Brent Grimes was by far the most pleasant surprise for the Dolphins in 2013. I cannot state this any more clearly, Brent Grimes is the most important player for the Dolphins this offseason. Grimes, a 2014 Pro Bowl starter, transformed the Dolphins secondary from good to well above average.
Grimes started all 16 games for Miami in 2013, picking off 4 passes, one for a touchdown, and finished the season with 16 passes defended. His career high in passes defended is 23 back in 2010 with Atlanta. Grimes will be entering his 8th NFL season, and has become one of the top cornerbacks in the National Football League.
Many Dolphins fans agree that Offensive Line help is the team’s biggest need, and while the O-Line is important, hanging on to players on your roster that would start for any team in the NFL is more important, see Wes Welker. Winning teams, championship teams, hang on to Pro Bowl caliber players on their roster, and add other pieces through the draft and free agency.
The Dolphin’s pass defense was poor this season, but not because of the secondary, led by Grimes. In two of the biggest wins for the Dolphins this season, Grimes made a play to seal the game. In a division featuring the passing attack of Tom Brady, a lock down corner is about as vital an asset a team can have.
Week two against the Colts, Grimes picked off Andrew Luck in the end zone as the Colts were driving for the go ahead score.
On Halloween night in Miami, Grimes returned an Andy Dalton interception 94 yards for a touchdown just before halftime, totally changing the momentum of the game. Players that make these kind of plays in the biggest games don’t come around often, and while a brand new left tackle, among other additions, is key, locking up players that win games is more important.
Though the game means nothing, Grimes had a gigantic interception during the Pro Bowl, to quell the momentum of Team Rice as they looked to take the lead. Like I said, the Pro Bowl is meaningless, but the fact that Grimes has a knack for making big plays with the game on the line means a lot.
The Dolphins are expected to do one of two things when it comes to Grimes. One, they may very well use the franchise tag and keep Grimes around for another year at a cheaper rate. Two, they will sign Grimes to a long term extension, locking up the standout corner for four or five more years.
Whatever they decide, Grimes needs to be a Dolphin in 2014. With Nolan Carroll a free agent, and an expendable one at that, resigning Grimes, along with an addition like Walter Thurmond from Seattle, or Sam Shields from Green Bay, or something along those lines would take the Dolphin’s secondary from good to great, and would keep a relatively young nucleus together for several more years.
While I will be the first to say the Dolphins have many holes to fill via free agency and the draft, Brent Grimes resigning needs to be priority number one for new Dolphins’ GM Dennis Hickey as he looks to take this team to the next level.
Though Grimes is diminutive in stature, his impact on the future of the Miami Dolphins is huge. He will go down as possibly the best move former GM Jeff Ireland had ever made, and he needs to be locked up for an extended number of years if this team is to compete for an AFC East title.