In a move that comes as sort of a surprise, the Dolphins and LB Channing Crowder have come to terms on a 3 year contract that will keep Crowder in Miami and off of the open market. It comes as a surprise because it was thought for the longest time that Crowder was looking for a big pay day and that the Dolphins weren't likely going to be the team who gave it to him.
But things changed over the past week or so, according to various reports. That's when Crowder reportedly decided he wanted to remain in Miami. The Miami Herald reports that Crowder spoke with "former Dolphins players that he respects" and they encouraged him to remain in Miami. One of those players was Zach Thomas. Thomas, who knows what it's like to leave your one and only NFL team for another team, really got his point across to Crowder. Channing says of his lunch with Zach:
''We talked about what it was like to go to another team. That's when I started to realize, if you're happy where you're at, then stay.''
Crowder then added:
''I love Miami. So I basically told [agent] Joel [Segal] that if we could get to some numbers where everybody is happy, let's pull the trigger.''
''As good as we did last year, I've had three head coaches in four years. But now, I know the system. I know the defensive scheme. I know who my linebacker coach and my defensive coordinator will be. Now, I can just build on that."
"Now, I can maximize my talent. It's time for me to become a Pro Bowler.''
When you read more and more about this deal, it becomes apparent that it was actually Crowder's agent, Joel Segal, who may have had the dollar signs in his eyes - not Channing himself. Segal told Armando Salguero, "In talking to Channing, he made it very clear he was not interested in leaving the Dolphins. So now he is going to get his wish and stay with the team he wanted to be with.''
Crowder also told the Sun-Sentinel, "My agent wanted to hit free agency but I love Miami and the people here."
So maybe it wasn't Crowder who was itching for the big pay day, after all. Perhaps he was being influenced by a greedy agent.
As for the deal itself, it'll be interesting to see how the finances are put together. But here's what I do love about the deal. It's only for 3 years. And this is great for both sides. For the Dolphins, they get to keep a solid linebacker for 3 more years - one who knows the system. And he does have an injury history - so keeping this deal on the shorter side provides the Dolphins with some long-term insurance incase his knee begins to act up again. It also means they won't have to spend a high draft pick on an inside linebacker in the upcoming draft. Basically, it prevents the Dolphins from having to fill another hole.
For Crowder, it means he'll be a free agent at the age of 28. If he plays as well as he thinks he will, he'll be in line for a very big pay day right in the prime of his career. In the meantime, this deal will keep him very motivated - financially speaking.
A very solid move by both parties. And the best part of it all is that Crowder wants to be here. You have to love it when one of your players chooses your team for reasons other than money.
Welcome back, Mr. Crowder! Now go become that Pro Bowler you think you can be!
And next up for the Dolphins, re-signing Yeremiah Bell. The Palm Beach Post is reporting that "talks with Bell have reportedly progressed and a deal seems likely."