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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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the Titanic sunk off the coast of halifax, Nova Scotia which is nowhere near the arctic.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 15, 2014 at 01:39 PM

The Arctic (/ˈɑrktɪk/ or /ˈɑrtɪk/) is a polar region located at the northernmost part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost.

The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle (66° 33'N), the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night. Alternatively, it can be defined as the region where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C (50 °F); the northernmost tree line roughly follows the isotherm at the boundary of this region.[1][2]

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | April 15, 2014 at 01:43 PM

Funny how Hickey doesn't confirm or deny the Dion Jordan rumors. "Hickey was asked indirectly about those rumors, and didn’t either confirm them or shoot them down Tuesday.

"He’s a very talented player," Hickey said. "This is a big offseason for him. … We’re excited about Dion going forward and having a great offseason."

Well, if you are going to trade him, you better get a first, a fourth, a 6th and possibly another player as well...I mean, this was the 3rd overall pick in the draft. Why on earth would you trade him for the 22nd overall pick? Makes no sense. You better get a lot in return Mr.Hickey...

With the 19th pick in the 2014 NFL draft the Miami Dolphins select Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU.

23 Days until that is official.

Miami WR core at the moment.

Mike Wallace
Rishard Matthews
Armon Binns - Injured knee
Kevin Cone
Brian Hartline - Injured knee
Brandon Gibson - Injured knee
Damian Williams
Ryan Spadola
Michael Rios

Dr. Andrews has said that players coming off knee injuries are not fully back until their 2nd year after the surgery. Adrian Peterson is the exception to the rule.

If not Beckham then look for a WR in the 2nd round. And if I would say look for 2 WR's to be drafted. 1 early 1st or 2nd round and the 2nd WR will come however the draft falls one to Miami.

This team could potentially go WR in two of the first three rounds and it wouldn't upset me.

Some deep units here at play, WR and DE especially...

Texas, 2 words for you: Donte Moncrief. Get me an o-lineman in the first...


It was Philly that made the offer and let the media know when they were turned down. Philly offered a 2nd round pick and a c grade player for Jordan. It was turned down, end of story until Philly let La Confora know about it.

Then La Confora takes it and says Miami is trying to trade Jordan. NOT!!!

i like the trade back senarios with Cleveland at 26 and SF at 30.

if we could come out of round 1 with Sau'filo and have extra picks in rounds 2 and 3. then

for players like:


good deal

Texas, you would hope it would be turned down. That would of been so stupid...They probably figured we once gave up a 2nd rounder for AJ Feeley, maybe they could try to screw us over again...Nice try I guess...


I would love to hear Moncrief's name called in the 2nd for Miami.


A very good list of players there. I like Norwood as well and as far as the mock sites they have Norwood way underrated.

Yeah, Philly can fawk off ... Dave Wannstedt doesn't work here anymore.

If our DC could get his head out of his arse, this wouldn't even be an issue. Hopefully this team figures out his place on first and 2nd down is at OLB, nobody will speak of this anymore.

Wow MIT, i could see Beckham Jr. as a very good possibilty. It would be scary with him and Wallace.
Safties could not afford to cheat up anymore. alot open underneath for Hartline, Gibson and Clay.

might be a great pick if there.

wally, beckham can also be an underneath force a la percy harvin - he's not strictly an over the top guy like Wallace.

I also like Brandin Cooks - possibly even more.

Texas is the guy who's crazy for Odell...

Well, if Hickey goes wr 1st rd, it gives the guy a full NFL season before we draft his qb next year.

If Tannehill doesn't land him on IR.

Honestly for me to trade Jordan, it would take a first round pick and more to get him. Maybe if Philly offered up a 1st and a third I'd consider it.

The main reason is because of how the rookie wage scale works. The team paid Dion a 13.34 million dollar signing bonus. This amount of money can't come off the cap. Its dead money, a sunk cost. We'd still have a big cap hit if we traded him.

His cap hits without the signing bonus will be relatively tiny.

14- 1.34 million
15- 2.275 million
16- 3.21 millon

So, we'd be trading away Jordan for another team to get to keep him at a really cheap salary. The Dolphins have already paid him the majority of his money and can't change that or get it off the books for cap purposes.

Just went 100% nerd on this one, but the cap math plus the potential of the player would make me demand a steep price before trading him.

Even Shazier makes far better sense than taking a wr 1st rd. My 1st rd picks would be Shazier or Hyde. Hyde with the most urgency, he can score points.

Turn of the century Fin bad luck suggests, well have an olineman, or you guys get your wr wish when Tannehill can not hit the broad side of a barn from more than 20yds out.

2013 suggests, a 1st rd wr with Tannehill throwing to him aso has a high probability of being on IR by wk 8.


I always try to read between the lines leading up to the draft. I am reading that the Dolphins have a big interest in OT Henderson. So not that we'd take Henderson (Miami might) but the interest in an OT that will go 3rd round or later leads me to believe that Miami feels they have a quality player in Fox if they cannot get better in the draft. Fox at RT right now is insurance on how the draft falls.

Today, Miami is hosting Marqise Lee WR USC. So far the highest rated players Miami has had in is Seferian-Jenkins TE, Martavis Bryant and they interviewed Tre Mason at the combine.

So Miami draft board for #19 might look like:

Lewan - if falls

I've seen that they have had interest in some D players but they all seem to be graded lower than 3rd round and most seem to be graded UDFA.

We have 3 weeks up until the draft but those 4 right now that is what I am thinking.

Take it with a grain of salt. Last year I had the feeling Miami wanted Tavon Austin and were going to attempt to trade up for Austin until the deal with Oakland to get what I thought and still think was the best D player in the 2013 draft.

Bellichik would give us a 1st rd'er for Jordan. He'll get Jordan into the hall of fame.

As a matter of fact, trading Jordan to Pats would solve two of our problems:

1. We get rid of a future hall of famer
2. Jordan ends Tannehill's sorry career on a sack.

Mark, Cooks nickname is "Sonic boom"...They say if you fail to get a hand on him at the line you'll be staring at the back of his jersey in a blink...


If we don't get Kelvin Benjamin then I will have to find a new team to root for.

BUT DO NOT WORRY - Chad Henne will in the league for at least 10 more years so even if I am not rooting for the team I will still come in here every day to make sure that you are all up to date on Henne's stats and accomplishments.

2013, we paid 60 million to give Tannehill a dangerous wr to no real avail.

Now many of you all of a sudden want to spend 2014's 1st rd pick to give him another. 2013 taught you nothing, right?




Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | April 15, 2014 at 02:23 PM

Do you think the Jags will allow us to swindle them out of Henne for Tannehill?

Everyone's so touchy and it's just mid-April. Can't we all get along until at least late July-early Aug? That's when we'll really have something to argue about.

Mtl, yeah he's sudden. Most receiving yards in the country and no doubt the reason the Eagles shed $10M in cap hit in Desean Jackson... they correctly figure they will either get beckham or Cooks in this draft and they will still have their deep threat and relieve the cap an immense amount. However, waht they will do next year for receivers is a mystery. it will be a couple of years until Cooks or beckham can match jackson for productivity.

I've brought up Cooks before as potential pick so the team could relieve itself of Wallace's deal the moment it becomes cap advantageous to do so... probably 2015...

stop teasing

SAM @ 2:24

The secret is to run Wallace AND Kelvin down the same sideline that way as long as Tanne throws it in that direction one of them will catch it.

It's win-win


Yes, I am crazy for the possibilities Wally and you are talking about. Wallace is a great deep threat but is just ok at bubble screens and the underneath routes. But I am also think RT ahead of WR in the first but not sure that will be a possibility these days. From what I am reading way too many teams are going OL ahead of us. Then with Baltimore loss of their RT they have as big or bigger need than Miami at RT.

the ball
will travel

ahha, all f henne's accomplishments...

YOu can mention the Monday nighter against the Jets to Ted Ginn. You can have the rest of the day off after that...

Let's not bring up Appalachian State tho...


In a draft this deep that's like getting 3 starters for 1 backup.

Texas, agreed 100%...And in all honesty, it would make sense for the Dolphins to get an offensive player in the first round...Yes the defense underachieved somewhat but the offense was for the most part our Achilles heel...I would like an o-lineman in the first, we need someone who can come in and start right away, either at RG or RT...Defensively, we need to stop the run. That is a must. If you can't stop the run in the NFL, you're in serious trouble. That's why I wouldn't mind using a mid round pick on Skov...


Get on the horn with Jax and work out a Henne for Tannehill trade, ok?


We could also see if we could get the qb from Buffalo that wiped his ass with Tannehill twice last year.

He's even better than Tannehill right?

SAM @ 2:29

Stephen Ross' prophecy can still come true: "Chad Henne will be the greatest Dolphin QB of all time" - Stephen Ross

Blog's gone mad. Kicked my ass for mentionin taking Hyde with the 1st pick. Now, the deal of the day is to take a wr 1st, when we don't know if we have a qb.

LMAO, hysterically!

O-line is still by far our biggest need...Followed by LBs...Man if Lewan falls to 19 that would be great, but I'd be shocked...Give me Martin for RG and James for RT...We must give Tannehill more time in the pocket...And he needs to show better pocket awareness...He was part of the problem, don't be fooled...But with a better running game and decent protection, his sack number should drop by at least half...


1. Marlins World Champs(About that time again)

2. Dolphins Still World Chumps


I've said in here a thousand times: Tannehill is a 24 year old millionaire, playing QB in the NFL and married to a nice looking chick.

If there is ne thing that you should know about me by now it is that I DO NOT BLAME THE QB for everything that takes place on offense, defense and a missed feild goal that would win the game on the last play.

I have no problem with Tanne or Henne or Sanchez or Geno: surround them with shhtty talent you get shhtty results.
I also have never bought into Brady/Rogers/Brees/Peyton being better than anyone else - they have 4-6 seconds to throw every play.


I agree a MLB is a need. I've been looking at players throughout this draft and after Mosely and Shazier in the 1st there is a large drop.

Skov is decent enough and probably rated right after those 2. But from what I am reading he's graded 2nd round to early 3rd.

One of the guys I am looking at is Preston Brown from Louisville. It is hard to get a gauge on where he'll go though. I've seen late third to 6th round grades. I like the kid but wouldn't take him until the 4th.

RBs are rarely taken in the 1st rd. anymore unless they are the 2nd coming of Adrian Peterson. So Hyde in the 2nd would be fine, but not in the 1st. Think Eddie Lacy from last year, who was taken in the 2nd.

Texas, have you checked out DD's Montana boy Brock Coyle yet?

he's been climbing recently.. guys has the best measureables of all the ILB in the draft and produced heavily in both the run and pass game for the Grizz.

To me, he's way better than his 6th round CBS grade.

We must give Tannehill more time in the pocket...And he needs to show better pocket awareness...He was part of the problem, don't be fooled...But with a better running game and decent protection, his sack number should drop by at least half...

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | April 15, 2014 at 02:35 PM

Finally, a close to honest post!

However, even with time to throw Tannehill could not hit the beep ball. Pocket presence can not be coached.

Run game? Im blasted for suggesting the CONSENSUS #1 RB in the draft as our 1st pick. LMAO!


I do like Cooks as well but have Beckham ahead of him.


For a late round pick I might give John Brown from Pitt St.

I'd be happy with a true leader at ILB. Remember how great our defense was with Zach Thomas quartbacking the defense all those years.
Ellerbe was billed as the up and coming Ray Lewis (not).

We need a leader and playmaker on our defensive unit other than Wake...a true presence in the middle of the field wrecking the offense's gameplan.

They are looking for a WR who can get open quickly. WE DO NOT HAVE ONE.

Timing up with a "fast" WR is so hard in the NFL. Corners get their hands on them to screw up the timing of the route, especially deep routes.

Gibson got open quickly on short, over the middle routes but we need a powerful "wide" receiver who can swim past cover corners and post up against soft coverage and fight for the ball.

#19 WR.


Put up huge numbers for NE in 2008 - anybody could've done that.
I want to see what Brady/Rogers/Brees/Peyton produce on the 2013 Jags. That team made 250 roster moves in the season, they were signing guys off the street and putting them into the starting lineup the same week. Let me see what those guys produce with those players and an OL that gave up 50+ sacks and the top RB was MJD with 400 yds for the season.

I'm surprised you have Lee that high.

I have Matthews a whole heck of a lot higher too. To me I have


I also can't see the Phins taking a WR in the first either. With Wallace's huge albatross of a contract, plus Hartline's not-so-small contract, along with Gibson, there is already a ton of money tied up in the WR position. I think they'll go OL, or MLB, or even S, depending on which players fall or a taken ahead of the Phins.

Texas, here's what I read about Skov:

Strengths: Ideal size and temperament for the inside linebacker position. Broad shoulders, trim middle and thick lower body. Terrific instincts and physicality. Tone-setter who made plays at key moments for the Cardinals. Improved explosiveness was evident in 2013. Slashed through the offensive line to make emphatic tackles in the backfield. Aggressive and seeks contact to take on and shed blockers in the hole. Flashes explosive closing ability. Team captain.

Weaknesses: Likely limited to 3-4 alignment inside linebacker role due to marginal speed (We do use a mix of 4-3 and 3-4). Lacks fluidity for extensive coverage responsibilities (With a good pass rush, we don't need extensive coverage. Working to break a bad habit of lunging to get to the ball carrier (Nothing good coaching can't fix). Overaggressive and takes himself out of too many plays. Suffered torn ACL in 2011, although he regained explosion in 2013.


We don't need Hyde to be Adrian Petersen. Just need him to be able to CONSISTENTLY place our qb in MANAGEBLE down and distance situations.

If Hyde is this rb, and we know hell be gone by our 2nd pick, you can not just "step aside" and say:

"We ca not draft him 1st rd, because it isn't proper present qb drafting etiquette."

I believe Carlos Hyde will be one of those type of NFL rb's that can give at least 7-9 gms of 100yds or more rushing per season. If he can be this, investing a 1st rd pick is highly justified.

MassD, wouldn't/Shouldn't a huge contract be a reason for a team to take that position to get rid of that cap hit in a year or so?

I think the only position on our team you can say for sure we won't be picking first is DE and that's because none of them have huge contracts ... yet.

I'll bet my right nut we DO NOT take WR at #19.


regardless of position, is the player not worth the overall #1 pick?

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