It feels like ages since we’ve seen Brent Grimes. His impact on the Atlanta Falcons was apparent throughout the 2012 regular season in which he missed 15 games due to an Achilles tear Week 1, but even more so in the team’s January 2012 NFC wild-card loss to the New York Giants. Atlanta’s defense really ticked when Grimes was on the field playing the cornerback position at a near-elite level.
Despite his small stature, the 5-10, 181-pound Grimes’ excellent leaping ability and anticipation helped him confound receivers who vastly outsized him, and his ball-hawking led to 11 interceptions between 2010 and 2011. Obviously, the Miami Dolphins hope they’re getting 2011 Grimes and a cornerback showing no signs of an Achilles injury. This is clear in the one-year contract he received form Miami, essentially a “prove it” contract.
Unfortunately it’s a rough market for veteran players this offseason (dastardly collective bargaining agreement!) and an even rougher one for vets coming off a season-ending injury. Grimes is still just 29 years old and having come off his breakout year in 2011, and could certainly still have prime years left in the tank. You could even argue that in a different offseason, the Dolphins need Grimes more than he them.
Alas, this is not a bad deal for either side. Miami has transformed its defense in a successful fashion, I believe, by improving their secondary with an ideal starting trio of Grimes, vet nickel corner Richard Marshall and rookie second-rounder Jamar Taylor at the cornerback spot Week 1 — three that were missing from last year’ s mediocre pass coverage unit.
But it could mostly come down to Grimes regaining that No. 1 corner form in Dolphins training camp, and word is that he’s already shining in his new uniform.