The Miami Dolphins announced that they’d be signing a four-time Pro Bowl center on Thursday afternoon. The franchise helped Mike Pouncey signal the end of his career with a one-day contract so he may retire as a member of the Dolphins.
Pouncey, 33, was drafted at No. 15 overall in the 2011 draft and spent seven seasons in Miami, starting 93 games in that time.
“I’m excited to be back. I’ve waited for this day for the last two years just because the Dolphins just meant so much to me and my family,” Pouncey said during Thursday’s celebratory press conference. “For my son to be at this age now, and to be able to see it and be able to appreciate it a little bit more because he was so young whenever I was playing here. I told him, I said, ‘this is something you got to work for, to be able to come back and be able to be wanted to a place that gave so much to you and changed your life.’
“I’m glad he’s been able to see it. I brought my family here today. My brother, obviously without him, none of this is even possible. I’m happy to be back. I know this is two years past retirement but to be able to say I’m retired as a Miami Dolphin is one of the greatest achievements of my life.”
Pouncey earned three Pro Bowl nods with the Dolphins and another with the Los Angeles Chargers, where he spent the final two years of his career (2018-19). Pouncey also earned the Don Shula Leadership Award twice while in Miami.
“I was going to be a Dolphin for life and I meant that,” Pouncey said. “I waited around for two years to be able to come up here and retire a Dolphin and now to finally say I’m retiring as a Miami Dolphin, it’s just awesome. I can’t wait until we get to celebrate today.”
ProFootballFocus graded Pouncey as the league’s No. 9 pass-blocking center in 2012 after playing in 16 games where he allowed just two sacks and two quarterback hits. The following year, he jumped to No. 3 on the list with a pass-blocking grade of 88. In 2015, with a grade of 76.1, PFF ranked him as the fourth-best center in the league.
Throughout his 6,408 snaps at center, along with another 767 snaps at right guard, Pouncey allowed just 16 sacks and 27 pressures throughout his career.
“When I think about Mike and his days here, Mike was not only a great player,” said Nat Moore, the senior vice president of special projects and alumni relations. “Mike was also a great community activist, and he exemplified leadership at its greatest. When you think of his career, you think of the offensive line and what he did to lead that group of men as each and every week offensively, we were extremely competitive, he was that leader.
“The way he prepared, the way he helped the South Florida community; all that is what Mike Pouncey was to South Florida, and it’s so good to have him back.”