The Miami Dolphins' 2013 season may be finished, but there is still a lot of things happening in and around the Davie team facility. Owner Stephen Ross is trying to determine what changes need to be made to fix a team that collapsed at the end of the season, despite the playoffs being their's for the taking. And, the team has to decide who, among the 19 players scheduled to hit the free agent market, they will re-sign.
One of the first players who Miami should be trying to sign have sign his name to a new contract is cornerback Brent Grimes. After signing a one-year contract with Miami this year, Grimes not only proved he was healthy from the Achilles injury that forced him to miss nearly the entire 2012 season, but that he is among the elite cornerbacks in the league. Grimes played all 16 games for Miami, was tied for the team league in interceptions, allowed just a 66.3 passer rating when opposing quarterbacks threw toward him, and earned his second career Pro Bowl invitation.
"I like it here," Grimes told ESPN.com on Sunday. "I like the coaches, I like the players and it's a good team. Obviously, we didn't finish how we wanted to and close out the season well. But I just let my agents handle everything. If [the Dolphins] want to keep me here, they'll see how it goes."
During Sunday's game, Grimes' wife, Miko, tweeted that they had found a home in Miami.
The Dolphins have options when it comes to bringing Grimes back to the team in 2014. They can negotiate with him exclusively between now and the start of free agency in March. The team could also use the franchise tag on their Pro Bowl cornerback, but he has already been tagged once, when he was with the Atlanta Falcons, so he would cost more than a first-time tagged played. The 2014 franchise tag for a cornerback is estimated to be around $11.3 million, so Grimes' number would be around $13.5 million, or 120% of the tag number.
Miami has the seventh most cap room this year, in the $28 million range, but using $13 million of that would be painful. Miami could use the franchise tag, but both Grimes and the Dolphins would probably prefer a long term deal. Now, we just have to wait to see if they can work out a deal.