2014 NFL Free Agents: Brent Grimes

Brent Grimes
Brent Grimes
Thomas J Russo USA TODAY Sports

After shelling out approximately $240 million last offseason, the Miami Dolphins didn’t exactly get the results they were seeking in the 2013 campaign.

A retooled linebacker corp, resigning of key free agents, a big name wide receiver, and a promising draft class gave the Dolphins organization hope for their first playoff appearance since 2008.

Instead, a bullying scandal, inconsistency, and a bust of a draft class defined the team and led to the Dolphins finishing at a mediocre 8-8 , missing the postseason for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons. 

However, one of the lone bright spots for Miami this year was the signing of cornerback Brent Grimes, who was undoubtedly the team’s best player this season.

Grimes, who missed nearly the entire 2012 season due to injury as a member of the Atlanta Falcons, bounced back in 2013 with one of his most productive seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl.

The seven-year veteran recorded 60 tackles, 16 pass deflections, and four interceptions, while also returning a pick for a touchdown that helped the Dolphins score a key victory over Cincinnati midway through the season.

The Dolphins’ one-year, $5.5 million contract gamble clearly paid off and has made Grimes the club’s No. 1 offseason priority.

Grimes ended up fitting perfectly into Dolphins DC Kevin Coyle’s defensive system, and was a huge playmaker throughout the year, as he tied for the team high in interceptions.

The two-time Pro Bowler displayed an uncanny ability to cover in space and is shutdown in coverage, surrendering zero touchdowns this season. By the end of the season, opposing quarterbacks simply stopped throwing Grimes’ way.

Grimes can also play the zone and is an excellent press corner, but was also solid against the run this year as the fifth leading tackler on the team. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound corner may be small, but he more than compensates with his speed and athleticism.

What made Grimes so indispensable was his knack for making big plays, which was something the Dolphins severely lacked this season. In the four games that Grimes recorded an interception, the Dolphins were 4-0.

Profootballfocus.com rated Grimes the NFL’s second-best cornerback in 2013, and he earned that ranking by making the Dolphins one of the better secondaries in the NFL.

Although Dimitri Patterson had a decent year for the Dolphins, he suffered through various injuries during the season. Grimes was really the catalyst of the Dolphins secondary, making him and Patterson one of the most lethal cornerback tandems in the league.

So, the question is will the Dolphins resign him?

Likely Landing Spot

In a season full of turmoil for the franchise, it would be a mistake if the Dolphins do not to re-sign one of their lone bright spots.

At 30-years-old, Grimes is in the prime of his career and has clearly showed no ill-effects from his torn Achilles from two seasons ago.

There has been some discussion that the Dolphins may use the franchise tag on Grimes, but that doesn’t seem like the most financially sound or smartest option.

The Dolphins have approximately $30 million in cap space, and should absolutely throw that at Grimes to keep him in Miami. This franchise was willing to give Mike Wallace $60 million and sign Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe to bloated contracts, so why not ink one of their best players to a long-term deal?

With the Dolphins trying to put a priority on defense and return to the old school Dolphin defenses, they need Grimes as the building block of their secondary. The defense showed flashes in 2013, but was ultimately inconsistent.

Regardless, the Dolphins know they have to sign Grimes and will not let him walk away.

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Allen Levin
Allen Levin works for the Miami Dolphins in Media Relations and has covered the NBA for 5 years, including the Orlando Magic beat with KnightNews.com. He has been published in Fox Sports, CBS Sports the Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel. Follow Allen on Twitter @TheNBAllen