WEDNESDAY, 11:19am: Grimes’ contract includes a $6MM signing bonus, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links). The cap numbers on the deal are as follows: $4MM (2014), $10MM (2015), $9.525MM (2016), and $8.5MM (2017).
MONDAY, 9:17am: The Dolphins have officially re-signed Brent Grimes to a multiyear deal, the team announced today (Twitter link). Grimes’ new contract is a four-year pact, the Dolphins cornerback tells Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link), and it’s worth $32MM, with $16MM in guaranteed money, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported that the two sides were closing in on a contract agreement.
While there are a handful of notable cornerbacks eligible for unrestricted free agency this offseason, including Aqib Talib, Vontae Davis, Alterraun Verner, and Sam Shields, Grimes is arguably coming off the best season of the bunch. The former Falcon returned from an Achilles injury in 2013 to start all 16 games for the Dolphins, playing in more snaps (1132) than all but two cornerbacks in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), Grimes, who earned a spot in the Pro Bowl for the second time, was the league’s second-best full-time corner last season. He finished the season with 60 tackles and four interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
Locking up Grimes prior to free agency will allow the Dolphins to focus on other areas of need, and there are plenty to address. Most notably, Miami will have to revamp its offensive line, which will be decimated by the fallout from last year’s bullying scandal. While the terms of Grimes’ deal aren’t yet known, Rapoport tweets that, last he heard, the two sides were discussing a three-year pact worth in the neighborhood of $21MM. An annual salary in the $7-8MM range would give the club plenty of cap flexibility to be active in free agency and to bolster other positions.
Before this year’s free agents hit the open market on March 11, the Dolphins could also make an effort to re-sign some of its other own free agents, such as defensive linemen Paul Soliai and Randy Starks. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that the club is also “very interested” in another defensive back, Louis Delmas, who is eligible to sign with any team right away, since he was released by the Lions last month.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.