« Getting Zack Martin may require trade up contingency | Main | Tannehill much to prove, but not the most to prove »

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.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

HELP ME homers,call and cry to whom ever will listen,Make them stop,HELP HELP.

Stupid homers,your shipment has arrived just in time for the 2014 season. LMAO@UCLUELESS HOMERS.

Don't you useless homers ever get sick and tired of constantly being WRONG season after season about the Dolphins?

In what decade will the Dolphins finally get a franchise QB?

...MIT. NeMo...I haven't said much about Tripp or Coyle just because the Phins haven't shown any interest in either. Tripp is the one getting all the pub. But Coyle is faster, he is a better tackler, both are playmakers, and Tripp will kill it on special teams. But there used to be Phin scouts at the stadium, and at the Pro-Days. I haven't seen them the last few years..

There is nothing a franchise QB couldn't fix on the Dolphins in 2014.

Why is it always next season that the Dolphins fans are always talking about?

Hickey, go and get J.Manziel or D.Carr.

Hoping they clue in on Coyle because I think in time he may be the answer to their ILb ills. A tackling machine that goes sideline to sideline and plays all three downs...

Seeing as Hickey and TB knew what lbs looks like I'm hopeful they will clue in.

Hickey, go and get J.Manziel or D.Carr.

Posted by: Full Stadium | April 15, 2014 at 11:29 AM
Dennis, make it so if you want that big bonus.

For the trolls in here you can be ignored. But for the Fins Fans, take heed. Philbin has 2 years under his belt as a HC. For players the game slows down a ton in yr 3. Well, it does for coaches too. What I've seen is an ongoing commitment to staying the course by building a team based on character, respect and passion. The Incognito scandal muddied the water, but remove that like this Regime has, and you'll find control, substance, and longevity. The fanatics was instant results. But sustainable success requires a different path. Whether their 2013 season ended 7-9 or 9-7, they were the same inconsistent, flawed team. I'm confident many of these flaws would have been fixed naturally with more time, work and experience. But, changes were made because they missed the playoffs. Fine, we've moved on now. So now Fins have a cohesive unit, working together with the same goal and no separate agendas. Philbin gaining more control is a great thing and that will ensure players brought in that fit their system and schemes. This all translates into better play and more wins. It has to.

Aside some disastrous circumstance, this is a playoff team in 2014.

Another Mock Draft:

1RD: Zack Martin OL
2RD: JaWuan James OL
3RD: Donte Moncrief WR
4RD: Shayne Skov ILB
5RD: Zack Moore DL
6RD: Kadeem Edwards OL
7RD: Jonathan Brown OLB

Martin is not a sexy pick, but we can't overlook (again) our o-line. He could become our Mike Lupati, in other words a Pro Bowl Guard for years. James would solidify our RT position for a very long time. Moncrief would be an awesome 3rd round pick to go along Wallace, Hartline and Gibson. Skov would immediately improve our run defense, which was atrocious last year. Zack Moore would add depth to our d-line, Edwards is raw but has great size and potential. Brown could be a steal in round 7.

To an ACTUAL dolphin I am quite sure we are viewed as nothing more than annoying and stupid pink monkeys.

I hope that one day dolphins rise up as one and enslave mankind.

Lewan is falling to 19 more and more in these things...


..MIT..There are 2 games that I'm not sure I can find the video for. I will look on EGRIZ and try to find links. But last years MSU Game, and the App. State Game. Those 2 games are clinics in linebacker play. I'm sure you can probably google 2013 Griz v Cats and see what I am talking about Coyle is the man in that game. It will give you a better idea just because of the rivalry, but MSU was a top 10 team for most of the year. They have some guys that will get shots to make a roster on their squad. So it isn't a total scrub fest.

Johnny M, Save the Phins from Tannehill just like you did for Texas A&M.

Mark, Coyle better get it together soon...Our front 7 underachieved big time in my opinion...His play calling is average at best...He seems to do well with defensive backs but that's about it. He's got a awesome player in Dion Jordan and he can't figure out how to use him...Sad...Such potential...

I can't imagine anything more stupid than endlessly conjuring up 'mock drafts' but I guess it's just mesmerizing for some of you weirdos.

Mark, I still don't think Lewan will fall to 19...I refuse to believe 18 teams will pass on this guy...I mean, we would need 18 Dave Waanstedt's ahead of us to have a chance...

Mtl, I was talking about draft prospect Brock Coyle of Montana who DD brought up yesterday who may indeed be an undiscovered gem because he played at Montana.

But now that you made that confusing even the idiot Coyle (our DC) has to be aware of this prospect and hopefully doign his homewrk since they share the same surname, haha

But yeah Mtl, now that we got rid of Carroll, Wheeler and Coyle are my two punching bags on this team (watch for a steady stream of the defense was super bowl quality posts from our resident mensa candidates)

PS - hope the habs lose in 4.

...Dolphin Fan..Brock Coyle. He is a prospect that could play linebacker here if we get radar on him.

Mark, PS- I hate the habs more than you do. I would bet anything. LOL!!

Really. All you guys need to get a life. What kind of football blog talks about the draft? Seriously.

DD, since you're a Montana guy, what's your opinion on Jordan Tripp?

There's a pretty good chance the Miami Dolphins could make it to 9-7 in three or four more years

Let's just continue to enjoy the Patriots Dynasty

expecting 14-2 for the 2014 Patriots

I agree Mtl, I mean if I was picking top 5, I would consider this guy. That's how highly I think of him.

I said many times, if the rams let hm pass at 13, then I hope Hickey has a trade up worked with the bears. I think the bears would trade down if Aaron Donald is snapped up by the Giants at 12 or before.

For sure you can trade up at the expense of a third rd, maybe even a 4. i have a hard time believing both the Steelers and Ravens both pass on this guy and the difference between Zach Martin and Taylor Lewan to me is enormous.

Great news coming out of the NY JETS camp tomorrow w the signing of RB Chris Johnson

NJ JETS should also sign WR Sidney Rice

Home thinks the Carolina Panthers will sign Wr Rice at the right price

WhereTH did you find that ILB, MIC? 6'3", 245 comes from many angles with terrific range on runs and passes and also makes that ball come loose often. Only question is Montana U. Definitely, I'm on his bandwagon.

Oh yeah, the Jets...The offseason champs every year...

Brock Coyle>Mosley.(seems to me)

Jets better than the Dolphins last season and
twice to the AFC championship game
one game away from the Superbowl w Mark Sanchez

Fact is Sanchez has had a much better NFL start than fake QB Tannehill

Just check Sanchez'z bank account ;)

Note: I only saw Brock's highlights and not an actual Game vs another Team.

Oscar, i can tell you even athletically, this guys has the physicality that will translate to teh NFL. His 40, bench, lateral drills, jumping drills all indicate top level athleticism. So if he shows the football instincts, those won't dissapate at the next level and his body is more than capable of playing at the next level.

Vick will get the start w GENO who beat Tannehill and shut him out of the playoffs to back up

NY JETS are going to be a very exciting team of savoy free agent players and 12 new draft picks

Those Chris Johnson, Vick, Decker and Ford jerseys are gonna sell like Hot Cakes

..Dolphin Fan.. Tripp is a super high motor guy. He is a guy that is always around the ball. He was asked to do a lot at Montana too much IMO. You can watch the Tripp stuff, and he is all over the field. Chasing down plays from the backside. Or covering a tight end 20 yrds down the field. Setting the edge(he is best in run defense no doubt..Very good at his responsibility in the run game) He wasn't asked to blitz much, and when they did it was usually off stunts. You could see it coming, I could only imagine what O-coordinators saw. He makes a lot of tackles chasing.. And this was by design because the strength of the Griz Defense was on the left.

Croyle was able to play much more traditional because Tripp, and DE Waggeman were always the guys that teams wanted to stay away from. The whole Griz Defensive line was very good. But from the 3 to 5 techniques on the weak side. We are talking next level good. DT Biennaman will probably be a free agent rookie as well.

Miami Dolphins signed another fat guy from the Pillsbury Baking co.
to protect the amazing Tannehill



Our Defense vs 2WR + 2TE: Grimes on Decker, Flannagan on Hill, FS on TE, SS on TE, Wheeler spy on CJ and Misi spy on Geno. 70-80 times/game - no way the NYJ can solve that.

The o-line provided Tannehill w no sacks in his 32nd NFL game to allow a Wild card playoff game to be had for the Dolphins

What did Tannehill do w this game the o-line provided him great protection and zero sacks?

Same as always
Tannehill Shiet the Bed

Franchise QB my arse

CJ2 = Dolphin Killer

Be Afraid
Very Afraid

Grimes stand as tall as Decker's belly button

Who the heck is Flannagan? Think he owns an Irish bar down by Home by the Sea

Wheeler covering Chris Johnson?

Dude, ETF
What the heck are u smoking?

please share!

NJ Jets prolly nail down TE Ebron & WR Benjamin in the draft

w all those 12 picks NY JETS are King of the Draft

Like Home said

the JETS and Browns will be better than the Dolphins this season

We were waaay better than the NYJ last season.
While the Jets are busy signing washed-up skill players like Decker and CJ we beef up our defense with guys like Mitchell, Delmas and Flannagan.

If you prefer we can have Wheeler spy on Geno and Misi spy on CJ. Either way we have it covered.

Rest easy my friend.

Home, one game you beat us. Don't forget the other one, the one where Tannehill threw for over 300 yards and 2 TD's...While your boy was benched in favor of Matt Simms...Yikes...Funny how you don't talk about that one.

Everyone knows winning coaches BB & Rex

nobody even knows or pays attention who coaches the insignificant Dolphins and some goofy kid that always wanted to play NFL QB despite having a deep ball arm worse than the K-Sturgis

First off guys, it's Croyle (our DC). Secondly, he's a glorified position coach elevated too soon and doesn't yet grasp the new responsibilities on his plate. Sound familiar? Where's Sparano right now? Exactly where Croyle will be in a couple of years (if not next year). I hope the LB Coach can step up, or else we're in big trouble (and unfortunately we're not little China).

DC, it's Coyle, not Croyle...But you're right...LOL!!


If Savage is still available in the 5th round, the Dolphins should seriously consider him...


When Milliner read Tanne's eyes and stepped in front of Wallace to pick off Tanne that was a fluke play.
There is no way that the #1 CB in the draft, coming off of the Nat'l champs can cover a guy like Wallace.

It was foolish to waste the #8 pick in the draft on the best CB and even more foolish to waste the #15 pick in the draft on Richardson.

Stupid decisions lke that are the reason that the Jets are behind the Phins year after year.

Decker scored 24 passing TDS mostly in the Red Zone in the last two seasons

and CJ2 just last year w a bad knee had almost 1500 combine YDs
CJ2 had 1500 or more combine YDs every year for three year b4 that

when CJ2 had a record 2508 combined YDs in 2009

Vick playing injured had a better QBR than Tannehill last season

None of these guys are washed up!

Jets did great in Fa


ETF, Richardson is awesome. What are you talking about??

Montreal, I highly doubt Savage is there in the 6th. I've heard rumors he might even be gone by round 2.

I was saying the 5th...No question he'll be gone by the 6th...



Announce right now that we are printing playoff tickets.

Damnit Montreal, I've been saying it wrong all along. I hate THAT!

Actually, I added the "r" for ROTTEN! Mark will love that!

Zach t 5th
tom b. 6th
t davis 6th

When was the last time there was an interesting or informative comment on this blog?

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »

The comments to this entry are closed.