Let’s hope it’s the start of something great. It’s definitely the start of something smart.
The Dolphins re-signed Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, ending the speculation that Grimes would get the franchise tag or that he’d become a free agent. This is huge, positive news for several reasons.
First, the Dolphins keep their most consistent and productive defensive back. Grimes led the team in interceptions and passes defensed and defensive touchdowns and many other categories. It would have been a huge step backward if we didn’t retain Grimes. So it’s good news to keep such a valuable player.
But there is even better news. It looks like new general manager Dennis Hickey knows the basic rule that Jeff Irlenad didn’t: KEEP YOUR PRO-BOWLERS.
It’s that simple. There is no guesswork involved. When a guy is good enough to be voted into the Pro Bowl by his peers, then you keep him. If you have no money to sign him, then you find a way to free up some money. But if you have plenty of money to begin with, then it’s a no-brainer.
Unlike last year. The Dolphins had tons of extra money under the cap, but they refused to sign Jake Long. They refused to sign a durable backup tight end like Anthony Fasano. They refused to sign Reggie Bush. Instead they went with guys like Jonathan Martin and Dustin Keller and Michael Egnew.
Why take a chance with unknown commodoties when you already have loyal Pro Bowlers on your roster and you have plenty of money to sign them? Dennis Hickey knows the answer to that question. Jeff Ireland did not.
Next up are Paul Solai and Randy Starks, both of whom are impending free agents. Both are formidable defenders. Both are pro Bowl quality. And both should remain Dolphins. Hickey needs to pay them what they ask and get this settled. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle needs to use them a little differently next year too, to keep opposing offenses on their toes. Coyle automatically took Solai out during passing downs, and this proved to be a mistake. We’d much rather have Solai rushing up the middle than Dion Jordan rushing from the outside. You saw the results.
But let’s not digress. Before we decide how to best utilize Starks and Solai, we have to get them signed.
Let’s hope Dennis Hickey agrees.