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Prove-it contracts past and present

The one-year contract, known to some as a prove-it deal, was put to good use by the Dolphins in 2013. About half a dozen players and the team agreed to one-year deals -- helping some of the players rehabilitate their reputations while also helping the team add talent while also not committing to that talent long-term in case something went wrong.

This offseason the Dolphins have once again made use of the one-year contract but as the general manager is different it's not surprising that so is the philosophy to some degree.

While former GM Jeff Ireland seemed to take bigger gambles on 2013 one-year deals, chasing bigger talents at higher prices, current GM Dennis Hickey is for the most part using the one-year deal on less accomplished and cheaper players.

There are exceptions, of course. Runnning back Knowshon Moreno is being paid the average of what the free agent running back market bears in 2014 and he is quite well known.

Below is the breakdown of the prove-it deals the Dolphins did last year, along with how those turned out:

DT Randy Starks (1 year, $8.45 million): Starks was Miami's franchise player. And although it is hard to play up to an $8 million salary, Starks did indeed play very well for the Dolphins in 2013. The one-year deal kept the Dolphins from committing to Starks long-term, which ultimately proved the right thing to do based on his age, and it helped keep the player performing at a high level so that he could go out and get a good payday this offseason. Verdict: Good for both sides.

CB Brent Grimes (1 year, $5.437 million): Grimes had to take a chance on himself because he was coming off an Achilles tendon tear that sidelined him all of 2012. The Dolphins took a chance that Grimes could return to the Pro Bowl status he reached in 2011 and he did exactly that. Verdict: Good for both sides.

RT Tyson Clabo (1 year, $3.5 million): Clabo was said to be a salary cap casualty by the Falcons after 2012 and, unfortunately for the Dolphins, he played down to that stigma through the first half of 2013 -- leading the team in sacks allowed. But after being benched, Clabo recovered somewhat during the season's back end. He provided good but expensive insurance against the departure of Jonathan Martin. Verdict: A push in that he filled a need but didn't do it well enough.

LT Bryant McKinnie (1 year, $1 million): The Dolphins took on McKinnie in October to serve as relief for the failed experiment of Martin as a left tackle. As part of the trade, they gave him a chance to become a free agent in 2014 rather than take on his original contract he signed with Baltimore. McKinnie was solid in the locker room and a C-plus player on the field. Verdict: Served its purpose.

TE Dustin Keller (1 year, $4.25 million): Like Grimes, Keller needed to prove he could stay healthy and return to his former heights after an injury-plagued 2012. He couldn't do it. He suffered a terrible knee injury in the preseason -- an injury that ended his season -- and the Dolphins got nothing for their money. Verdict: Nobody's fault but it was a disaster.

S Chris Clemons (1 year, $2.75 million): The Dolphins wanted more plays out of their deep secondary but understood that not every so-called "want" could be addressed in one offseason. So they re-signed Clemons, understanding that he rarely makes big plays but rarely makes big mistakes. And that's exactly what he delivered -- no big plays, but no huge mistakes. Verdict: Fill the gap move filled the gap temporarily.

Bottom line? The Keller contract was a waste and the Clabo deal didn't help. The Grimes deal was genius and the Starks, McKinnie and Clemons deals accomplished what they were supposed to accomplish.

So this year, Hickey has some notable players signed to one-year deals. But unlike Ireland, the Dolphins are being more frugal with their one-year deals. The deals:

WR Damian Williams (1-year, $800,000): Williams is getting only $70,000 in guaranteed money to come to camp and compete for a No. 4 or No. 5 wide receiver job. Maybe he competes for the kick or punt return job as well.

S Louis Delmas (1 year, $2.25 million): He is a physical, downhill tackler and that's something the Dolphins want more of on their defense. They want to be more physical. They want more defining plays out of the back end. And there's no doubt Delmas is arrives at the ball angry and makes more plays than, say, Chris Clemons did. But the knock on Delmas is he hits so hard, he often injures teammates or himself when he's hitting the ballcarrier. He also has been known to give up the long completion. So will the Dolphins get the dependable playmaker or the injured guy who gives up bbig plays?

RB Knowshon Moreno (1 year, $3 million): The Dolphins want more production out of the backfield and want better pass protection from the running back corps. Moreno is known as one of the best in pass pro at his position. He is not a big-play running back. He has not often faced the kind of run-stopping fronts playing with Peyton Manning that Miami runners faced with Ryan Tannehill.

RT Jason Fox (1 year, $795,000): Typical of Hickey's one-year deals, this has only $65,000 in guaranteed money. So if Fox makes the team as a backup at RT, great. And if he doesn't, the pain is minimal. If he does make the team, the Dolphins are banking Fox can stay healthy, something that hasn't been the case lately.

WR Kevin Cone (1 year, $570,000), WR Michael Rios (1 year, $420,000), QB Jordan Rodgers (1 year, $430,000): All fall under the category of no guaranteed money money given to young players who will have a chance to come to camp and compete for a bottom-of-the-roster spot. No risk whatever.

It's interesting that the Dolphins signed both Cortland Finnegan and Starks to two year deals, but both are really one-year deals in disguise.

Finnegan, unspectacular for the Rams the past two years no matter what the Dolphins will argue, got a two-year, $11 million deal. However, all of his $5 million in guaranteed money is being paid this year and all but $1 million of it goes on the cap this year.

Next year, if Finnegan disappoints in any way, the Dolphins can cut him. And while they would absorb $1 million in dead money, they would save his $5.45 million in base salary. So he has to play well this year to get that payday in 2015.

Meanwhile, the two-year, $10 million deal Miami signed with Starks gave the tackle $2 million to sign and his $3 million base salary is guaranteed. In 2015, however, Starks has no guarantee and the team can save $5 million (his base salary) by cutting him before the start of the regular-season. So this also is a one-year commitment with a club option to go another year if the player succeeds.


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Darkoak make a solid point. Why can't Wake/Jordan/Vernon & Starks all be out there at the same time?
with Soliai gone it should be pretty simple to achieve.

Who said Tannehill threw for 4, 000 yards yelling go and gogo?

Meth + opiates + dreams = Manziel being a Miami Dolphin.

If we are playing out of the 4-3 base Jordan will move around the line like Von Miller does in Denver.

LOLB - Ellerbe
MLB - Misi
ROLB - Jordan
DE - Vernon
DT - Mitchell-Odrick
DT - Starks
DE - Wake

NOBODY knows in what position Dion Jordan belongs now. He spent more than half the time in the backfield in Chip Kelly's D scheme at Oregon and last year he came in injured and was not played to a point where his strengths and weaknesses could be justly appraised. How to know that? Play him more frequently this year at one position, or trade him to Chip, he'll know what to do with DionJ.

Dion Jordan = 6'6", 260 lbs.
Jason Taylor = 6'6", 255 lbs.

Ok Dion, Jason had an identical body mass and is a HOF player. Time to step up and take it to the next level.

Geez oscar.
Would you like for Ryan T to find out his wife rents heart shaped jacuzzi bath tubs in Hialeah?

Or maybe the Russians seized all his money?

Sure, that will toughen him up.

oscar, you have any idea how much work it takes to become a QB of an NFL team or to show the rapid progression that he did from the time he was drafted until now.

You can question some things but to say he's lacking competitive fire is just flat out wrong. if he's shown anything its the desire to try to make this work.

it's not working
and that's Oscars opinion

NH, some people also forget Jason Taylor had a 2.5 sack year in his 3rd year in the league and didn't achieve a 10 sack season until his 4th season ... of course this was before internet chat boards demanding everyone come out of the shoot an instant pro bowler.

Dion showed he can play last year. It's just a matter of getting acclimated to the pro game now...

2 watt, noticed I addressed Oscar, not you.

Go fukk yourself until I address you.

If Tannehill is smart enough for medical school...he's smart enough to learn Lazor's new offense in 8 months.

I believe the #1 biggest event this off season was the departure of Mike Sherman (Ireland a close second).

Sherman had some weird power over both Tannehill & Philbin. He played the dominating father role and was responsible for EVERY offensive played called last year.

I am excited to see how Tannehill reacts to a new playbook and a new play caller...could be the missing link!

Perhaps Ryan needs some adversity in his Life. He was born of good stock, raised in a solid middle class environment, was able to play Football while completing the first part of his vocation to be a Physician, married a beautiful Woman.

Posted by: oscar canosa | April 15, 2014 at 09:00 AM

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 15, 2014 at 09:15 AM

Mark I hope Tannehill has worked hard on his throwing accuracy and timing this offseason. Those are his two biggest weaknesses.

A lot of folks ragged on him for the sacks last season but in a lot of cases blitzes were on him right after the ball was snapped in at least 1 second. Can't throw it away while in the pocket or take the grounding penalty. I do wonder about his pocket presence though as if you watch Russel Wilson when the pressure collapses the pocket usually he is on his bike and out of there. Tannehill did not exhibit the same instincts.

mark u hate
being wrong huh
it just kills you inside?

I did not mention tough, Luke. Ryan is all of that and plenty more as evidenced by his being able to finish last Season in more or less one piece. I'm talking about Winning. Wanting to win so badly that you push yourself to extremes and with talent, you usually accomplish it. That's what I'm talking about, Luke:16

Posted by: 2 watt | April 15, 2014 at 09:30 AM

And he doesn't make up aliases to agree with himself either, or start attacking people. Not liking being wrong is human, doing everything you can to avoid admitting it is cowardly.

Usually, as no man is an Island, when you push yourself to extremes you bring others along, also.



Posted by: ExposingThe Fraud | April 14, 2014 at 09:25 PM


Posted by: oscar canosa | April 15, 2014 at 09:36 AM

When a tree falls in the forest when no on is there does it make a sound?


Timing & Accuracy. Either you are born with it or not. If it could be learned wouldn't more people be trying to learn it?

On the Geico commercial it does.

Marqiese Lee and 30 other guys came in.

I'd be shocked as fukk if Lee is the pick. Guy just screams average.

Average size, average speed, average athleticism, average production.

I wonder how some guys get these inflated draft grades. There's nothing on paper or on video that says this guy is any better than what we have.

They also did bring in Donte Moncrief and this guy has some traits of being superior. Who doesn't like a 6'2 220lbs wr with 4.4 speed and uses both well?

I agree... we need an alpha type WR who can out jump defenders on the sidelines and in the endzone.

Your welcome

Who's Luke?

For sure Darkoak, the guy is not a finsihed product. But what is one thing people said about this guy when he was drafted? He is physically talented, intelligent, but not a finished product.

So people are upset that after two years that he is not a finished product? I think he's come at least as well or better than advertised.

He has shown dedication and the desire to improve. And for that I give him the time and lay off. I mean if you trend him from the moment he's been drafted to hsi first camp to his first year to his 2nd year he's done nothing but improve.

If he comes in and doesn't improve then he will be bucking the trend and hinting at hitting a plateau. Until then let's see what he does.

He's a smart guy, he knows what he has to do.

ha, ETF, you kill me man...

Is Jax drafting a qb or not?


Kelvin Benjamin is the pick.

ha, here's one thing I learned today ... jason Taylor and I are exactly three days apart in age... God was on a roll that week...

They already have thier franchise QB.

not really crazy about benjamin either. If he wants a big WR that bad then I hope he mangles everyone's draft board and picks Jordan Matthews...or turns benjamin into his real position in the NFl ... tight end a la Gates...


If Tanne throws it short Kelvin will get it, if he throws it long Wallace will get it.

It's win-win.

haha, that's true ... no cb is going to wrestle a ball away from benjamin...

Who's Luke?

That's what I asked you, you kept referring to Luke?

You talking about a passage from the Evangelist or are you talking to the voices in your head?

Posted by: ExposingThe Fraud | April 15, 2014 at 09:39 AM

Bullocks! Those are the two things you can improve with practice, what a silly statement ETF.

If I take up archery today and the instructor says practice and in one month I want you to hit the target with 5 arrows in 15 seconds could I do it? I have no archery experience but if I applied myself everyday to it and had pro training it is very possible. So I have learned accuracy and timing by practice.

I don't now, I thought I saw a Luke addressing me up there.

Ha! That Luke!!!

Darkoak has obviously become infected by The Hunger Games.

Of course Darkoak you can approve accuracy over time. I mean is the first time we pick up a football the best we ever throw it? Your illustration is perfect.

ETF says things sometimes just to get people riled up in here.

Next week he will tell people that a qb can't learn how to read defenses if he doesn't show it in his first year.

I didn't care for the first instalment of those films but I thought the 2nd one was very good.

It also looks like the books would be fantastic.

I'm 40% of the way through book five of Game of Thrones .. maybe I will take up the Hunger Games next

The Worst Plague that can befall a Human being is Ignorance. Again. And again.

Here's a wrinkle for your crinkle.
BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE, will be strongly considered, per Dennis Hickey.

Benjamin the Cane killer soon to be Dolphin killer.

The Dolphin trolls have been right for 7 years straight. They have multiplied as the fish have floundered. Being a troll in reference to the Dolphins is a
Compliment. It's the homers who are banging their heads against the wall.

And fans of other teams are NOT spending their time on here

I'll pass on any of USC's trash thank you.

Mark, you better get your Raptors ready, the Wizards are coming for you!

stupid homers - 00

Guys,don't feed the homers and they will eventually go away.

Question: Has Chad Henne improved over time?

He had the WORST QB rating last year and IMO, never improved since walking out on the field 5 years ago.

Yes, most humans can improve skills requiring hand/eye coordination e.g. archery.

But, adding in athletic coordination, born leadership qualities, and outright god given talent, most NFL QB's are what they are when they enter their first game.

Some suck, like Peyton Manning in his first game, while others shine like Tom Brady.

Tannehill has two years under his belt and his number suggest he is firmly entrenched in the middle of the pack. If he does not become a top 10 QB this season, he may never break through.


Thanks DD for the heads up on Brock Coyle ... did the research on this guy and physcially, his numbers jump off the page. most tackles of an ILB, two INTs, a lot of tckles for loss. best measureables of any ILB. DD vouches that this guy stands out live too.

Impossible this guy only received a 6th round draft grade. Honestly, nobody looks better to me in this draft at ILB... expect this guy's stock to shoot up until draft time.

DD, why did you hold out on us so long with this guy??

DC, I have a feeling the Raptors will throw their last game of the season and they will end up facing Brooklyn. You see they match up much better against the Pacers than Heat. Granted the first round against Brooklyn would be tricky. They dismantled the Pacers a few times this year and our young centre Jonas Valinciunas dismantles all star Hibbert like it's his job.

Jonas is the best centre in the east. We all here know it already. The rest of the NBA will know it by the end of next year.

But DC, wiz v raps would be cool for local bragging rights... in this blog.

And agreed on the USC trash. overselling crap merchandise again.

The Marlins have caught Miami Dolphin disease. Both are Losers!!

The Marlins have caught Miami Dolphin disease. Both are Losers!!
Posted by: Jay | April 15, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Oh that wit of yours!! Chortle!! hardy har har...........

stupid homers - 00
Posted by: TOOL | April 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM
Why would anyone care enough to keep score? What a loser.

Yeah, I meant to thank DD as well for his Brock Coyle information. Looks like a good player.

Interesting that they brought Marquise Lee for a visit. Disappointing 40 time at the combine, then he didn't run at this pro day. Did decent in some other drills. His production was great in 11 and 12, but fell off in 13.

I'd like Cooks and Beckham more at WR if they are there at 19.

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Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 15, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Oh I know that about the trolls Mark. I just like to show how dumb their stuff really is. Then it fully exposes how stupid they are to do what they do here. Really they don't disrupt the regulars discussing football so they are ineffective in that sense. They must believe they are convincing someone with their BS so I just take that away and they basically have nothing.

Having nothing sounds very much like their day to day existence.

Agreed NeMo, I'm not even looking at marqise Lee at all... Cooks and Beckham seem to offer more. And Matthews and Adams and Moncrief look like the big guys that can actually play...

Darkoak, WELCOME to Fantasy Island where the delusional Dolphin Fan like yourself can celebrate a Super Bowl victory every season,Tatto has the heroin you requested.

HELP HELP,STOP picking on my husband,he can't handle it any more, he is to mentally fragile.Talking heads STOP Picking on him. local radio and the fans,Stop picking on him,HELP HELP.

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