Over the past few weeks, reports have all said the same thing when it comes to the Miami Dolphins, Brent Grimes, and the franchise tag: Grimes is not expected to receive the dreaded one-year tag this offseason. However, it still cannot be officially ruled out, given the NFL's franchise tag period is still open.
Well, it's still open until 4pm Eastern today.
After that, the only way for the Dolphins to keep Grimes for the 2014 season is to sign him to a contract extension. Coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he played on a one-year, $5.4 million contract, Grimes is going to be in demand if he hits the free agent market. Miami is expected to reach a deal with Grimes before that is allowed to happen.
The Dolphins could throw the franchise tag on Grimes, locking him onto the team for the season , then working out a long-term contract after. That would cost the Dolphins $11.8 million against the salary cap until the new deal was signed, cutting into the team's available money for free agency this year. It could also sour the relationship between Miami and Grimes, especially if they have told him they will not use the tag.
Whatever happens, Miami, and the rest of the NFL, has until 4pm ET today to make a decision.