Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier has had a very busy 2019 season and it doesn’t appear as though he’s ready to slow down. On Monday, Grier signed defensive back Eric Rowe to a three-year, $18 million extension, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The deal comes with $7 million in guarantees.
Grier started the season by building a treasure trove of draft picks through which to mold the team’s future when he traded away a bevy of players including Laremy Tunsil, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kenny Stills, Kiko Alonso, and Kenyan Drake. Through those trades, Grier also managed to add a potential building block in pass rusher Vince Biegel, while also adding a temporary stand-in at left tackle in Julien Davenport (though Davenport likely isn’t the team’s idea of a franchise left tackle).
Trades aside, Grier has also worked to build a solid foundation on top of which he could make splash moves both through free agency and the NFL Draft over the next couple of years. That first entailed extending enigmatic wideout DeVante Parker to a two-year, $10 million “prove-it” deal prior to this season. Parker has more than “proved-it,” as he’s already reached career high marks in receiving yards (854) and touchdowns (6) while staying healthy for all 12 of Miami’s games.
Grier then extended another key weapon in Jakeem Grant. Despite his injury this year, Grant has proven to be a useful piece of Miami’s aerial attack and has game-breaking ability in the return game. His four-year, $19.7 million deal is also more than affordable and worth his services. Grier then gave Allen Hurns a cheap (by NFL standards) two-year, $8 million deal to ensure the team has secure depth at wideout going forward.
Now, the always-busy front office executive is working to lock down some key players on the defensive side of the ball, and that starts with Rowe. Rowe, who turned 27 this season, has shown an ability to be a Swiss Army Knife of sorts for Miami’s secondary and for head coach Brian Flores. After starting the season at cornerback, Rowe transitioned to safety following the trading of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Reshad Jones’ placement on injured reserve. At safety, Rowe has been more than serviceable, as he’s accumulated a whopping 59 combined tackles and seven passes defended.
His extension, which comes in at a modest $6 million per year average (21st among NFL safeties), ensures that the Dolphins have a talented tandem at the safety position next year in Bobby McCain and Rowe. Even if the Dolphins add to the backend of the defense this offseason (which the team should), Rowe is versatile enough to help out at multiple positions and give Flores the flexibility he needs to carve out the best possible lineup in Miami’s secondary.