Although I don't want Long back at the franchise # or a long term deal like Joe Thomas, we can't just let him walk. There is a line of teams 20 deep that would kill to get him (bears, cards, etc). I think we need to franchise him and then trade him to a team who will sign him to a long term deal.
Are there prohibitve cap implications if we do that (assuming we trade him--I understand if we are stuck with him at the franshise # what that means for our cap). Dolphanmark do you know (or anyone else)?
Bottom line is we can get a high pick for Long, at worst, and letting him go for nothing would be totally dumb. I can't think of a case where a top, young LT was just allowed to walk (where he is still "top" is debatable, but what matters is a bunch of teams really would want him). Although nothing would suprise me with this FO