The Dolphins have managed to bring players they want to the team as unrestricted free agents this offseason while at the same time holding their ground on what they pay players they believe come with risk.
The latest example of this is Miami landing unrestricted free agent cornerback Brent Grimes to a one-year deal. The deal believed to be in the $4 million range is not exactly what Grimes was looking for. He wanted a long-term deal that averaged $6-$8 million. Grimes' base salary in 2013 will be $2.75 million.
But because he didn't play last year due to an Achilles' injury, because his market did not include more than three or four teams, and because the market for corners is generally been depressed, Grimes accepted the Dolphins one-year offer today.
The Dolphins have also signed TE Dustin Keller to a one-year deal. They signed guard Lance Louis to a one-year deal and they signed defensive tackle Vaughn Martin to a two-year deal. This after they paid much bigger money for receiver Mike Wallace and linebackers Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe.
This is a good job by general manager Jeff Ireland. He stuck to his conviction on a price for Grimes and got it done.
"We are very excited that we were able to reach an agreement with Brent,” said Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland. “His experience and history of play making production will add a great deal to our secondary."
Grimes is expected to be ready for the start of the season, according to an NFL source. Indeed, that may be conservative. Grimes is already running on his surgically repaired Achilles.
"I'll be straight in no time," Grimes told the South Florida media. He declined to give a specific time frame. He did say the surgeon told him 6-8 months recovery time. May would be eight months.
Grimes said he was not certain he'd participate in the coming OTAs. I would not expect it.
Grimes, 30 in July, was the Falcons franchise tag player in 2012. He played only one game in which he ruptured the Achilles. The previous three seasons he started 36 of a possible 48 games and collected 12 interceptions.
One more thing on the Grimes addition:
If he's healthy and back to his previous form he is a likely starter. And that means the Dolphins do not go into the draft with a major need for a starting cornerback high in the draft.
In other words, Ireland will have latitude as coach Joe Philbin said, to pick the best available player.
The Dolphins continue to have offensive tackle Eric Winston on the radar. He will sign with the team if the club convinces him to take a short-term (perhaps one-year) deal that is not for huge money. Winston, obviously, continues to believe he will get more somehwere.