Though ESPN reported Monday that the Dolphins are unlikely to use their franchise tag on impending free agent left tackle Jake Long, a source said “all options available” are still on the table.
The Dolphins and Long so far have been unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension, and placing the franchise tag on him would cost $15.4 million next season.
The Dolphins also have the option of using the franchise tag on another impending free agent, such as Sean Smith. But the franchise tag for cornerbacks is expected to top $10 million.
Coach Joe Philbin said Jonathan Martin “did a good job” when he replaced Long at left tackle after Long sustained a triceps injury during Miami’s second offensive series Sunday.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman called Martin’s move from right tackle to left “seamless” and “pretty impressive. Jonathan is having a very good year considering he started from Day One, and the players he’s gone against.”
Nate Garner allowed a sack while filling in at right tackle but “did a real good job,” Sherman said. “His run [blocking] was very good.”
Will Yeatman, a former tight end, is the only other tackle on the roster, but the Dolphins likely will add a tackle this week.
Sherman took some blame on quarterback Ryan Tannehill overthrowing Brian Hartline on a potential touchdown: “We didn’t anticipate the coverage they gave us. It was off by a foot and a half. He was throwing against the wind.
“I probably could have been smarter when I called that. I probably should have waited until the wind was a little different.”
Asked if he agrees with pundits who say Tannehill cannot be fairly judged until he has a better supporting cast, Sherman said: “He’s evaluated every day with the people we have here right now. I’ve always thought this: Really great quarterbacks make those around him better.
“I don’t think the book on Ryan Tannehill is written just yet. There will be a lot of good chapters, a lot of great chapters. But eventually, the benchmark will be how good does he makes those around him. The really, really good quarterbacks make others play at a higher level.
“I’m assuming Ryan will be that type of player at some point.”
Philbin said he “would like a little better ball security” on Tannehill’s touchdown run when he stretched the ball over the goal line. “But I like the way he went for the end zone,” Philbin added.
This and that
• Sherman has added some wrinkles, including using tight end Anthony Fasano at fullback for some plays Sunday and calling a reverse for Marcus Thigpen.
“Each week, we’ll add some wrinkles and try to keep people on their heels,” Sherman said.
• Philbin liked that his defense “got good pressure on [Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady. To take an opposing quarterback down four times is a good afternoon’s work. [But we] didn’t play well enough in the fourth quarter.”
• Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said safety Reshad Jones “is becoming one of the better players at his position in the league. He’s got a very high ceiling.”
• Coyle said linebacker Koa Misi dislocated a finger “and was back in the game a couple plays later like nothing [happened]. He’s a tough, hard-nosed throwback kind of guy and we love having him on our defense.”
Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero contributed to this report.