Long signing could be good for Chiefs
Believe it or not, the Chiefs could benefit from the Miami Dolphins signing Jake Long and making him Saturday's top overall pick.

Sure, Long might have been the top player on the Chiefs' board. Long signed a five-year contract Tuesday worth $57.75 million, with a reported $30 million in guarantees. That deal is down from the total package signed (eventually) by last year's No. 1 pick, JaMarcus Russell, who held out for months before signing his deal. Russell's contract was worth $61 million over six years; it also included about $30 million guaranteed.

Long's deal will be worth more from year to year, but don't think executives didn't notice that his total package was worth less than Russell's. And don't think that won't give them leverage come negotiating season. There is a trickle-down effect of Long's deal; as a result, each subsequent pick would lose some presumed value and negotiating power because agents use precedent to their clients' advantage. Typically, total packages for top picks increase from year to year.

The Chiefs' front office noticed the total amount of Long's deal, and it could lead to the Chiefs signing their first pick to less money than they would've had the Dolphins instead chosen a quarterback or running back, players who could command more money. The Chiefs' savings might be small, but it would be significant. For a team trying to rebuild, a few hundred thousand dollars could make a big difference.