In the 2009 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins took Vontae Davis in the first round and Sean Smith in the second round with the plan to have the duo lock down opposing wide receivers for years to come. Fast forward to March 30, 2013 and we see Davis is gone, Smith is gone, and with the signing of Brent Grimes, the Dolfans once again have an opportunity to feel good about the position.
Yes, Grimes is in need of a return to health which is the reason that only one-year deals were available to him as he missed time with a knee issue in 2011, plus he tore his Achilles tendon in week 1 of 2012. The last time we saw Grimes healthy, opposing teams were game-planning to avoid him, and we even saw fantasy football owners sitting their wide receivers that were playing that week against him. In 2009 and 2010 when teams were still taking their chances vs Grimes, he combined for 11 interceptions. The ‘Phins are hoping that is the Grimes we are going to see in 2013, especially considering the issues this franchise has had for years now with creating turnovers. For example, in his time with Miami, Davis totaled just nine interceptions, Smith a measly five.
I have seen some reactions to this signing that talk about Grimes being a stop-gap. I disagree. Grimes will get $5.5 million this season ($3 million guaranteed) which is more than actual stop-gaps like Antoine Winfield, Quentin Jammer, Sheldon Brown, Tracy Porter, and Rashean Mathis will get. I still feel that the Dolphins will add at least one cornerback in the draft, possibly even two as they are looking to get younger and less expensive at the position (keep in mind they have Richard Marshall set to make $10 mill combined the next two seasons). The team would love to have the Grimes they are hoping for, and they will have a big payday for him if he shows he is healthy and back to snuff. Grimes is more of a high-upside guy than a stop-gap guy.
The 29 year old from Philly will be 30 by the time the season starts. His potential and upside have a chance to fit in with what Miami wants to do with their secondary as he does great work in zone-type looks where he can keep the action in front of him and then react. Grimes’ work ethic, toughness, and ability to make plays are all things that are way up Joe Philbin‘s alley. Time will tell of course, but I am excited and I applaud the signing.