The NFL Pro Bowl is being played tomorrow, a week before Super Bowl XLVIII. It’s a huge honor for the four Miami Dolphins who made it in Brandon Fields, Brent Grimes, Mike Pouncey and Cameron Wake. While the game may be a joke — highlighted by the “Pro Bowl Draft” that the NFL held to pick the teams — it still means the players who were elected are the best at their positions.
Cornerback Brent Grimes was one of the Dolphins’ elites voted into the Pro Bowl. Grimes was the second ranked CB in 2013 according to PFF’s ratings, and he is also a free agent this offseason. The Dolphins must make re-signing Grimes a priority (along with rebuilding the offensive line, but anyone who watched a Dolphins’ game last season knows that).
Grimes didn’t allow a touchdown to a receiver all season. That’s incredible. He helped solidify a secondary which was ranked 25th and 27th in yards allowed the two seasons before he arrived. The Dolphins’ secondary, which was riddled with injuries, was the 16th ranked secondary in 2013.
Grimes’ health status was virtually unknown coming into the season as he was coming off of a torn Achilles in 2012. The Dolphins drafted three defensive backs in the 2013 NFL Draft even after the signing of Grimes because the team didn’t know if he would be able to play effectively (or at all) for them this season.
The Dolphins didn’t expect much out of Grimes and hoped to get whatever they could from the 30-year-old cornerback fresh off of a tough injury.
Obviously, Grimes blew the expectations out of the clear Miami water.
If the Dolphins are able to retain Grimes and either re-sign or replace free safety Chris Clemons with a player like the Buffalo Bills‘ ball-hawking free safety Jairus Byrd, then their secondary will become a strong point of the team.
If the Dolphins re-sign Grimes and land a ball-hawk such as Byrd, this secondary could become one of the best in the league. That is of course if Dimitri Patterson, who had four interceptions in as many starts last season, comes back healthy and Reshad Jones plays at the level he did in 2012 when he earned a big contract extension.
Miami has yet to hire a GM, but whoever does eventually hold that title must put “re-sign Grimes” on the top of his to-do list.
The Dolphins’ GM search could be coming to a crashing end in the next day or two after being stretched out since Jeff Ireland left the team on Jan. 7. All three potential Ireland-successors — in-house candidate Brian Gaine, Tennessee Titans Lake Dawson and the New England Patriots Nick Caserio — are in Miami right now for the finalists’ round of interviews.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ decision on the new GM will be coming soon. Unfortunately for Dolphins’ fans, the decision on the fate of their beloved Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes won’t come as quickly. If the Dolphins want to keep their 5-foot-10 advantage in a game that is ruled by the forward pass, they’ll make signing Grimes to a multi-year deal a priority
For now, let’s just enjoy seeing Grimes play for one last time this season. Watching him shut down some of the best receivers in the game while driving up his price tag will be entertaining enough, even if it is in this punchline of a Pro Bowl.