It’s finally time to reveal the Miami Dolphins‘ top player of 2013. Without further ado, cornerback Brent Grimes.
Passes defensed: 16
Pro Football Focus breakdown
Position rank: 2 of 110
Coverage rank: 3 of 110
Snaps played: 1,132
Receptions allowed: 59 on 98 targets
Yards allowed: 730
Touchdowns allowed: 0
QB rating allowed: 66.3
Why he’s No. 1
Was there ever any doubt who the No. 1 player would be? Grimes was everything the Dolphins hoped he would be and so much more during his first season in Miami. Opposing quarterbacks shied away from testing his side of the field, and when they did, Grimes often made plays on the football by showcasing his superb short-area quickness or outstanding leaping ability.
It was quite obvious how dominant Grimes was by watching him play on Sundays, but Pro Football Focus is able to put into perspective how effective he was in coverage. Grimes’ accumulative overall grade ranked second in the entire NFL by the site. Only Darrelle Revis was tabbed a better overall corner. Grimes’ coverage grade was slotted third.
Most impressively, Grimes didn’t allow a touchdown pass in his coverage area all season long. Only five cornerbacks who played at least 25 percent of their defense’s snaps didn’t allow a touchdown pass in 2013. The other four to do it played 697, 480, 484 and 480 snaps respectively. Grimes played 1,132 snaps.
Moving forward, re-signing Grimes is rumored to be the Dolphins’ no. 1 priority before free agency opens. Expect new GM Dennis Hickey to offer Grimes a deal in the ballpark of about thee years and worth around $8-9 million per season. If the two parties are unable to hammer out a multiyear agreement, Miami could resort to slapping Grimes with the franchise tag. Doing so would only commit the Dolphins to Grimes for one season, but would cost the team more than $11 million in 2014.
Grimes was by far the Dolphins’ best and most consistent player in 2013. He’s worthy of the no. 1 spot on this list and every penny he earns with his next contract.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.