Dolphins Training Camp Preview: LB David Long Jr.

The veteran linebacker is heading into his second season with the team
Miami Dolphins linebacker David Long Jr. reacts against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium last season.
Miami Dolphins linebacker David Long Jr. reacts against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium last season. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami Dolphins welcomed a valuable addition to their defense last season when linebacker David Long Jr. signed as a free agent following four seasons with the Tennessee Titans. Long made an immediate impact in the middle of the second level for Miami.

Drafted in the sixth round (188th overall) by the Titans in 2019, Long has steadily progressed statistically in each of his five NFL seasons. Throughout his career, including his first year in Miami last season, Long has a total of 343 tackles, 24 for loss, 11 quarterback hits, 15 passes defended, with four interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Long is the latest player featured in our series examining players on the Dolphins’ roster heading into training camp. We look back at their 2023 season, how they joined the team, their contract status, and their outlook for 2024.

DAVID LONG JR.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 227 lbs.
Exp.: 6 Years
School: West Virginia
How Acquired: Signed as an unrestricted free agent (from Tennessee), 2023

2023 in Review

Long was the NFL’s highest-graded linebacker against the run last season with a 92.6 PFF grade when he finished with a Dolphins-leading 113 tackles. Long ended the regular season with 64 solo tackles, nine for loss, six quarterback hits, a pass defended and a forced fumble.

He was a centerpiece on a defense that helped Miami rank as the league’s seventh-best unit against the run in yards and fifth in yards per carry.

Long started every regular season game for the Dolphins as well as their playoff loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. He played admirably on an injury-depleted Dolphins defense against the eventual Super Bowl champions, recording seven total tackles, one for loss and a quarterback hit.

Contract/Cap Info

The Dolphins and Long agreed in 2023 to a two-year, $11 million deal  including a $4.42 million signing bonus, $5.5 million guaranteed, carrying an average annual salary of $5.5 million.

In 2024, Long will earn a base salary of $4.5 million, carrying a cap hit of $6.71 million, with a dead cap value of $3.21 million (per Spotrac.com).

2024 Preview

Long had a great inaugural season in Miami, quickly becoming a key member of the defensive unit, one that will see a change in coaching and scheme this season. Gone is one-year coordinator Vic Fangio, now in Philadelphia, and in will be Anthony Weaver, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens.

Also gone from the defense will be Jerome Baker, and in will be free agent Jordyn Brooks from the Seattle Seahawks. The scheme change as well as the addition of Brooks should not hamper Long continuing his progression as a pro, as well as being an integral piece of Miami’s defense.

He enters his sixth NFL season, and second in Miami, as a potential team leader. A pair of former Dolphins defensive captains are no longer in Miami, that being Christian Wilkins and Xavien Howard, so the door is open for a new defensive captain to emerge in 2024.

PREVIOUSLY IN THIS SERIES

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: RB De'Von Achane

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: RB Salvon Ahmed

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: T Terron Armstead

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: LB Shaquil Barrett

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR Braxton Berrios

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: CB Ethan Bonner

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Aaron Brewer

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: RB Chris Brooks

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: LB Jordyn Brooks

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: DB Elijah Campbell

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OLB Bradley Chubb

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: TE Tanner Conner

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Lester Cotton

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR River Cracraft

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Jack Driscoll

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Liam Eichenberg

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: WR Erik Ezukanma

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: TE Jody Fortson

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: CB Kendall Fuller

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: DT Neville Gallimore

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: DT Da'Shawn Hand

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: DT Jonathan Harris

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: TE Julian Hill

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: S Jevon Holland

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: FB Alec Ingold

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: T Austin Jackson

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: DT Benito Jones

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: OL Robert Jones

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: CB Kader Kohou

-- Dolphins Training Camp Preview: T Kendall Lamm


Published
Jason Sarney

JASON SARNEY