The Miami Dolphins have had a fantastic off-season so far. They scored two of the biggest free agents on the very first day of the new season and they haven’t stopped building since. Now, with enough money for maybe one more respectable signing, the Dolphins are one of two teams competing for the services of free agent cornerback, Brent Grimes.
Grimes has had an impressive NFL career since he came into the league in 2007. His numbers show 195 tackles, 13 interceptions and 56 passes defensed in that time–all while missing nearly the entire 2012 season after tearing an Achilles in the Atlanta Falcons‘ season opener.
The market for cornerbacks has been slow moving this off-season. This is partially due to the large number of free agents available, as well as the depth at the position in the upcoming NFL Draft. Another reason is the money being offered. No team is offering the type of money that many of the veteran skill players thought they would be willing to command on the open market. For Grimes, the injury is surely playing a part as well.
After the 2011 season, Grimes was ranked the third best DB in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. He is said to be ahead of schedule with his recovery and is expected to make a full recovery. While injuries should by no means be ignored, the efforts of modern medicine can clearly be seen across the NFL when you look at guys returning so quickly from major impact injuries.
Everyone witnessed the miracle of medicine that was Adrian Peterson last season. His newly rebuilt knee hardly had eight months to heal before he was on the field and running for second on the single season rushing list.
More to the point was Terrell Suggs, who suffered the same injury as Grimes, and yet was back before the season hit its halfway point. The point is, even as severe as his last injury was, Grimes will return to the field and will resume his role as one of the better corners in the game.
There is sure to be some decline in his game, but Grimes will certainly be a top 10 player in the defensive secondary. This should make him a must-have target for the Dolphins.
The cornerback position in Miami was in desperate need of an upgrade before they lost Sean Smith, the Dolphins number one corner. They will definitely address this need early and often in the upcoming draft. They could select a CB with their first selection, the number 14th pick over all.
With that in mind, it would appear the Dolphins will be looking in the draft to find a guy that is as capable as Grimes is. The smart play here would be to sign the proven commodity in Grimes, and allow yourself more leeway when the team is on the clock in April.
Regardless of who the Dolphins select, Grimes would be a valuable edition to the secondary and would be well worth the money spent. It would give general manager Jeff Ireland even more freedom with his first few selections, which is likely where he will hit or miss in this draft.
It just makes more sense to secure Grimes now, than it does to let him go. If the Dolphins lose him the Cleveland Browns, expect fans to retract a bit of the goodwill they have sent Ireland’s way since the outset of the new season.