Dolphins re-sign Pro Bowl CB Brent Grimes to a multi-year contract
DAVIE, Fla. — Some players would have relished free agency after a Pro Bowl season. Not Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes.
"This is what I wanted to happen, and for it to work out it to work out the way it did was awesome," said Grimes, who signed a four-year deal worth a $32 million ($16 million guaranteed) with the Dolphins on Monday.
"I didn’t want to go to free agency, but if it had to happen, then that’s what had to happen. It didn’t, so I don’t even want to think about it."
A bargain free-agent catch last year, Grimes was under strong consideration to be tagged as Miami’s franchise player. But since he had been tagged once before by Atlanta, the cost would have been more than with a player not tagged previously — another reason the Dolphins preferred to sign Grimes, who’ll turn 31 in July.
"My exposure to Brent over the last few years has always been on the opposite sideline and watching him intercept balls and hurt my team," said Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player personnel director. "I’m excited to have him on my team now.
"His physical talent, as well as his competitive nature, were always things I’ve valued and was excited about. And as I got into the (Dolphins) organization and got to interact with him and talk with coach (Joe) Philbin and his coaching staff about the positive, high-character, upbeat personality that Brent brings to our organization, we were very excited to lock him up to a multi-year deal."
Grimes’ wife Miko, Hickey and Philbin all stood and watched in the media interview roommate at the team’s facility. The head coach did not address the media.
The signing was the first of what should be an active offseason for a team that, at the very least, needs to secure players for the offensive and defensive lines.
"I don’t know what message it sends except for they really wanted to keep me here," Grimes said. "I can’t really speak for what it means for everything else, but I know and I’m happy that they wanted to keep me here. I’m confident that they will also get the people that they feel like they need to help us take the next steps to be a playoff team next year."
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Grimes spent six seasons (2007-12) with the Falcons. He suffered a season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury in 2012 before signing a one-year deal with Miami.
"I never doubted myself, but just being realistic, coming off an injury … a serious injury that a lot of people have trouble coming back from … I had to prove myself," Grimes said.
"So I looked at it like they gave me a chance to come out and show that I can play this game at a high level and I did not want to let them down. That’s what drove me all year."
Grimes became the third Dolphins corner (Sam Madison, Patrick Surtain) to go to the Pro Bowl after not allowing an opposing receiver to score a touchdown in ’13. His four interceptions — including included one returned 94 yards for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 31 — tied Dmitri Patterson for team-high. He also had 60 tackles (52 solo) and 17 passes defensed.
"It’s football," Grimes said. "You cover a guy that’s running the route and you try not to let him catch the ball, it’s that simple."
The Associated Press contributed to this report