In the late 1990s, the Dolphins held the 44th overall pick in back-to-back years. They used both second-round selections, 1997 and ’98, to form one of the top cornerback tandems of that era: Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain.
Both players appeared on an All-Pro first team, and the Dolphins locked up each cover man long-term to keep their coverage duo in place until the mid-2000s. Twenty-one years ago today, Miami began the process of building around that pair. On June 21, 2000, the Dolphins agreed to a seven-year, $54MM extension with Madison, who was coming off the first of his All-Pro seasons. Madison’s contract, which contained an $11MM signing bonus, surpassed Dan Marino‘s as the richest in franchise history.
Then-HC Dave Wannstedt and current Vikings GM Rick Spielman, then Miami’s VP of player personnel, were at the helm. The Dolphins had made three straight playoff berths since Madison’s 1997 arrival (during Jimmy Johnson‘s tenure) and remained a Pro Bowl-caliber player well into the post-Marino era.
Madison’s terms were similar to what other high-end corners had signed for in 2000. Earlier that year, the Patriots and Ty Law agreed to a seven-year, $50MM pact. Deion Sanders signed with the Redskins for seven years and $55MM. Madison’s Dolphins run outlasted both Hall of Famers’ deals, playing in Miami through the 2005 season.
Madison made four straight Pro Bowls, from 1999-2002, and was a back-to-back first-team All-Pro from 1999-2000. Surtain (three Pro Bowls, 2004 first-team All-Pro nod) signed his extension a year later and teamed with Madison until the ’04 season, after which he signed with the Chiefs. Madison’s 31 interceptions are third in Dolphins history, behind their early-1970s safety tandem of Jake Scott (35) and Dick Anderson (34).
The Dolphins cut bait on this contract in March 2006, as Madison was entering his age-32 season. But the veteran landed on his feet, spending the next three seasons with the Giants before retiring. He started 15 games for the 2007 Super Bowl champion Giants iteration, intercepting four passes.