Well it was reported last night that Jake Grove was close to signing a 5 year deal with the Dolphins - a deal that would clearly define his role as the starting center. And sure enough, Grove's contract does just that.
Grove signed a 5 year, $29.5 million deal with the Dolphins that includes $14 million in guaranteed money, according to Adam Schefter. That's not money you pay to a back-up. Grove is clearly going to be Miami's starting center.
But you can't help but wonder what the Dolphins saw in Grove that made them willing to commit an average of $5.9 million per year to him rather than spend a little extra (an extra $1.6 million to be exact) on a younger, bigger, and probably better center in Jason Brown. Call me crazy here, but I'm skeptical of this move.
Of course, the contract is probably structured so that it's backloaded and Grove can be cut down the road if he doesn't play up to what this regime feels are his capabilities or if he can't hold up physically. But the fact still remains that for just $6 million more in guaranteed money, the Dolphins could have landed a bigger, younger, and better center.
Schefter, though, seems to like the signing - which does ease some of my doubt. Writes Schefter:
Now, in less than 12 months, the Dolphins have given a $57 million contract to offensive tackle Jake Long, a $42 million contract to Vernon Carey, a $25 million contract to Justin Smiley and a $29.5 million contract to Grove. Along with second-year guard Donald Thomas, whom Miami seems to be high on, this well could be the Dolphins’ starting offensive line this season...
...In one year, Miami has built one of football’s top young lines. It was not particularly cheap, but it will be highly effective.
What do you think of it?
(Hat tip to "SwimmingWithTheFishes" for his fanpost)