The Miami Dolphins announced on Monday that they had re-signed Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes to a four-year deal worth $32 million including $16 million guaranteed. The move ensures the Dolphins will have a No. 1 cornerback in 2014 and it takes care of the team’s biggest priority entering the offseason.
The franchise will still have to worry about re-signing CB Nolan Carroll and defensive tackles Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, but there is little doubt that Grimes was the free agent the Dolphins had to bring back the most. After suffering a torn Achilles during the 2012 season with the Atlanta Falcons, Grimes signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins during the 2013 offseason. Although expectations were low, Grimes turned in the best season of his NFL career in helping the Dolphins rank third in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed while ranking 10th in the NFL in interceptions forced.
It isn’t farfetched to say Grimes is one of the top corners in the NFL. Other than being elected to his second Pro Bowl in four years (he was elected in 2010 with the Falcons), Grimes has the best coverage grade of any cornerback in the NFL since 2010 outside of Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis, according to Pro Football Focus. Of all of the things that went wrong with the Dolphins franchise throughout the 2013 season, Grimes was one of the few consistent bright spots of the team.
Provided the Dolphins lock up either Starks or Soliai and are able to bring back Carroll or a cornerback through free agency or draft who can start opposite of Grimes, the Dolphins’ defense can easily rank in the top 10 in points allowed per game for a fourth straight season.
With the news that the organization is looking to trade 2013 first-round draft pick Dion Jordan, wide receiver Mike Wallace and top pass-rusher Cameron Wake, the Dolphins re-signing their second-best defensive player is good news for a franchise that has seen nothing but turmoil over the last several months.