The Miami Dolphins have a few top-level free agents set to hit the open market this offseason, and they have a few big needs, particularly on the offensive line. That said, their priority this offseason is clear, and it’s to re-sign star cornerback Brent Grimes, who was the steal of the offseason. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Aqib Talib were both great values on one-year, $5 million deals, but Grimes signed the exact same contract as those two and is an even better player than Talib and DRC.
One of either Randy Starks or Paul Soliai will be kept by the Dolphins (they can’t afford to keep both but probably can’t afford to lose both), and Grimes is a must-keep for this team. CBS Sports’s Jason La Canfora had a lengthy, well-sourced report yesterday regarding various facets of the Dolphins organization, but the most overlooked tidbit was the part where “numerous team and league sources” told La Canfora that Grimes is the team’s priority this offseason.
It’s not breaking news by any means, but it’s still important to recognize just how big of an upgrade Grimes was for the team this year. Sean Smith had plenty of talent while with the Dolphins, but he was incredibly inconsistent and didn’t have a truly good year in Miami outside of his monster 201o campaign. Meanwhile, Grimes’s 2013 season was exactly what this team needed, and he showed no ill-effects of his 2012 ACL tear.
Not only was Brent Grimes shutdown in coverage, but he was also solid against the run and notched 60 tackles, four interceptions, and 16 passes defended for his best season since his elite 2010 campaign. While Grimes isn’t an elite CB, he’s close to that and is easily a top ten corner in this league. If the Dolphins don’t keep him, then they could be in big trouble in the secondary.