Bill Parcells has made a move in preparation for the draft. It could be a fake.
Parcells and the Miami Dolphins have begun contract negotiations with the agent for potential top draft pick Jake Long, a person familiar with the talks said Thursday. The person did not want to be identified because the Dolphins have been coy about their plans for the No. 1 pick.
Negotiations with Long's agent, Tom Condon, don't necessarily mean Miami has ruled out other prospects. The new Dolphins regime, led by Parcells, could use the talks to increase contract leverage with other potential picks.
The Dolphins also are interested in trading the No. 1 pick, but so far no suitors have surfaced.
Long, an offensive tackle from Michigan, is one of at least five players considered candidates to be taken with the first pick by the Dolphins. They're also believed to be interested in Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston and Louisiana State defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is considered perhaps the best player available, but the Dolphins have greater needs at other positions.
The Dolphins would be delighted to prevent a holdout by reaching an agreement on a contract with their top pick before the draft begins April 26. Last year's top pick, JaMarcus Russell, missed all of training camp before signing a $61 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Offensive line is considered the biggest need for the Dolphins, who went 1-15 last year. But Parcells has been reluctant to use high picks on offensive linemen in the past.
AP Sports Writer Dave Goldberg in New York contributed to this report.
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