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Miami Dolphins All-Time Top 100 Players: 63. Jake Long

Jake Long signed the most lucrative ever contract for an offensive lineman out of the University of Michigan. In four years as Miami's starting left tackle, he has not disappointed.

Jake Long was an 6'7" offensive tackle at the University of Michigan. He was a starter beginning with the third game of his redshirt freshman season, and went on to earn Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors and consensus All-American honors in 2006 and 2007. The Dolphins, coming off a 1-15 season, signed him to a five-year, $57.75 millions contract, making him the highest paid offensive lineman in history five days before the draft with the rights to the first overall pick.

Long wore number 77, and was Miami's starter at the left tackle position every game during his rookie season in 2008. The resurgent Dolphins posted an 11-5 record, making the playoffs but losing the wildcard game to the Ravens. The Dolphin's offense averaged 5.7 yards gained per play, ranking fourth in the AFC. He was honored with a Pro Bowl selection and several all-rookie team selections. Long allowed only 2.5 sacks during his rookie season.

In 2009, Long again started every game for the Dolphins at left tackle, allowing only four sacks all season. The Dolphins finished a disappointing 7-9, but Long was again selected to the Pro Bowl, the first Miami offensive lineman to be selected as a Pro Bowl starter in consecutive seasons since Richmond Webb from 1990 through 1996.

2010 would see Long continue his streak of consecutive starts by anchoring the left tackle position for all 16 games. He was selected to another Pro Bowl, and was named to the AP All-NFL First Team after the season. Miami finished 7-9, again missing out on the playoffs.

In 2011, Long made his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl to start out his career, but had his games streak snapped at 61 due to a back injury and a subsequent torn right bicep. The Dolphins finished the year 6-10 as Long started 14 games.

Long is signed through the 2012 season, after which I'm sure he will sign another top-tier contract with somebody, hopefully Miami. In the meantime, look for Long to start another long games started streak and continue garnering Pro Bowl selections.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.