Let the fun of free agency begin. The Miami Dolphins will cut Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, according to a report from South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly. The move will create $6.5 million in salary cap space, though it will also open up an already weak position to being an even bigger need for the team.
Kelly states that the Dolphins approached Grimes about a possible restructuring of his contract, but that the starting cornerback would rather be a free agent. Grimes signed with the Dolphins in 2013 as a free agent from the Atlanta Falcons. He re-signed with the team on a four-year contract in 2014, paying him an average of $8 million per year, with $16 million guaranteed. He is scheduled to account for $9.5 million against the cap in 2016, and $8.5 million against the cap in 2017. Miami will still have to account for the $3 million left on his signing bonus this year, adding more to the dead money pool, but gaining back the $6.5 million in space.
In his three seasons with the Dolphins, Grimes has recorded 13 interceptions with two touchdowns, along with 43 passes defensed and 167 tackles. He was named to the Pro Bowl all three seasons, as well as one time with the Atlanta Falcons.
Grimes' play in 2015 was not to the level he had set for his own performances over his first two seasons in Miami. The cormnerback was dealing with nagging injuries throughout the year, as well as was playing on a defense that struggled as a whole. While cutting the top cornerback will hurt Miami's defense, the totality of having Grimes on the team - and therefore having his wife Miko Grimes around the team - also has to be taken into account. Miko Grimes repeatedly had run-ins with the teams fans on Twitter, along with rants against the beat writers covering the team and Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
While Grimes' play on the field should be considered the top priority in deciding whether or not to cut him, the distractions caused by his wife, the lower-than-expected performance from last year - despite the Pro Bowl appearance - and the team's need to find salary cap space all led to the decision for Miami to move on from a player that did become a fan favorite when he arrived.