Oh, how the tables have turned.
For years, the Miami Dolphins have had to overpay prospective free agents just to get them in the door. Now, with head coach Brian Flores leading the show and general manager Chris Grier in charge of recruiting said free agents, players are not only more than willing to be a part of the revamped culture in Miami, but they’re turning down higher offers to do so.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, newly minted Miami Dolphins center Ted Karras had a “higher two-year offer” from the New England Patriots, his former team, and chose to instead sign with the Miami Dolphins on a one-year, $4 million contract. Wilson explains that Karras wanted to bet on himself with a possible starting position in Miami rather than return to New England.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons that any player would want to play in Miami. For starters, well, it’s Miami. The lack of state income tax, bevy of cap space the Dolphins possess, and the 14 selections in April’s NFL Draft arming the front office don’t hurt either, but it’s clear that there’s a changing of the tide in how players around the league view the Dolphins. Towards the end of last season, you could see that Dolphins players, despite already being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, were intent on proving the media wrong and showing that the team was prioritizing winning above all else, tanking be damned. Now, the team is reaping the benefits of a changed culture.
Top tier free agents including cornerback Byron Jones and linebacker Kyle Van Noy, both of whom were being heavily recruited by other teams and were surely fielding multiple lucrative offers, decided to take their talents to Miami. Karras turned down a better offer from the Patriots to don the aqua and orange. The Dolphins have been able to bring almost 10 free agents to town and we’re barely into the start of free agency. Things are changing down in South Florida folks. The sun is rising on a new day, and it seems everyone wants a piece of the action.
For more Miami Dolphins free agency news and analysis, follow Justin Hier on Twitter @HierJustin.